Bad or not, they still beat the Bucks: Lakers 104 – Bucks 88
|Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, PF 25 MIN | 3-10 FG | 2-2 FT | 5 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 8 PTS | -21
You could almost feel the Lakers saying, “Hey, if Luc Mbah a Moute beats us offensively, we’ll live with ourselves.” Milwaukee went to him a few times in the post and found him a few times for jumpers in the third quarter and he was unable to do much to expose the Lakers matchup of Steve Nash on him defensively. Only five of his shots were near the rim – that’s not an ideal Luc offensive night.
|Larry Sanders, C 24 MIN | 3-7 FG | 0-0 FT | 11 REB | 2 AST | 1 STL | 3 BLK | 0 TO | 6 PTS | -1
It was strange to see Sanders play so little despite largely avoiding the crippling foul trouble that historically keeps his minutes down. But here we are. In Jim Boylan’s defense, Sanders had nothing for Dwight Howard for most of the night, not because he couldn’t hold him int he post, but because he kept losing him out there.
|Monta Ellis, PG 31 MIN | 6-16 FG | 3-9 FT | 6 REB | 4 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 17 PTS | -8
Eight threes, huh? He isn’t a very good 3-point shooter, but everyone would probably rather see him shoot a three than a long two. Monta’s biggest issue Tuesday was his rough showing from the free throw line.It’s encouraging to see him attempt nine, but missing six of those is a bummer. With Jennings sweated so badly, someone had to do something and he wasn’t a bad kind of aggressive.
|Brandon Jennings, PG 29 MIN | 4-14 FG | 3-3 FT | 1 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 12 PTS | -22Kobe Bryant was pretty aggressively hounding Jennings for a good portion of the evening. He was on him full court, denying him the ball and really jabbing at him whenever he was able to grab it. Come Mlwaukee’s disastrous fourth quarter, Jennings was in full force mode on two of his three shots, jacking as soon as he saw a little bit of open space and missing terribly. When he’s handing out just one assist, you know Milwaukee’s offense isn’t operating.|
|John Henson, PF 17 MIN | 2-8 FG | 1-2 FT | 5 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 5 PTS | -6
Nearly every time he was matched up with Dwight Howard it resulted in a dunk. He was baptized Tuesday night.
|Samuel Dalembert, C 12 MIN | 3-4 FG | 1-2 FT | 6 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 7 PTS | -7
It looks like he’s at least back to a point where he can be trusted when Milwaukee’s facing an obvious post up threat, though he didn’t really defend Howard in the post at all. He had no more success limiting the Lakers big man’s catches around the rim than anyone else, but at least he ran to the rim and finished.
A lot of guys getting minutes still, as Boylan still looks like he’s trying to figure out who’s going to be involved and who isn’t going down the stretch. And people are still clamoring for more Tobias Harris. I do not envy this job.
Three Things We Saw
- Milwaukee was down just six points entering the fourth quarter. Then things got messy. The Lakers tightened up a bit more defensively and the Bucks were unable to make the few open shots they got. Milwaukee was 6-for-25 in the fourth quarter. The Lakers were a very good, but not unstoppable, 11-for-21. Kobe and Dwight combined for 16 of their 62 as the bad guys pulled away.
- Like Greg Monroe before him, Howard had his way inside with the Bucks. It wasn’t so much his post-ups that did the Bucks in though, it was more cuts and rolls to the rim that the Bucks struggled to defend. He’s so wide and strong, once he’s up in the air grabbing a lob or sealing a guy off when rolling, it’s almost impossible to disrupt him. Not that the Bucks were in position to do so very often.
- Too many missed opportunities in general for the Bucks against a talented, if underperforming, team like the Lakers. 13-for-22 at the free throw line and 7-for-28 from behind the arc. Jennings and Ellis really only had about five good looks from three, despite their 15 attempts, so that goes quite a ways in explaining Milwaukee’s poor shooting from deep.