Better isn’t best: Heat 98 – Bucks 86

Milwaukee got much more out of Larry Sanders Tuesday, but that wasn’t enough. (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)
Milwaukee Bucks 86 Final
Recap | Box Score
98 Miami Heat
Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, PF 33 MIN | 3-7 FG | 0-2 FT | 1 REB | 2 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 6 PTS | -6Milwaukee did a better job dealing with LeBron James on Tuesday night and as always, that starts with Luc Mbah a Moute. Before the series started I suspected Milwaukee’s defensive specialist would have to play 30 minutes a night, but there was a good part of me that hoped I wasn’t right. So far, I’ve been right. Terrifyingly right, when it comes to Luc.

He’s important, but considering how much of a team effort it is to defend James, that’s a lot of four on five on offense the Bucks are playing out there. He’s not killing them on offense, but he’s more or less just hanging out in the corner, not a real threat most of the time. The Heat aren’t playing off of him to the extent that it’s changing every play, but the Bucks desperately need more offense.

Ersan Ilyasova, SF 29 MIN | 9-14 FG | 1-1 FT | 6 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 21 PTS | +5He established himself early and looked far more comfortable in game two than in game one. The Heat are always going to make Ersan put the ball on the ground and make a move off the dribble if they can. They realize that Ers is a deadly shooter and a mediocre creator.

To Milwaukee’s credit and Ersan’s credit, he was moving around a ton all night. The Bucks weren’t just relying on him popping out after screens or filling back to the perimeter while action was else where, he was cutting towards the hoop more than ever adn generally very active off the ball. The Bucks countered Miami’s defensive moves on Ers in game one well.

But only getting your most productive offensive player out there for 29 minutes seems like a problem.

Larry Sanders, C 28 MIN | 6-7 FG | 2-4 FT | 6 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 5 TO | 14 PTS | 0Way more typical Larry. 4-of-4 within five feet. A dunk, a couple short hooks that he was able to drop in. He was much more natural and, for whatever reason, had far more space to operate. Miami seemed pretty aggressive in trapping on pick and rolls, which gave Sanders room to get to the basket or take open jumpers. He obliged and finished well.
Monta Ellis, PG 34 MIN | 2-7 FG | 3-4 FT | 4 REB | 5 AST | 2 STL | 1 BLK | 4 TO | 7 PTS | -5Given how ineffective Jennings was, I’m moderately surprised that Boylan didn’t end up running with the Ellis-Redick back court really. But you never know when either Jennings or Ellis is going to start to get going. It was surprising to see Ellis so restrained, but it was pretty clear that Miami put an emphasis on cutting off any lanes he had with extra defenders looming.
Brandon Jennings, PG 41 MIN | 3-15 FG | 2-4 FT | 3 REB | 5 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 8 PTS | -15Very disappointing. Milwaukee needs four or five threes out of Jennings at minimum. He got looks that were good enough and wasn’t really forcing the issue, but the results weren’t there. This is a results business and he didn’t deliver. The first two games of this series are pretty much perfect for Jennings. Game one: get hopes up with strong performance. Game two: lay a complete egg. Game three: no one knows what to expect.
Mike Dunleavy, SF 25 MIN | 6-9 FG | 2-2 FT | 6 REB | 5 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 16 PTS | -12Didn’t play at all in the first quarter? Seemed very strange, especially with Daniels, Redick and Henson getting some burn. Dunleavy helped spark an 8-0 Bucks run in the second quarter that saw them briefly take a 35-33 lead. Every moment he’s on the bench and Daniels is on the court drives me insane. Also, lineups with both of them, crazy.
Marquis Daniels, SF 15 MIN | 4-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 2 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 8 PTS | -15Made some shots at the hoop, generally looked more effective, was apart of Milwaukee’s worst lineups on the night, but that’s probably more Boylan than Daniels. I still don’t think he should take any minutes away from Dunleavy … or Ilyasova for that matter.

He played the first five minutes of the fourth quarter as Milwaukee’s power forward. Over that stretch, the Bucks allowed six offensive rebounds and saw a 68-65 Heat lead turn into a 83-69 Heat lead.

J.J. Redick, SG 8 MIN | 1-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 2 PTS | -3With Ellis and Jennings both logging big minutes and the Heat generally being a larger team on the wing, the stock of the Harris-Redick trade was at an all-time low Tuesday night. Just eight minutes for Milwaukee’s prized mid-season acquisition. We’ve still yet to see a Jennings-Ellis-Redick lineup in this series, which has to have something to do with either the total ineffectiveness of those lineups over the regular season or the impracticality of playing three small guards against the Heat at once. But if Redick can’t play the three, there really aren’t many minutes available if the Bucks are completely tied into the idea of Jennings suddenly getting hot, which they probably are.
Samuel Dalembert, C DNP COACH’S DECISION MIN | FG | FT | REB | AST | STL | BLK | TO | PTS | No word on whether or not he left Miami with a lease signed.
Jim BoylanAgain: Marquis Daniels started the fourth quarter as Milwaukee’s power forward. In a lineup that included Ish Smith. I like Ish, but there’s a time and a place for everyone and Tuesday was neither for him. Milwaukee has been so bad on offense, they needed some kind of punch so badly, but going to Ish instead of sitting Jennings for Redick was questionable. I think the idea behind it was driven by Ish’s speed and athleticism, two things Redick lacks, but Milwaukee needs some threes, Jim.

