New Orleans Hornets 113 FinalRecap | Box Score 117 Milwaukee Bucks
Tobias Harris, SF 17 MIN | 4-9 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 10 PTS | +8Corner threes! If that’s sustainable, Harris becomes quite a bit more valuable. Milwaukee’s biggest weakness is the inability to make threes. Harris helped in a big way in that department Saturday, showing little hesitation from the corners. Harris is still pretty clueless on defense, but so was the rest of the team on Saturday.
Samuel Dalembert, C 20 MIN | 6-10 FG | 3-3 FT | 8 REB | 0 AST | 15 PTS | +1He continues to play his very simple, very effective game. Find rim, dunk ball. Find rim, make layup. None of his makes were outside of a couple feet. But this wasn’t a banner day defensively for Bucks bigs and wings. A lot of the open New Orleans shots rest at their feet.
Monta Ellis, PG 34 MIN | 8-16 FG | 6-6 FT | 3 REB | 9 AST | 22 PTS | -11If there’s one thing that really impresses me about Ellis, it’s his ability to seemingly hang in the air for as long as he’d like and find teammates on the perimeter. I’m certain that at least half of his assists this season have come off drives where he’s just hung up in the air for so long that he’s able to make a quick decision to find a teammate outside of the paint.He hit some big shots in the fourth quarter, questionable looking as they may have been. Those were big too.
Brandon Jennings, PG 41 MIN | 8-16 FG | 2-3 FT | 2 REB | 9 AST | 22 PTS | +11It sure doesn’t hurt a guy’s assist numbers when his teammates are hitting threes. Five of Jennings’ nine assists came off of passes to either Mike Dunleavy, Marquis Daniels (!) or Tobias Harris (!!) for open threes. And Brandon continues to get ALL of the steals pretty much, including one that led to an open breakaway layup.
Mike Dunleavy, SF 31 MIN | 5-12 FG | 3-4 FT | 9 REB | 5 AST | 17 PTS | -4So many makes off curls. Also, rebounds. Fantastic offensive evening from Dunleavy, plus his help on the glass really seemed to come at opportune moments.
Larry Sanders, C 21 MIN | 1-5 FG | 2-6 FT | 6 REB | 0 AST | 4 PTS | -6Larry probably had the biggest play of the night when he blocked a Ryan Anderson dunk attempt with 18 seconds to play. It was so clean and so strong. He struggled at the line where he’d been pretty strong all year, but his 1-for-5 showing from the field had a lot to dd with one possession where he grabbed a couple offensive boards and missed a couple tap ins.
Beno Udrih, PG 14 MIN | 2-6 FG | 2-2 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 8 PTS | -2Uncharacteristic night from Udrih, as he had more turnovers (4) than assists (1). But he did knock down a couple of threes in the second half that helped spark the offense.

Three Things We Saw

  1. Scott Skiles was appalled with his team’s defense after the game. Too many open shots, too many missed rotations. Mike Dunleavy noted that Milwaukee missed a ton of assignments and wasn’t sharp all game long. The Hornets shot better than 60% for the vast majority of this game.
  2. The three point shooting! Milwaukee finished 13-for-25 on threes after really struggling from deep over their first seven games. Aside from Dunleavy, it’s hard to imagine who will be able to consistently hit from three, but Jennings was pretty good tonight and Udrih and Harris flashed the deep ball more than they usually do. More nights closer to this and Milwaukee’s offense will really start humming along.
  3. Ultimately, if the Bucks are a really serious team, they need to start beating some of these lower rung teams by more than three or four points. The Pacers game was more indicative of what they need to do against bad teams. Maybe they don’t have to be up 30 all game, but double digit wins over the bottom third of the league are a regular occurrence for virtually every serious playoff team. Buzzer beaters and grind it out showings aren’t ideal in these situations.