Big leads are nice to have: Milwaukee 97 – Brooklyn 88
|Larry Sanders, C 38 MIN | 3-12 FG | 0-0 FT | 6 REB | 1 AST | 6 PTS | +12Sanders was less effective offensively than he had been all season. It’s not like Sanders was launching jumpers from all over or anything. He just had some issues when the Nets presented him with less easy dunks at the rim. From five to nine feet out, he looked really rough. On the plus side, his offensive struggles didn’t carry over. He had another stellar defensive game that included four blocks.|
|Monta Ellis, PG 41 MIN | 8-13 FG | 8-9 FT | 2 REB | 5 AST | 24 PTS | +7Ellis again was able to ease up on the shooting, as his teammates were filling in capably on offense. When guys like Jennings, Ilyasova and Marquis Daniels are making some shots and being more aggressive, it seems like Ellis feels less of a burden. This is almost an ideal Ellis game: He got to the line, he made a high percentage of his shots and he only attempted one three. Extra points go his ability to exploit MarShon Brooks in the post. He scored on him twice down low and drew two fouls. Four great possessions.|
|Brandon Jennings, PG 41 MIN | 8-19 FG | 6-6 FT | 6 REB | 7 AST | 26 PTS | +4Jennings put some serious defensive pressure on Deron Williams and got a couple of big time steals. Those kinds of steals that remind you how quick his hands can be defensively. It’s always easier to live with any shooting percentage Jennings puts up when he’s hitting threes and taking six free throws too. The six free throws Jennings took and made were a season high too.|
|Marquis Daniels, SG 35 MIN | 5-10 FG | 2-2 FT | 7 REB | 1 AST | 13 PTS | +4Not known as much of a shooter, a three from Daniels with 1:23 to play after some nice ball movement was a strong answer to the late Nets run and pretty much put this one away. He’s given Milwaukee just enough offense in the past two games to be dangerous and provides some defensive consistency that Tobias Harris struggles with.|
|Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, PF 28 MIN | 2-5 FG | 5-10 FT | 5 REB | 0 AST | 9 PTS | 0Mbah a Moute has quickly become one of Milwaukee’s most capable offensive big men. He’s shown no hesitation attacking the baseline or posting up smaller players every chance he gets. The 10 free throws he shot were no accident: He was getting a step on Nets big men (and Joe Johnson) with regularity.|
|Ersan Ilyasova, SF 26 MIN | 4-8 FG | 1-1 FT | 2 REB | 3 AST | 10 PTS | +17A quietly productive night. As I mentioned before, he just needs to do enough to make guys like Ellis and Jennings feel like there are other players out here that can help on offense. He looked aggressive again against the Nets, coming off a strong game at home against Charlotte. Third straight double digit scoring game for Ilyasova. He’s a bargain.|
|Joel Przybilla, C 6 MIN | 0-0 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 0 PTS | -5Weird.|
Three Things We Saw
- After building a 29 point lead in the third quarter, things got a bit hairy for the Bucks in the fourth, but Brooklyn could never get the lead under six. That’s the nice thing about being on the positive end of a big lead, something the Bucks haven’t had a ton of experience with lately. The loss of the lead had a lot to do with the energy of Gerald Wallace and a lack of performance out of Milwaukee’s typically capable big men. Nothing too disastrous there.
- Milwaukee kept a very short rotation, really relying on eight players with a touch of playing for, of all people, Joel Przybilla, when Udoh went out. With the team playing well, it seemed like Scott Skiles didn’t want to rock the ship too much. Players playing well seemed to begat a shorter rotation on Sunday.
- Milwaukee has now handled its last two opponents, of varying quality, with some ease. After a very difficult stretch of playing time, that must be quite a relief to everyone in the locker room. One of the biggest keys has been a generally more united scoring effort. Milwaukee can’t just rely on Jennings and Ellis all season. Daniels, Ilyasova and company have helped out with both Beno Udrih and Mike Dunleavy absent in the past couple and the defense has capitalized on a copule of teams struggling to make shots.