The Medallion Starring Larry Sanders. Bucks 94 – 76ers 92
|Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, PF 39 MIN | 3-11 FG | 4-6 FT | 8 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 2 BLK | 2 TO | 10 PTS | +6
Early in the game, the Sixers were able to get to the rim at ease. Rim protection has been the Bucks biggest weakness without Sanders. Then the Bucks went small with Moute at the four for considerably long stretches in the second. His defense at the four was spectacular as it normally is. Oh and he made the game-winning play, tipping the ball out of the Sixers possession as time expired. MVP of the game.
|Samuel Dalembert, C 32 MIN | 8-13 FG | 1-2 FT | 14 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 3 BLK | 3 TO | 17 PTS | +1
Dalembert is not defending the rim well without considerable help, but he’s rebounding the way he was expected to when the Bucks signed him. Another impressive double-double.
|Monta Ellis, PG 46 MIN | 11-24 FG | 5-6 FT | 4 REB | 5 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 27 PTS | +3
The Bucks just make the worst decisions on fast breaks. One fast break was Monta versus a Spencer Hawes. Monta spent a half hour trying to juke Hawes. The problem was that Hawes was three feet away from the basket, there was no moving him. So then he took a circus shot that was just an absolute failure. Other than that, standard good Monta game.
|Brandon Jennings, PG 42 MIN | 8-21 FG | 3-3 FT | 4 REB | 5 AST | 4 STL | 0 BLK | 4 TO | 21 PTS | +5
This was Jennings 20th bad shooting night which ties him for first with… Monta Ellis. This backcourt is an inspiration. One day, we’ll sing songs about this backcourt. For everyone that thinks I’m a hater, let me just say that he had a really, really, really alright third quarter.
|Ekpe Udoh, PF 14 MIN | 0-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 3 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTS | +2
There’s a very bromantic relationship between him and Starquis. I was infinitely jealous.
|Mike Dunleavy, SF 34 MIN | 4-7 FG | 2-2 FT | 3 REB | 4 AST | 1 STL | 2 BLK | 1 TO | 11 PTS | +3
The Bucks have gone small before with Moute at power forward, but it was normally with Marquis Daniels at small forward which is a dumb idea. Putting Moute in position to work by the rim and letting Dunleavy be Dunleavy at the same time just makes a ton of sense. And because it makes so much sense, the duo has had very little time on the court together and the Bucks will probably never do it again.
Four Things We Saw
- One more note on Moute because we don’t talk about him enough: he gets to the line better than anyone else on the team. He took half the shots Jennings did and got to the line twice as much. He doesn’t shy away from contact like Jennings. He doesn’t try to do stupid things in mid-air like Ellis. He just goes up and if there’s a defender there, he takes contact. That’s all it really takes. You don’t always need to get some circus shot off, you can just go to the line. It’ll be fine.
- The Bucks do a lot of stupid things on fast breaks. This falls on everyone, but the team really misses Sanders in transition. He’s the only reliable trailing man on the team. They can just throw a lob to him for an easy oop. The reasons to miss Sanders never ends.
- HOWEVAH, Jennings has, and has always had, a solid instinct of when to attack and when to hold up in transition. His failures in transition stem from his inability to finish, but I always find his decisions in transition to be very sound.
- I almost want Sanders to stay out longer because of this picture from @AnaheimAmigos