Central Division title or bust?: Bucks 99 – Pacers 85
|Ersan Ilyasova, SF 22 MIN | 2-9 FG | 1-2 FT | 4 REB | 1 AST | 5 PTS | +29Ilyasova had the good fortune of being on the court with a team that was playing very well on Wednesday. Aside from that, he again didn’t have much luck. He missed back-to-back shots from right in front of the rim in the first quarter, but still had it in him to take a jumper on the next possession. He hit the jumper. It’s a little thing, but a positive one. Keep shooting.|
|Tobias Harris, SF 20 MIN | 4-5 FG | 3-4 FT | 4 REB | 2 AST | 11 PTS | +19Harris scored Milwaukee’s first five points as they attacked the smaller Lance Stephenson early.|
|Samuel Dalembert, C 18 MIN | 5-7 FG | 4-4 FT | 6 REB | 1 AST | 14 PTS | +31HE’S COME ALIVE! After routinely getting yanked throughout the first three or four games, Dalembert has turned in a few straight solid efforts. His energy level looked high again. Actually, it may never have looked higher than it did when he soared to catch a Brandon Jennings alley-oop and slam it home in the first. Dalembert even tossed in a few jumpers for good measure Wednesday.|
|Monta Ellis, PG 28 MIN | 6-15 FG | 4-4 FT | 3 REB | 3 AST | 16 PTS | +23Ellis was three times assisted by Beno Udrih. Each one resulted in a layup that Ellis finished very strong. In fact, Ellis was 5-of-5 on layups for the night and just 1-of-10 on jumpers. More driving and transitioning for easy baskets please.|
|Brandon Jennings, PG 29 MIN | 6-12 FG | 2-2 FT | 3 REB | 4 AST | 16 PTS | +26Everyone always wants Jennings to “set the tone” early. Well, eight points and three assists in the first quarter is a great way to do that. Plus, Jennings and Ellis were able to push the ball over and over and Indiana had little recourse. When either of MIlwaukee’s guards smelled blood on a steal, they went for it hard and tried to push for an easy layup. The result? 24 points off 20 Pacer turnovers.|
|Beno Udrih, PG 27 MIN | 3-7 FG | 3-3 FT | 6 REB | 10 AST | 9 PTS | -6BEEEENOOOOOOOOOOOOO. 10 assists, none better than the pair he got half way through the second quarter. A pretty feed to a backdoor cutting Ellis was nice enough, but then Udrih stole the obvious inbound pass and hit Ellis for another layup. Another fantastically productive game for Milwaukee’s back up, do everything guard.|
Three Things We Saw
- During all of the minutes of this game that were important, Milwaukee put its foot on the gas, never let off and did donuts on the Pacers. Six turnovers? 37.5% shooting for the opponent? What can be said? Nearly flawless execution offensively and defensively for a lot of this game.The energy the Bucks had from the start overwhelmed a weary Indiana team.
- When I traded e-mails with Tim Donahue of 8Points9Seconds earlier Wednesday morning, the question of whether or not the Bucks could stay ahead of the Pacers this season was posed. At this point, that looks like a hilarious question.
- The Bucks are cruising down the freeway of success and good fortune through seven games and they just passed by the Pacers heading the opposite way. Milwaukee’s driving something fast and sporty, while the Pacers transportation was surely a bus, with wheels wobbling, windows broken and the emergency exit door half way falling off. They’re on their way back from a storm that did quite a bit of damage. If anything, they serve as a warning sign. Milwaukee must continue to strike while the iron is hot, while teams like the Pacers, Sixers and Bulls are beat up. Get the cushion now, get a flow as a team and prepare for the return of good health for others. Things can change very quickly in this league.