Energy shortage: Pistons 96 – Bucks 94

Milwaukee Bucks 94 Final
Recap | Box Score
96 Detroit Pistons
Larry Sanders, C 20 MIN | 2-4 FG | 0-2 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 4 PTS | -11

Failed to grab a defensive rebound in 20 minutes. Struggled with foul trouble. Just one block. A very un-Larry like game.

Monta Ellis, PG 42 MIN | 12-22 FG | 3-4 FT | 4 REB | 9 AST | 30 PTS | +3

Maybe it’s because he’s got a bit more experience than most of the regulars on Milwaukee’s roster, but you don’t see the same lapses in energy from Ellis that you do from so many others on the Bucks. On a game to game basis, we can generally expect the same Monta Ellis to show up. His shot may be erratic, but he’s always an active player. Milwauke didn’t have enough of those Sunday.

Brandon Jennings, PG 38 MIN | 3-12 FG | 2-2 FT | 6 REB | 4 AST | 9 PTS | -4

The never ending Brandon Jennings roller coaster suddenly took a hard drop once again. After a terrific effort at home against Miami, Jennings was passive, inaccurate and ineffective on offense.

Drew Gooden, PF 16 MIN | 3-7 FG | 3-3 FT | 0 REB | 1 AST | 9 PTS | +2

Drew Gooden’s always been a very good rebounder, despite his general wackiness on the court, so it’s strange to see him play 16 minutes and fail to grab a rebound.

Ersan Ilyasova, SF 27 MIN | 9-12 FG | 3-4 FT | 5 REB | 2 AST | 24 PTS | +3

He made shots. The Pistons lost track of him or didn’t make enough of a commitment to run out on him on a bunch of jumpers and Ilyasova made them pay. He didn’t hesitate much on his makes and he made them.

Mike Dunleavy, SF 28 MIN | 3-7 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 9 PTS | +14

Two rebounds and zero assists isn’t indicative of much of a game out of Dunleavy. It seems safe to assume something didn’t go to plan if Dunleavy can’t muster up at least one assist in a game.

Beno Udrih, PG 17 MIN | 0-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 2 AST | 0 PTS | -3

In just over 15 minutes per game since returning from a sprained ankle, Udrih is averaging two points and just over two assists per game. Some how, some way, Udrih has to do a bit more to maximize his minutes, limited as they may be. Careless passes that are intercepted by Andre Drummond and taken the length of the court for a dunk are not the way to do that.

Three Things We Saw

  1. The Bucks played with a great deal of passion and urgency against the Heat on Saturday evening. Naturally, it was tough for them to get up for the Pistons in the same way. For the Bucks to be a truly threatening team, they need more consistency and a big part of that is preparing and approaching every game with the same sort of intensity and energy.
  2. Detroit hammered Milwaukee on the glass, 47-33. None of the Bucks typically productive rebounders (Sanders, Dunleavy, Udoh, Gooden, Mbah a Moute) did much to stop them. It helped Detroit that they spent much of the game shooting better than 50% as well.
  3. Despite falling behind 13-0 right after the tip and generally playing poorly all night, the Bucks had a chance in the end. Tied at 94, Milwaukee let Monta Ellis do his thing. After shooting well all game, he just couldn’t connect on a 19-footer he’d created some space for.Down two one possession later, Ellis was at the controls again. He settled for a difficult, fall away 18-footer and missed just before the buzzer. It looked like he could have found Ilyasova after the Bucks forward set a screen and flashed to the middle, but Ellis either thought the pass was too difficult to make or didn’t see it. For a screen shot of the final play, head over to our forum.

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  1. WHAAAAA! I can come up with numerous reasons for why the Bucks played so badly, but it seems to me that we lost our “deep bench” that had been so effective. Meanwhile, the Pistons discovered theirs.

    Beno, Dunleavy and Sanders used to be the heart of that squad and they all struggled, but they also played hard against the Heat. There was little effort to rebound or defend the paint and it didn’t help that LRMBM went back to the locker room at the start of the game.

    They needed some fresh legs and clear heads. Dalembert, Harris, Henson,Joel, Lamb and Gooden was the talent pool waiting to play. Drew got the call, it was too little and too late.

    Hope they get rested. There are more challenging games in the near future.

    Go Bucks!

    • It’s time to forget about bashing “up and down” Brandon or “I love to shoot no matter what” Monta. This version of the Milwaukee Bucks rides or falls on one Lawrence Sanders. When he is dominant on D and makes a few shots we tend to win. When he doesn’t we almost certainly lose. He played well against Miami and we won. Not at all in Detroit and we lost. Simple.

  2. While I wish the team was able to provide the same level of intensity for each opponent, I don’t think this is a fatal flaw. Clearly this team can beat anyone and in the playoffs the intensity is required every night. I think that could bode well for this team