Sharing is caring (also important to a successful offense): Bucks 107 – Magic 98

Orlando Magic 98 Final
Recap | Box Score
107 Milwaukee Bucks
Ersan Ilyasova, SF 34 MIN | 6-13 FG | 2-2 FT | 8 REB | 3 AST | 0 STL | 2 BLK | 2 TO | 16 PTS | +17

A very solid game. He could have been better on the defensive glass, but Orlando’s energy there was going to be difficult to match. Lately, every time Ersan has shot a three, I’ve just assumed it’s going to go in.

Larry Sanders, C 35 MIN | 7-15 FG | 3-4 FT | 13 REB | 2 AST | 1 STL | 6 BLK | 1 TO | 17 PTS | +11

Battling a virus and a high energy Orlando front line, did a better job of finishing around the hoop than he did on Friday in New York, but he still wasn’t quite himself. He made an impact on defense with his six blocks and he led the team in rebounds, but Sanders was guilty, along with the rest of his teammates, of struggling to contain Orlando on the offensive boards.

Monta Ellis, PG 44 MIN | 7-16 FG | 6-7 FT | 4 REB | 11 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 6 TO | 21 PTS | +13

Jim Boylan went out of his way during his post-game press conference to slather Monta’s defensive with effusive praise.

“The defense Monta Ellis played on JJ Redick was as good as you’ll see all year. For the entire time he was out there, Monta was totally focused defensively. When he’s playing like that and focused, he can guard just about anybody.”

Well then. Monta rebounded a bit offensively from a shooting perspective, but most importantly, he dished out 11 assists and kept the ball moving.

Brandon Jennings, PG 33 MIN | 8-16 FG | 2-2 FT | 1 REB | 5 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 20 PTS | +13

Hey! Maybe this February Funk thing isn’t real. It could have just been a weird fluke. He struggled early against the Magic, but Jennings had a very good fourth quarter that helped finish off Orlando. He also avoided taking things upon himself too much, while not being unaggressive either. A good, balanced night.

John Henson, PF 13 MIN | 4-7 FG | 1-5 FT | 5 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 9 PTS | -5

Free throws are supposed to be free, brah.

Mike Dunleavy, SF 24 MIN | 4-9 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 3 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 11 PTS | -6

It’s never a surprise that in some of the games the Bucks move the ball best Dunleavy and Udrih are at or near the heart of it. The spacing and the movement he brings are so crucial. Dunleavy has hit a three in 11 straight games. Over that stretch, he’s shot 56.5% from deep and attempted 4.2 threes per game. Monster.

Two Things We Saw

  1. The Magic were without both Aaron Afflalo and Jameer Nelson, along with the already injured Glen Davis. So an already bad team wasn’t at full strength. But they fought the whole way through. Boylan wasn’t pleased with the 20 offensive rebounds Orlando’s effort allowed them to grab. Milwaukee seemed to lack the motivation to put a solid and lengthy stretch together to finish off the Magic.
  2. Boylan was thrilled with the way his guys shared the ball. One game after Ellis and Jennings combined for 28 rough shots, Milwaukee saw five players reach double figures and four players attempt at least 13 shots. It was a much more balanced effort and those are typically Milwaukee’s best offensive games.

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    • I too take back all the bad things I’ve said about him. He seems focused now: up, down, with the ball, without, cold, warmed up. He got the money, and has responded. With the shot working, he could make ten of them if given half the chance. I thought Dirk would get pushed out before being an impact player too. I wonder if this team could give our “Dirk” that many shots? Ersan, the two speedsters, and Dunleavy each scoring close to 20 adds up to 80 points. Is that enough to get out of mediocrity?

      • I’m still not sold on Ersan, but I want
        him to do well and am holding out hope. Is this
        a guy the Bucks believe in as a big time player
        for the next few years? Or should they reconsider
        their big contract to him by trading him when he
        could be of high value to another team?
        I don’t know the answer, just my hunches. A lot
        depends on what kind of a person Ersan is, what
        kind of teammate, how strong he is mentally, how
        dedicated, how he fits in with the Bucks versus
        how he might respond to a different team. It’s hard
        for a fan to gather all of that. For example: Why
        was Ersan so bad earlier this season? Anyhow, I
        hope the Bucks find a solution that is good for both
        Ersan and the team.

        • Oh, I feel he will be around for years. I guess his deal was done without Skiles consent, nor mine. Somebody knew his character and fortitude in the front office (and I remember our Ted liked him too last season.)

          Skiles was affective in giving the team the stink eye. It turned out it was more about something he ate. But I was less than kind too. Ersan is one of those big guys who can put the ball in the rim while under it. That’s good for three buckets minimum, because he makes most of the opportunity.

          Thing is he is a shooter, thus the comparison to Dirk.

  1. In quoting Boylan on Monta’s defense, Jeremy, are you subscribing to this description, being ironic, or what?
    I was at the game, and I found myself remarking how close Monta stuck to Redick…

    • I have the same question for Jeremy.
      Also, is it a rare thing for Monta to
      play tough defense or a common thing?
      Is Boylan trying to encourage Monta to
      up his effort on a more consistent basis?

  2. I gotta say, I don’t mind the idea of building for the future around a front court of Sanders, Ersan, and Henson. Three good young bigs. If Harris ever taps into his potential, our front court could be great.