Too tired for transition: Mavericks 115 – Bucks 108

The Bucks struggled with Mike James on Tuesday. Seriously. (Photo by Gary Dineen/NBAE via Getty Images)
Dallas Mavericks 115 Final
Recap | Box Score
108 Milwaukee Bucks
Mike Dunleavy, SF 38 MIN | 7-12 FG | 0-0 FT | 6 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 18 PTS | +1

A second straight start with Luc Mbah a Moute still out and Dunleavy delivered a solid game offensively, but he and the rest of the Bucks had trouble corralling Vince Carter all night. Carter abused Milwaukee in pick and rolls, especially in the fourth quarter. Either Dunleavy needs to get over the screen quicker or bigs needed to help out harder, because Carter caught fire in the fourth and finished Milwaukee with three big threes.

Larry Sanders, C 30 MIN | 5-11 FG | 3-4 FT | 12 REB | 2 AST | 1 STL | 4 BLK | 1 TO | 13 PTS | +7

Dirk gives everyone in the league trouble, even the great Larry Sanders. He plays so far from the hoop, that he took Sanders out of his comfort zone all night and Milwaukee’s defense suffered for it. Sanders couldn’t be in both places – on Dirk and in the paint – at once, so he kind of ended up floating in between. He still blocked some shots, but he was less effective defensively than he typically is.

Monta Ellis, PG 41 MIN | 12-24 FG | 6-6 FT | 2 REB | 9 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 4 TO | 32 PTS | -6

Boylan said after the game that Monta looks far more explosive over the past two or three weeks. That he’s seeing more elevation on his jumper than he had previously, which seems to have help him hit at a more consistent rate. I’m not sure if that’s the case, but whatever is going on, it’s been quite a positive trend for Monta Ellis, offensive centerpiece.

Brandon Jennings, PG 27 MIN | 2-7 FG | 0-0 FT | 5 REB | 5 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 4 PTS | -21

Mike James had his way with Jennings and the Bucks pick and roll defense. When Jennings got help, James attacked the help and either got good shots or just finished right over them. Sometimes James blew right by Jennings, who stood there as if he expected help that was absent. Jennings was pretty much a non-factor on offense. So it was that kind of night for him.

Ekpe Udoh, PF 25 MIN | 6-9 FG | 2-3 FT | 5 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 14 PTS | -3

Ekpe had a very, right place at the right time offensive outing. He was left undefended for a dunk. He caught an Ayon airball and finished, he rolled to the hoop without a defender near him for a dunk on a pick and roll and then he tipped in an offensive rebound for his final basket. He made one nice move and made one jump shot, but for the most part he just made the most of every situation he was in offensively. Not something you’d expect again, but, hey, good night.

J.J. Redick, SG 31 MIN | 7-13 FG | 2-2 FT | 3 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 17 PTS | +11

It’s so weird that Redick is playing well and not hitting threes. I don’t know what to think about that. He had an opportunity to bring Milwaukee within four late in the fourth with a three that would have blown the roof off, but it just rimmed out. He’s close. When he starts hitting, it’ll be something. The Redick and Ellis lineup looked pretty good again, especially with Jennings struggling as much as he did.

Two Things We Saw

  1. Dallas took eight threes in transition and connected on four. One of the others led to a foul on the Bucks on the offensive rebound. Those were all big plays that were mainly the result of the Bucks slacking on getting back and matching up. But those are the kinds of things that happen to a team that’s played as often and traveled as much as the Bucks lately. Hard to be too upset about one night where they had trouble getting back.
  2. Milwaukee’s pick and roll defense continues to be a deeper issue, one worth more concern than transition threes. Jennings was turned inside and out by Mike James. MIKE JAMES. It’s hard not to focus so much on that. But it goes beyond him, as Vince Carter showed throughout the fourth quarter. Milwaukee’s bigs gave a lot of space to guards after the screens and Mavericks ball handlers were just fine with using that space to get buckets. The Bucks don’t have a bunch of slow, plodding big men either. Sanders and Udoh specifically have to do a little more to deter an open shot while being able to get back to their guy.

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  1. everyone blames jennings and says he has bad on ball d when the fact is that just about every team in the nba runs non stop pick and rolls he does everything he can to get through the screens and he does a very good job for how small he is but that doesnt mean anything if the guy guarding the screening doesnt show and stop the ball handler

    • Blah blah blah. Every time someone has some critique for Jennings, you act like it’s some sort of freakin’ conspiracy and that we all hate him. If you want to sit there and act as if he can do no wrong, fine, but you’re living in a delusion.

      • I’m not going to stick up for Jennings but there are very very few guys in this league that can play on ball defense as a point guard in the NBA. Other than those select few match-ups, yes even Mike James vs BJ3, point guard defense in this league is non existent. The rules don’t allow for it, it doesn’t happen that often. Point guard defense is team defense. Most other positions you can guard straight up (2 guard can be tough but not as impossible as PG), but point guard really isn’t one of them.

      • yea and your on a bucks fan site “critiquing” every player on this team, your not living in delusion but you are an idiot

        • oh and you should try playing basketball and being decent at it than you might understand it a little better, dunking on a little tyke hoop in your front lawn does not count

          • Oh yeah, because I’m sure you’re just the basketball God. Not that that was applicable in the least to anything I said, but naturally you go off topic because you have nothing to contribute. Meanwhile, Jennings has another pedestrian night against the Wizards. Remember that “consistency” I keep telling you about? Apparently Jennings didn’t get the memo.

          • you are so right jennings scores the ball everyone complains (he needs to shoot less) so he starts playing pass first has 2 huge games in assists everyone goes nuts now 8 points 10 assists which is a solid pass first line with only 7 shots taken but now thats not good enough

            how about some consistency from everyone who does nothing but bitch about the bucks when they are supposedly “fans”.

  2. If the Bucks are so tired, why not minutes
    for John Henson and the mysterious Ish, who
    languishes on the bench except for abrupt
    cameo appearances that may already have him
    wondering about his new team?

    The Bucks aren’t going to be any fresher tonight,
    either, so why not give the bench a chance
    to infuse some energy? Whoever hustles and plays
    smart gets a chance for some minutes!

    Meanwhile, the Bucks defense falls another notch
    to 20th in the league in points allowed. This goes
    beyond travel and fatigue. What’s going on?

    This is an enigmatic team, at times exasperating,
    with little rhythm or reason, with no direction or
    identity, and with faint hope for the future beyond
    the ups-and-downs of mediocrity. Or so it seems.

    I hope I’m wrong. Go Bucks!

  3. I’m just curious as to how and why the minutes were spread last night. When Sanders was out Dalembert and Henson got minutes with Dalembert starting and getting 26 minutes. Neither one played last night. Do you know why? Is it just because of the emergence of Ekpe and Ayon or what?

    • I’d like to think he was saving Dalembert for the bigs of Washington tonight. Henson’s playing time always seems pretty sporadic, regardless of who is coaching.

  4. Dallas was the most interested in Jennings, but he played poorly in both games against the Mavs. I have to wonder how much interest there is now?

  5. Would not surprise me the least bit if we lose tonight and proceed to end end the Heat’s streak on Friday.