Nothing can be done when Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis miss shots

From the post game media session after Milwaukee’s win over the Indiana Pacers on Tuesday, December 18. Brandon Jennings’ line for the night: 34 points on 13-22 FG. Monta Ellis’ line for the night: 19 points on 8-23 FG.

Me: With Monta and Brandon – obviously those two are taking so many of your shots  on a night to night basis – obviously Jennings was good tonight while Monta had a lower percentage, is there anything you can do besides hope they make the open shots that they’re getting as far as getting them going or whatever?

Scott Skiles: You got a suggestion?

Me: Ah, um. Haha. Ah .. *nervous laughter*

Scot Skiles: No.


The next day. Milwaukee played the Memphis Grizzlies.

Brandon Jennings: 26 points on 9-26 FG.

Monta Ellis: 4 points on 1-14 FG.

Grizzlies 90 – Bucks 80. Nothing could be done. If those guys don’t make shots, the Bucks aren’t going to win. After their respective efforts Wednesday night, both Jennings and Ellis are now shooting less than 40% on the season.

Categories: Sad and Unpopular

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    • It was like Barry was talking about a JV team, some day they might make it to a better team… Ugh… That was so frustrating to watch. I never knew how bad the Bucks were until I listened to him. I guess Paschke and McGlocklin have been warping my mind.

      • Jon Barry is annoying and is negative about everything. That’s why they booted him from NBA Countdown.

  1. Game shows how badly Beno is needed…Monta provided nothing at all and without Beno as the stabilizer the Bucks offense has to continually run through Jennings and at 6’0″ 175 you can’t rely on him to have the ball for 15+ seconds every possession that is asking him to do too much, he’s not Kobe, Durant or Lebron

    • Jennings size has nothing to do with the fact that he isn’t a good facilitator. I don’t expect us to beat the Grizzlies but most possessions end in poor shot selection by Jennings or Monta and very little team fluidity. Benching Jennings might be good for him and Beno can certainly do as well in the starting role once he gets back. But that will never happen.

      • Brandon isn’t a bad facilitator but the fact that he’s creating shots for a bunch of players that can’t shoot (Dunleavy excluded) he is forced to play hero ball in the half court offense. When he tries to get Ersan open on a pick and pop and Ers pump fakes once or twice and then gets the ball right back to him he’s forced to either drive and not get the calls or take one of his ridiculous fading contested 20 footers. The kind of shots that those 6’7″-6’9″ players can get away with taking because of their size.

        Monta has the same problem and when they are on the court at the same time they just take turns doing it. That’s why Beno is needed because in Brandon’s career he has scored most efficiently when playing off of the ball knocking down outside shots when players like Ridnour and Udrih drive and kick to him.

        In a sense I get what Scott Skiles is saying in that quote, aside from being an ornery SOB the guy really doesn’t have anything that he can do besides let Brandon and Monta keep doing what they are doing. LRMAM, Daniels, Ekpe, Larry, and Lamb are not going to get you points. In that group only Daniels is competent from outside and only LRMAM can attack off the dribble and score for himself. With Dunleavy healthy and soon to be Beno healthy this will change and improve but until then we will see more of the same because it is the only option.

        • You are a Jennings apologist, his cast of teammates are more talented and have more ability to score as role players than you give them credit for. They just aren’t playing with a pointguard that knows how to create offense. If you watch the way some of the better pgs play the position they will probe the defense while they dribble, always ready to attack with a pass, shot, or drive. Brandon decides what he is going to do with the ball from the top of the key, his “triple threat” stature is gone once he approaches. Im tired of watching it, and dont understand why Skiles hasn’t done anything. He should be playing guard.

          Give Ersan, Dunleavy, Beno, or even Larry the opportunity to chuck up 20 shots a game, I guarantee they could shoot a similar percentage to Jennings, because its a pretty pedestrian figure.

          • If this cast of teammates has more ability to score then why don’t try to? Dunleavy and Beno are the only ones with the confidence to take a shot let alone try and create for themselves. The ball ends up in Brandons/Montas hands with the shot clock under 6 seconds ALLL the time because none of the other guys have the confidence to shoot it. Someone has to try to shoot or nothing will happen. Jennings was running the offense well early in the year when Harris was starting and getting minutes because he too is a confident scorer. Even Dalembert has a solid midrange game. LRMAM/Larry/Ekpe are all anemic offensive players and Daniels would be the 10th or 11th rotation player on every other Playoff Contending team in the NBA. Ersan and Drew Gooden were living off of the pick and pop last year and Carlos Delfino thinks he is open for a shot anytime he is inside half court but Carlos is gone, Gooden is benched and Ersan is pumpfaking too often again and struggling with his shot.

