Persevering without Przybilla: Bucks 98 – Pacers 93
|Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, PF 34 MIN | 3-7 FG | 4-4 FT | 10 REB | 2 AST | 10 PTS | +9
A quiet first double double of the season for Mbah a Moute. He had the difficult task of taking on David West early and often and helped give the Bucks enough pressure on the talented big man to frustrate West into a technical foul at one point.
|Larry Sanders, C 29 MIN | 2-4 FG | 1-2 FT | 9 REB | 0 AST | 5 PTS | +13
The five blocks don’t include the hilarious travel he forced on Indiana’s last possession. George Hill rose up for a corner three, but realized Sanders was there, ready to toss his attempt aside. While he was in the air, Hill aborted mission and threw the ball down in a dribble attempt. That is not legal.
|Monta Ellis, PG 40 MIN | 8-23 FG | 3-4 FT | 2 REB | 6 AST | 19 PTS | +10
Ellis has to lead the NBA in missed layups that were very close to being makes. It seems like every layup he misses travels the diameter of the rim before falling off. That’s got to be maddening for him.
|Brandon Jennings, PG 44 MIN | 13-22 FG | 6-9 FT | 5 REB | 6 AST | 34 PTS | +7
Jennings had a big fourth quarter, scoring 13 of Milwaukee’s 26 points. He got to the line a little bit and made a couple of significant short jumpers. The season high 34 points came on the same array of shots he always takes, so don’t listen to anyone who says he did anything different on Tuesday. Only difference was the result. Until this happens more frequently, I’ll applaud this one effort and continue to expect lots of misses.
|Drew Gooden, PF 4 MIN | 0-1 FG | 2-4 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 2 PTS | +1
The box score shouldn’t say Milwaukee Bucks vs. Indiana Pacers, it should say Milwaukee Bucks vs. Indiana Pacers featuring special guest Drew Gooden. He made an appearance in the fourth quarter when both Sanders and Udoh had picked up five fouls. His four minutes weren’t a disaster, but it was funny how much he got the ball in a spot appearance late in a close game. Tough to figure, this team is. Kudos to Gooden for staying ready.
|Mike Dunleavy, SF 27 MIN | 6-14 FG | 2-3 FT | 6 REB | 1 AST | 17 PTS | +4
His impact was obvious and important. Dunleavy hit a three that stretched the lead from three to six, another from six to nine. His shooting helps Milwaukee put some distance between themselves and the opponent and can keep them in games when they fall behind. Plus he’s having his best defensive rebounding season ever and that showed up again tonight.
|Joel Przybilla, C DNP SUSPENDED BY LEAGUE MIN | FG | FT | REB | AST | PTS |
The Bucks had their back up against the wall without the big man, but they found a way to persevere This is what makes a team tough. This is what good teams do. This is how you really find out what a team is made of. This is what creates the momentum that allows a team to be special. This is what turns a team from a group of guys into a family. This is cliche cliche cliche momentum cliche cliche cliche.
Two Things We Saw
- So much of the Bucks fortunes ride on the shooting ability of Jennings and Ellis. Jennings was hot tonight, so the Bucks had a respectable shooting night. Most of the other players will even out – for every bad game like the one Ilyasova had, there will be a better game like the one Dunleavy had. But Jennings and Ellis are near scoring necessities. Tonight Jennings was able to find the bottom of the net, so the Bucks were a better team. So simple, but very difficult.
- Coach Skiles said after the game he was much more pleased with this effort than the previous three wins MIlwaukee had. They played a better game. Milwaukee found a way to get some good looks and connect on enough shots against one of the league’s better defensive teams. Kudos to them.