Believing against Boston: Bucks 91 – Celtics 88

Boston Celtics 88 Final
Recap | Box Score
91 Milwaukee Bucks
John Henson, PF 13 MIN | 2-4 FG | 1-4 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 5 PTS | -13Henson was a brutal and key cog in Milwaukee’s awful 17-0 deficit to start the game. He had a bad turnover, a worse jump shot and what seemed like little clue what he was doing. But he came back in and played better in the second half when given another opportunity. He looked stronger on the glass and made a couple of his open jumpers. He’s still very obviously a work in progress, even in games.
Monta Ellis, PG 40 MIN | 6-20 FG | 5-5 FT | 4 REB | 7 AST | 17 PTS | +1Another tough shooting nice for Ellis, but it was his not shooting that was most impressive late. First he had a tough drive with about a minute left and instead of forcing something difficult up near the rim, he left off a soft pass for Larry Sanders who promptly finished. Then he came off a screen, got the ball and floated through the paint in the air appearing ready to launch a difficult, off balance shot. But he passed to an open Daniels who swung it to a more dangerous open Jennings. Jennings hit the three and the Bucks won. Kudos go to Ellis for making that happen.
Brandon Jennings, PG 40 MIN | 5-12 FG | 0-0 FT | 6 REB | 2 AST | 13 PTS | -8It’s not often that Jennings has a quiet night, but he certainly didn’t put his stamp on this game until his huge three late. Once upon a time it would have been very difficult to imagine Jennings hitting a big shot late after not being real involved for most of the game. Now? He’s done it twice this season. That’s pretty cool.
Marquis Daniels, SG 36 MIN | 4-9 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 5 AST | 8 PTS | -12Daniels got the start, as Skiles looked to change things up. With mike Dunleavy unavailable, Skiles noted he had no other option if he wanted to get a different look at the small forward spot.Daniels played tough defense all night on Paul Pierce all game and gave the Bucks god versatility against the Pierce/Terry pick and roll late. He offers preciously little on the other end, but he knows his limitations very well and found Jennings on the three that put Milwaukee ahead for good. On any given night he can be a contributor defensively, but an ideal world is one where Daniels isn’t playing more than 15 minutes.
Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, PF 14 MIN | 4-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 6 REB | 2 AST | 8 PTS | +16Not bad for his first game back. Mbah a Moute made some open jumpers and most importantly ended up doing a pretty good job defending Paul Pierce on a HUGE possession for the Celtics with 37 seconds to get late. He made Pierce lose control, gather and then have to take a difficult fadeaway that he missed. In his first game back, to have to jump into that situation off the bench and handle it that well? That’s impressive.
Ersan Ilyasova, SF 34 MIN | 5-11 FG | 4-4 FT | 5 REB | 4 AST | 15 PTS | +16He’s alive! When I ranted and raved about Ilyasova’s minutes I didn’t once say he shouldn’t be playing at all. I wrote that if he isn’t playing well, he shouldn’t be playing and that it’s not Skiles responsibility to pick him up. Well Ilyasova apparently found a way to pick himself up, despite the night off on Friday. His shooting was an important part of Milwaukee’s come back in the first half and he was competent enough late. He still was fading and playing a little soft at the rim late, which is disappointing.
Larry Sanders, C 33 MIN | 7-11 FG | 4-5 FT | 16 REB | 1 AST | 18 PTS | +18Scott Skiles wanted to shake up his starting lineup Saturday night. The Bucks had lost five of six and he felt like it was time to do something different. On the heels of a triple double in Minnesota, Sanders was given an opportunity to start. He declined and told his coach he was more comfortable coming off the bench. Comfortable has been a good way to describe Sanders for the majority of this season and it was a god way to describe him Saturday. He grabbed rebounds, blocked shots, finished around the rim and did it all within himself. Nothing looked difficult for him, save a few bumbled offensive efforts. Comfort is a good thing.

Three Things We Saw

  1. Boston’s defense late was just so, SO good. They so seamlessly switch and rotate and cover any gaps. KG gets a ton of credit and he deserves it. Everyone follows his instructions with great energy because they know he knows where to send them and that he has their back. So impressive.Also impressive? The Bucks doing juuuuuust enough offensively to get a win. Very good play late to hang with a tough Boston team.
  2. Going down 17-0 in the first quarter is probably not a strategy the Bucks should execute on every game, but they recovered from it against Boston. The advantage of a talented bench is that backups can come in with energy and outplay other team’s reserves, making almost no lead too large to take the Bucks out of the game.
  3. Jennings walked out of the showers into the locker room after the game and barked loud enough for everyone to hear: “Larry’s gonna f*ck around and get player of the week.”Quite a week for Larry, a guy whose hijinks seem to entertain and energize his teammates.

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  1. Larry has been so crucial to the bucks in a few of these early season games. I was ready to be very critical of him after seeing some of his performances in the summer league, but the Colonel, Tube Man, Picasso, whatever you want to call him, has really stepped it up so far. Now the question for Larry and the Bucks is whether or not they will be able to stay consistent for the remainder of the season.

  2. No Beno…No Dunleavy…there goes that fabulous bench. The my worse fears came true when the starters let Boston go up 17 to start the game.

    Then the Prince started making shots and Daniels was doing a pretty darn good job keeping up with Pearson. Ersan timing on O & D was right on, and suddenly my panic attack subsided.

    Ellis, Ellis, Ellis….he turns the ball over three times by passing to someone that obviously didn’t know they were supposed to catch it. And before I can say “I’ve had it with Ellis” he makes three fabulous plays where the teammate did catch his pass and score.

    This team makes us crazy…but it also keeps us coming back. Win at home against Boston was much needed.

    Go Bucks.

    • LOL Like the way I turned Pierce and Ersan into Pearson? I guess I should have been doing my chores instead of posting about the game.

  3. My plans are working out perfectly. Now everyone knows they should get ready at any point of the game. And, that they can be replaced by ten other people probably. That’s what the first month has accomplished. No one has allusions to going rogue.

    I have the finest, deepest team ever assembled, and my options will last through to the Championship. I would make a trade but I don’t need to, which is the beauty of my scheme.

    I will have the Cinderella story this year that had a practice run last year. I suppose fans forgot what a well-oiled machine we become last season. Now we have the right moving parts, is the difference.

    Let everyone wonder about Minnesota and the Bobcats, we play well against quality opponents, which means I have playoffs potential. Every half-way decent team gets into the post-season. We play for keeps.

    My Skiles is getting better and better too. There will always be detractors who do not know from being a leader of grown men. Skiles has played it right down the middle, in a symetrical, judicious way. A focus I am very proud of. My team, to the player, have been looking around to see who will be steering this ship for this battle. It shouldn’t be a player, because of logistics. It shouldn’t be Popovich, though he is the closest coach to it. My Skiles is winning their trust. It should be no wonder he has such an egalitarian-run team! He is mastering the Impersonal, where all divine inspiration is located. I can imagine him being the quintessential in coaching one day! At that point, doing so much while appearing detached. Not like the old Piston coach, Daley, who was conniving and manipulative. Skiles is a rare good guy, who wins trust, loyalty, and effort by paying attention to fairness. I am so lucky to have him, and would rather he not move to another situation next year. Very good job.

    God save the Bucks.

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