            These are factors that people aren’t taking into consideration because it’s easier to just point out that Jennings and Monta are missing shots but there is much more to this game than putting the ball in the basket. The team lacks confidence offensively and until someone else can start demanding the ball or at least pretending like they want the ball get used to watching Jennings and Monta shoot 20 times each a night.

          • @Ted,

            Guys gotta have the ball in their hands to take shots.

            How often does Larry get it in the low-post? How do we know he has no game? I think there’s a decent chance he could hit 39% from the paint. A guy like Ers shares some of the blame for not having bigger cajones and taking more shots, but a good pg makes the most of the talent surrounding him, and Ers needs a point guard who knows how to set him up better. Brandon Jennings is a guard, not a point guard. When Beno is running the point things flow much more smoothly for a reason.

            Im not saying we’d be a whole lot better with a different guy running the point, but we could at least have the same results while getting the whole team involved rather than having just two guys take bad shot after bad shot.

        • Not hard for a team like Memphis to stop BJ & Ellis, but they still tried. Brandon got 7 rebounds … second behind Sanders 9. Jennings had 8 free throw attempts while the rest of the whole team had 11. Yes, Jennings & Ellis struggled mightily, but they didn’t get scoring help from Ersan, Dunleavy,or LRMBM either.

          Was good to see Lamb with productive time. Daniels contributed. Sanders did pretty well against these guys too.

          I don’t agree that all the blame should be laid at Jennings feet. Game I watched had plenty of missteps by everyone.

  2. Yeah, my shiny optimism that I had about Monta Ellis and being so huge to this team is wearing fast. If we traded him tomorrow I don’t think I would be sad at all…

    ESPN will never show us on primetime next season, bank on that!

    • How in the hell could that work? why add ANOTHER power forward? Just going to espn and looking up stats doesn’t mean you know what you’re talking about. The Bucks need size at the 2, or they need luc richard at the 3, and one of their young men to step up. Right now they are MOSTLY young. Our team is YOUNG. If we keep both guards, great. If we only get to keep one after this season. Okay, I feel the bucks should look at Aaron Afflalo, yes stat cats will say BUT HIS PER IS BLAHBLAH. PER doesn’t take into account his onball defense. His ability to play the passing lane. He is an accurate and smart shooter. Exceptional passer, not special because his role on the court for most his career has been catch and shoot. (Especially in the corner after he goes inside then out) He is a very good on both sides on the wing against the 1 2 and most 3’s His active hands and wing span make him to be equal to an average 6’8″ 3 while only being 6’5″ He is not outspoken, never causes problems.
      Magic said they are not interested in Monta, but we have a few assets they may want.
      This is a trade I’d love to see go through.

      • How are you going to poop on my trade and then say that piece of dog shit is going to work? Did I mention that Sammy D is probably gone? Larry Sanders plays C so it’s not exactly the log jam that everyone seems to think it is. In return we get a guy that can shoot. He can stand outside of the paints and consistently put the basketball through the rim. That’s called scoring points. You think New Orleans wants to pay a guy 8-9 million to backup Anthony Davis?

  3. Was at the game, Monta was brutal tonight. He missed open shots, and he missed layups. Before the game he went through a long ritual of practicing jumpers all over the court and draining them one after the other. My wife said, “he shouldn’t be taking so many shots like that before the game, he’ll waste them all.” She didn’t know how prophetic she was… Also, Gasol and Randolph are great players, and even though ZR got his numbers, I thought the Bucks did a decent job of denying him good position for the most part, and they frazzled Gasol much of the night. When the team is shooting 26% total in the middle of the third quarter, you aren’t going to win, especially against such a good team. Finally, I have a question: Why is Samuel Dalembert riding the bench? Is he injured? Is he in Skiles’s doghouse?

  4. I wish we still had Bogut, our record would be worse (which would be a good thing) because Boguts still out and we would still have the hope that maybe he would come back fully recovered and be a solid NBA center next year after we reap the benefit of a bad record and a high pick this year. Instead we have Ellis who is going to keep us mediocre and nothing more.

