|Ersan Ilyasova, SF 21 MIN | 3-7 FG | 0-2 FT | 4 REB | 1 AST | 7 PTS | -10Ilyasova spent time on each of the Grizzly bigs and had little success defensively. He was too small to hang with Gasol and incapable of doing much to slow Randolph. Worse, his trademark rebounding prowess was absent again.|
|Tobias Harris, SF 24 MIN | 3-7 FG | 2-2 FT | 6 REB | 1 AST | 8 PTS | -14Harris gets lost out there sometimes with Jennings and Ellis bombing away. He looked okay in garbage time, but since a strong debut, we haven’t seen much out of Harris. I suppose that’s typically inconsistency from a young player.|
|Samuel Dalembert, C 15 MIN | 2-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 4 PTS | -9Scott Skiles spoke before the game about how much energy Larry Sanders had been playing with since the start of camp. He made a point that if players didn’t have energy, this team was deep enough to go with the guys who did have it. Thus far, we haven’t seen much energy or much of anything at all from Dalembert.|
|Monta Ellis, PG 36 MIN | 5-18 FG | 4-6 FT | 4 REB | 7 AST | 15 PTS | -8Whew. Ellis has barely eclipsed 30% through three games, with Monday’s game being his worst. At one point, he was 1-10 from the field. At that point, he picked up a technical, just to throw some salt in the wound his errant jumpers had opened up.|
|Brandon Jennings, PG 37 MIN | 6-20 FG | 5-5 FT | 3 REB | 5 AST | 19 PTS | -16After two games of ball moving, clutch shot making, general better playing hope, Jennings brought everyone back down again. This is the sort of inconsistency that has marked his career. A telling moment came at one point when he was on a secondary break and had Dunleavy wide open on the other side of the court calling for the ball. Jennings opted for his own three instead, which he missed. Either shot was probably okay, but it would have been fun to see him make the pass, if for no other reason than just to prove that he sees everything that’s happening.
Even when Jennings was getting shots in the paint, he was missing badly, as the Grizzlies’ bigs were just too good at altering his shot or making his angle difficult.
|John Henson, PF 17 MIN | 1-5 FG | 1-4 FT | 3 REB | 1 AST | 3 PTS | +7Debut! Almost immediately after entering, Henson lobbed a lazy pass to the wing, saw it get stolen by Rudy Gay, then fouled the Memphis wing with a slap on the wrist as he soared over the rookie and dunked on his head. Aside from that, he wasn’t so bad. He wasn’t so good, but that was certainly the lowlight. The highlight was a delightful block of Mo Speights that showed some timing and that length we all talk about.|
|Ekpe Udoh, PF 10 MIN | 0-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 0 PTS | -15One rebound. Pretty standard Udoh night. He almost eschewed stats entirely. That’s fine when he’s doing all that other stuff to make the Bucks good defensively, but he was just as brutal as the rest of the Milwaukee defenders.|
|Larry Sanders, C 26 MIN | 4-8 FG | 2-2 FT | 11 REB | 3 AST | 10 PTS | -11A bright spot! Sanders was in early and often again when Sam Dalembert proved incapable of helping on drives or on post-ups. Another strong game on the glass, three more blocked shots and dunked the ball a few more times.|
|Doron Lamb, SG 17 MIN | 1-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 2 AST | 2 PTS | -14Lamb was certainly out there, but he just wasn’t doing much. He passes, he moves around, sometimes he shoots. He didn’t do much to impact the game though, which I suppose makes sense. This was a very second round pick type of game.|
Four Things We Saw
- Memphis was so strong and so physical, even on the wings. Milwaukee had little answer for anything the Grizzlies did. Whatever spot Memphis wanted to get to, they got to. Whatever Milwaukee did to counter it had almost zero effect. The 49-41 rebound advantage and 46-38 points in the paint advantage don’t tell the story of how Memphis controlled this game inside.
- Watching Marc Gasol was a pleasure. Defensively, he reminds me a lot of Andrew Bogut. He’s always unhappy looking, always calling out what should be happening and letting guys know where they should have been. His head is always moving and he knows where his man and the ball are at all times. Sam Dalembert is different. He rarely speaks out there and he’s too often looking away at his man when someone is driving into the paint next to him. This was a study in a contrast in defensive awareness in centers.
- So which team are the Bucks? Thea team that dominated Boston, eeked it out against Cleveland or got smoked by Memphis? Games two and three are probably more indicative of who the Bucks are as a group. The buzzer beater against Cleveland covered for what was essentially a pretty rough game from the Bucks starters. Beating Cleveland at home on a last second three isn’t exactly an inspiring vote of confidence, but it was easy to overlook that when Milwaukee handled the Celtics. Now that there’s some evidence that they aren’t that team, things look a little dimmer.
- Consistency was something Scott Skiles talked about before the game when referencing Larry Sanders, but he could have been talking about his whole team. One of the things that makes stars stars is that they give the same terrific performances night in and night out. Jennings hasn’t ever been able to do that. Ellis has a game designed not to do that. If those two can’t be consistent, the Bucks are in trouble. They don’t have other players that are adept at creating offense.