Exploding – Samuel Dalembert. Imploding – Milwaukee Bucks: Nuggets 112 – Bucks 104
|Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, PF 38 MIN | 5-10 FG | 1-2 FT | 6 REB | 2 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 12 PTS | -7
Luc’s a key for Milwaukee’s defense, but he brought little to the table late in this game. On the court with Dalembert, Dunleavy and the two guards, he wasn’t able to do much on the offensive glass and isn’t really a threat on offense. And Denver’s offense consisted of them busting out for fast breaks off turnovers.
|Ersan Ilyasova, SF 24 MIN | 3-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 6 PTS | -8
Six shots. Not ideal. Sam Dalembert was kind of a game changer and sucked up many of the non-Monta and non-Brandon shots that were available, but wouldn’t it be something if there was a world in which those guys could give up even a few more shots to Ers. But as always, it’s on Ilyasova to be aggressive. Credit Ilyasova’s complete absence on the offensive glass to a strong Nuggets frontcourt.
|Larry Sanders, C 23 MIN | 6-11 FG | 0-0 FT | 7 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 5 BLK | 0 TO | 12 PTS | -2
Just please be okay. Sanders jumped to try and block a hard charging Kenneth Faried with the Bucks up 100-98 late in the fourth quarter. Farried had a full head of steam and met Sanders in the air. Sanders lost that meeting and his balance. He fell hard on his back without being able to brace himself. He said after the game that it was not a severe injury and that he’d be reevaluated today.
|Monta Ellis, PG 42 MIN | 6-21 FG | 0-0 FT | 6 REB | 6 AST | 1 STL | 3 BLK | 2 TO | 12 PTS | -8
Oh Monta. The Bucks came out of a timeout late in the fourth quarter and the sideline announcer talked about how he had overheard Coach Jim Boylan emphasizing how much they need to move the ball and keep it moving to get a good shot. On the first possession out of the timeout, Jennings found Dunleavy who was forced out wider than usual on his curl. Dunleavy found Ellis, who got a screen from Dalembert and launched a challenged 19-footer over Kenneth Faried. That was a pretty good encapsulation of his night.
|Brandon Jennings, PG 40 MIN | 5-15 FG | 2-5 FT | 2 REB | 10 AST | 3 STL | 1 BLK | 7 TO | 12 PTS | -7
The 10 assist barrier is always a difficult one for Jennings to crack, so first instinct might be to applaud him for that effort. But you know what else is a tough barrier that he cracked this game? Five turnovers. He’s only had more than five turnovers eight times in his career. Tuesday night he handed out seven thanks to an aggressive Nuggets defense. He had two crucial turnovers in the final 1:30 along with some missed free throws and layups. Rough second half for Jennings overall.
|Mike Dunleavy, SF 21 MIN | 2-5 FG | 1-2 FT | 3 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 6 PTS | -8
Credit the Nuggets for keeping Dunleavy from getting the ball where he wanted to get it, but it seemed like the Bucks didn’t run as many pin-downs for him as they usually do. Especially late in the game.
|Samuel Dalembert, C 27 MIN | 17-21 FG | 1-1 FT | 12 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 35 PTS | -3
Wow. I didn’t see his first half live, but when I looked at my phone after playing basketball, I saw he was blowing up. I assumed it was nothing but put-backs and tips, but when I watched later, I was blown away. Sam D. was tossing in short jumpers like he was playing against a chair or something. You could see how tired he was at the end of the game, but Milwaukee really let him down losing this one. He’s the first player to put up a 35/12 game in 27 minutes or less. Crazy.
Two Things We Saw
- Ty Lawson, he’s fast. So fast. And so in control. In transition, he’s so tough to stop, because he’s strong enough to absorb some contact and finish and fast enough to get by practically everyone. And he’s so successful at getting defenses back on their heels. He was very good at hiding from Jennings when Milwaukee’s point guard went to double in the post too. Also: His crossover. Yuck. So nasty.
- So this is kind of what the Bucks do. Sometimes they get up a whole bunch (up 17 at one point in this one) and then they struggle to make shots and lose the game. Other times, they get down 20 points and fight their way back into the game and win. Tough team to figure out. I suppose that’s what makes them pretty average. Don’t get too happy or too sad here. It just is what it is.