    At the time I thought it was a good trade but in retrospect it seems like a really bad move given how precious a center like Bogut can be. As a fan, having Bogut sitting on the bench in a suit and tie would be more valuable to me than watching our backcourt play the way they do.

    The case can be made that Jennings doesn’t have that much talent around him, but he still is a pretty inept creator. He’s either on fire or the offense is trying to run despite him, there’s really no in between. He tries to do too much, I say we should let some of these other guys chuck up 20 shots a night and see what happens, I would wager that the results are at least similar. And thats my beef with Skiles, we’ve been watching the Brandon show for 3.5 years now with pretty inefficient results, couldn’t he please try something else for a change? He certainly has mixed up the line-up in every other way.

    • Boo hoo. Need a Kleenex? We’ll probably and should get more in return with Ellis than Bogut’s injured body.

      Jennings and Ellis have no interior presence so I get why they chuck it up so much. What we need is to get a big man not named Bogut using Jennings or Ellis since they’re gonna walk anyways this year or next.

      Skiles needs a better offense and I don’t want anyone else we have to jack up 20 shots, really?

    • I feel like you’ve come to the dark side. Weren’t we on opposite sides of the current state of the Bucks union at the start of this season?

      • I hate to admit it but yes… I argued feverishly with you about the Ersan signing, but now its like: keep only the really young, cheap, promising guys (Sanders, Henson, Udoh, Lamb) and maybe the servicable vets (MikeD, Udrih) but DO NOT commit to any other significant contracts unless the player is a Kyrie Irving, Kevin Love, Anthony Davis etc.

        I think I can better handle a mediocre bucks most years but the way Jennings and Ellis play just rubs me the wrong way. A mediocre team with them as the centerpiece is just unpalatable for my personal tastes.

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  6. Jeremy: Nothing can be done because they’re all we have on offense besides Dunleavy. Why cast blame on them when like Jon Barry said last night, “Bucks have no interior presence”. What’s two scoring guards to do when they look into the paint and you just see a bunch of big men who are pretty good defensive guys, but have no O?

      • Hmmm….we don’t want Jennings & Ellis to take risky shots, but it’s okay if Sanders & Henson do?

        I thought Skiles was trying to get everyone on the team to look for open man and select shots with highest probability of scoring.

        The problem was not that there weren’t enough shots taken by everyone. The problem was that NOBODY could get the ball to actually go down through the net.

        • Patti you are missing my point, which is that Sanders and Henson have as high of a probability to hit any of the shots they take as Ellis and Jennings do.

  7. If anyone is to blame for the Bucks mediocrity these last few years It’s Scott Skiles and his amazing ability to coach below average teams to play above their ability. He’s done it his entire coaching career and this is the only coaching role he is suited to. This is the same coach who took the Bulls team with the core of leading scorer Eddy Curry (yes THE Eddy Curry) Kirk Heinrich and Ben Gordon to the playoffs for multiple seasons and even got out of the 1st round with those guys.

    But he will never be able to coach a player like Carmelo Anthony or any of the NBA’s Stars because he is just too damn stubborn. John Hammond comes to town tries to tank the Bucks and start over but Skiles coaches to a 6 seed and a near upset of the Atlanta Hawks without their All NBA Center Bogut.

    The knock on that team was that they didnt get to the FT line so Hammond addresses that by getting FT magnet Corey Maggette (By trading Charlie Bell and Dan efffing Gadzuric!!! to acquire him) but Skiles just doesn’t like him so team does not improve.

    Hammond tries to fix the team again swapping a struggling Salmons, Maggette and juggles some draft picks in return gets a starting NBA PG Udrih to come as their backup and play the same role Ridnour did in the 09-10 season and Stephen Jackson. On paper Jack is exactly the kind of player we all would think Scott Skiles would love until Jack started voicing his opinion and Skiles wanted nothing to do with that.

    Then Hammond has to mend the fences again..The Bucks are one of the worst offensive teams in the NBA and somehow Hammond cons the Warriors into taking Stephen Jackson’s contract and what little is left of Andrew Bogut’s body (probably not even going to play this season) for Ekpe and Monta Ellis.

