Oh, the agony. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)

It’s not so simple. The Milwaukee Bucks aren’t a bad team. They just have some bad team habits.

Like the habit of throwing away everything good about their offense once things start to go downhill. And things go downhill at some point in every game. The NBA is a game of runs, that’s what people always say at least. I agree. Both teams can string a few solid possessions together in any given game. Then we find out how the other side reacts and that’s often where games are decided.

When the Detroit Pistons started stringing together possessions, the Bucks did not react well Friday night.

“We started dribbling too much and everybody wanted to make a play,” Coach Jim Boylan said after Friday night’s loss. “Good intentions, but not necessarily the way we play, the way we’re successful.”

Detroit Pistons 103 Final
Recap | Box Score
87 Milwaukee Bucks
Ersan Ilyasova, SF 27 MIN | 4-14 FG | 0-0 FT | 6 REB | 1 AST | 8 PTS | -10

He certainly has to keep firing, but he has to find a way to get on the offensive glass a bit more too. He has one offensive rebound in his past 53 minutes. Put-backs were a staple of his offense last season and always seemed to be the catalyst for further production from him.

Larry Sanders, C 19 MIN | 1-3 FG | 1-1 FT | 5 REB | 1 AST | 3 PTS | -3

About as quiet a game as Sanders has had this season. When Milwaukee fell behind after that bad third quarter, he didn’t re-enter the game in the fourth. Still had three blocks though. Crazy. Block total aside, he had nothing for Greg Monroe.

Monta Ellis, PG 27 MIN | 6-12 FG | 1-2 FT | 4 REB | 5 AST | 13 PTS | -10

Ellis and Jennings were both guilty of trying to create too much for themselves late and not trusting their teammates. When Ellis is shooting threes off the dribble, you know the Bucks are searching.

Brandon Jennings, PG 29 MIN | 5-13 FG | 4-5 FT | 3 REB | 1 AST | 15 PTS | -14

As aggressive as he was trying to hound Brandon Knight up and down the court, he was as shaky with his own offense. Even though Boylan came in and fixed all of Jennings’ flaws and gave him the confidence to be a super-hero in the two games prior, Jennings wasn’t able to propel the Bucks offense in the same way.

Ekpe Udoh, PF 15 MIN | 0-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 0 PTS | -8

The opposite of Drew Gooden? Avoids stats at all costs, is occasionally productive.

Drew Gooden, PF 12 MIN | 4-10 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 8 PTS | -2

On Twitter, someone referred to Gooden’s style as that of someone playing the My Player mode in NBA2K. He’s out there looking for numbers, looking to make crazy passes and grab as many boards as possible. He wants to make big, giant impacts. He ends up making none.

Samuel Dalembert, C 12 MIN | 2-5 FG | 2-4 FT | 7 REB | 0 AST | 6 PTS | +2

Is everyone happy now?

Beno Udrih, PG 27 MIN | 7-10 FG | 1-1 FT | 2 REB | 3 AST | 15 PTS | -6

He had a terrific second quarter but was otherwise often invisible on the court. His aggression seems to wane sporadically. Perhaps thats related to his frequent grumbles regarding minutes in the past?

Jim Boylan

ROTATIONS! Pretty much everyone got their shot Friday. Gooden and Dalembert played almost the entire fourth quarter after Milwaukee was outscored 33-11 in the third. Boylan was searching the way Skiles used to. I wonder if he’ll get taken to task for it.

Three Things We Saw

  1. A tired team.
  2. A group that still has flaws and inconsistencies, the same way they did last week. Only there was no 3-point shooting to bail the Bucks out this time. Just a 1-of-16 effort from behind the arc for Milwaukee.
  3. The Pistons are the Bucks biggest fear apparently.