    Bucks miss the playoffs and cite lack of interior defense as the main reason so Hammond flips a few bench players into Samuel Dalembert who comes in as the new Starting Center and is benched 1 month into the season by Skiles…

    Sorry for the rant but if we are going to point fingers at anyone I think we know who to point them at. I love Scott Skiles as a competitor and I think at times he is a great coach but this man is the main reason why this franchise has been in NBA purgatory.

    • Let’s see here….

      Maggette -how has he been doing since he left the Bucks? well this season he’s averaging 14 minutes and shooting 35% for the Pistons.

      Stephen Jackson is at the end of his career playing 20 minutes off the bench and shooting 36% from the field for a good team.

      Dalembert has looked slow and lazy on most nights and was benched at the end of the season for the rockets last year.

      These seem more like bad moves by the GM than bad coaching by Skiles. I think if given a real star he could bring the best out of him. You are right though that his ability to get our historically untalented roster to overachieve continually undermines our chances or adding legitimate talent.

    This trade would benefit both teams greatly. The lakers could use Ellis as a lethal 6th man for their struggling bench, and they could use Gooden more than the bucks use him too. While the bucks are already deep at PF, Pau would be a great upgrade over anyone.The bucks could also use a solid who could let jennings control the offense but still contribute, and jodie meeks could do that.

  9. Jennings is the only reason that the bucks are around 3rd in the nba with team assists, when he is on the floor he gets the ball moving around while also getting his shots. ellis is the problem sure hes a great scorer and a great passer at times but it just doesnt work consistently. all the talk of trading jennings should be turned into trading ellis.

    the kings are looking to trade tyreke evans, they need a pg and everyone in this league seems to think ellis can play point and the bucks needed a bigger 2 guard so that would be a perfect trade

    the problem is that the bucks have a team full of people who can only score or only play defense which is why we watched the struggles of everyone last night against one of the best defensive teams in memphis.

    • I’ve thought about that same thing. Tyreke has struggled trying to do everything and Jennings trying to do everything. Tyreke might be a better compliment to Jennings than Ellis. Let BJ play point and Tyreke play SG. It would give the Bucks that entertainment factor they seem to strive for!

      • Reke is an exciting player to watch and Ive always been intrigued by his game personally but he is equally as frustrating as Monta Ellis. Reke plays horrible defense and is another ball dominator without a true position. I think he’d be a worse fit than Ellis with Jennings personally but who knows.

        It’s a shame that Toronto extended Derozan I would have liked to have seen BJ and Demar on the court together that would have been entertaining

  10. Fire Skiles, hire Stan Van Gundy.

    This particular team, with a new coach and system, would run away with the Central (this year, with Rose out) and renew local interest. Let Scotty go be a college coach and let Stan handle the professionals. After all that crap with Howard the last couple years, he’ll love a low-key, basketball-friendly market with roots like this one.

  11. Hey guys,

    All these ideas of blowing up the team and starting from scratch is pipe dream until Herb is able to secure funding for a new arena or the team moves to a different city. I feel like the Bucks right are in the same exact position as the Brewers were pre-miller park days but with a couple of seasons of near .500 seasons. Nothing is going to change until there is a new ownership group in place similar to the Brewers prior to Mark A. I would love to trade Brandon & Montae for expiring contracts and future first rounders or young assets but thats never gonna happen because we play near .500 ball for the rest of the year.

  12. if you’re not part of the solution then you’re part of the problem Monta.. so no one else believes that he is just going through the motions until his contract is up? A career 46% shooter that is just throwing them up and waiting for his Early Termination to kick in, on a team with no accountability.. while Jeremy has noted that a lot of his layups have rolled off, I take that as a lack of concentration.. the Bucks are just a stop-gap to him.. does anyone even know if he bought a home in the Milwaukee area? He is playing just well enough to keep himself viable and just bad enough for me to believe this relationship is over

    • how well he does this year helps or hurts how much money he will get offered with his new contract add that to the fact that nobody in the nba likes losing so obviously he isnt “going through the motions”

      • I believe that a guy who’s only been on two winning teams previous has made his peace with a little losing.. and let’s say that he does hate losing it is pretty hard to believe that all of a sudden he can’t recognize a good shot from a bad shot.. one’s pride gets slightly less affected if you feel like the next team is the team you’re meant to help

  13. I want monta to get traded. He will play better. He clearly has no chemistry with Jennings. I miss watching him go off for 40+

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