Three Things We Saw

  1. It’s very difficult to see what Milwaukee is capable of doing better, outside of making more threes and shooting better on free throws (10-17 at the line). Doing those two things and playing exactly as well as they did on Tuesday would make for an interesting game three, especially with a loud Bradley Center crowd.
  2. It seemed like LeBron James was more or less coasting through the game. I can’t tell if that’s because Milwaukee worked hard to remove him or if he just decided to take it easy on Tuesaday night and let Chris Andersen do the heavy lifting. Wait … what? Andersen was a difference maker again. His offensive rebounding early in the fourth and attacks to the rim swung the game for Miami and made a nail-biter into a junior blowout.
  3. As much as I think Milwaukee’s shooting could come around … I’m equally as certain Miami’s will too. The Heat made just six of 19 three-point attempts and Ray Allen missed one open three after the next. I think he might stop doing that eventually. That’d be trouble.

Categories: Recaps



  1. I honestly think Ish Smith starting the fourth quarter contributed more than anything else to the blowout ending (nothing like staking the defending champs 7 points to start the fourth in what had been a close game), and for that reason ALONE Boylan should be fired. Tomorrow, if needs be. Smith had no idea what he was doing, lost the ball a couple times, offered nothing in either size or court sense, and by the time he came out the game was basically over. Redick might be a little overmatched in this series, but he’s a professional who’s been in the situation before and can shoot.

    I think Smith could be a good backup PG in a year’s time, but that particular moment (within three, had some momentum, road playoff game against the champs) was no time or place for a guy still so obviously learning the game and the offense and completely unfamiliar with the implications of performing on such a stage. Worst decision Boylan’s made all year, and this in a season with so many.


    Starters: BJ, Ellis, Luc, Ers, Sanders
    Bench: Redick, Udoh, Dunleavy, Henson, Daniels
    AS NEEDED: Ayon, Smith

    Have to run with what you’ve got, and that right there is it.

    • Agree completley with the roatation and comments on Ish. However I think it was termendously unfair to him. Yes he is a professional athlete, but I bet he was just as surprised as we were that he got the call to go in at that time, so I am guessing that it is easy to presume he was not mentally ready to play in that situation which just made it worse for him.

      • ya it was unfair to ish, he looked lost. If Boylan was wanting some rest for ellis and jennings, why not play reddick more. You have a three guard rotation there, why not use them more. THeres tons of scenarios he could have chosen using reddick instead of ish. I think id rather have skiles back than Boylan. Only good thing about Boylan is Illyasova seemed to turn the corner once he took over. That was more Boylan reinserting confidence into him than coaching tho. Finally, when we are getting killed on boards by “birdman”, why not throw Dalembert out there. He couldn’t have done any worse than the Udoh, Dunleavy, Daniels rotation.

        • put Dalembert at center, with Udoh at PF, and Dunleavy at SF. It would have only been for about 5 minutes anyways. Although, we saw what a bad 5 minute rotation could do to the game. Why didn’t Boylan take a timeout when we were down by eight?! The heat are way too much of a momentum team especially at home to allow them to gain momentum to the point where we are out of the game and the Bucks seemed disinterested knowing they cant climb a 15 point hill. When they keep it close they are WAY more engaged

    • Ish was in for two offensive possessions with one turnover, it wasn’t the reason we were blown out. Ish exited the game and Ellis turned the ball over the very next possession.

  2. I just wanted to get off of my chest that even though I don’t think I could have hated on Marquis Daniels more than I have all season, the time he played last night he was surprisingly effective. I agree he shouldn’t be out there but give the man higher than a D+ because he produced something offensively and was capeable on defense. Boylan needs to recieve an F as his lineups just killed, with Ish and Daniels and Udoh. Also in the midst of a 12-0 run the least he could do is call a timeout a little earlier and realize he screwed it up pretty good before it was too late. Obviously as was stated this game is the low point of the Redick era, it shows clearly how fractured the organization is that they would give up so much for something that they don’t even use.

    • Mike is like the team blankie. Even when he is having a bad game, I still FEEL BETTER when I see him on the court.

  3. I missed the first 5 min of the forth quarter. WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED??!! Sorry for yelling – – it’s a shame that a close game was lost in that period of time.

    • Boylan started the fourth quarter with Ish Smith, Jennings, Daniels, Udoh and Dunleavy.

      That’s what happened…..

  4. I think the Boylan discussion is more complicated that it may seem. I was impressed with the first half of last night’s game. Adjustments were made from game 1 and you gotta credit coaching for that. But, then there was the Smith sub…a move that, even if I could defend, I wouldn’t defend.

    Oh, and I agree with Alex that Daniels deserves better than a D+. And – I’m just gonna say it – Jennings gets off easy in this assessment.

  5. Hoping very strongly the Bucks get swept, Management needs no encouragement to continue on this ludicrous path they’ve been on for the past 10 seasons.

    Let Jennings walk
    Let Ellis walk
    Don’t sign Josh Smith or any other FA to a huge long-term contract

    Get the right coach

    Come out in 2013-2014 with a skeleton roster featuring veteran journeyman and discount players on short term contracts along with promising young players like Sanders, Henson, and our 2013 draft picks.

    Suffer through a bad season or two.

    Make the right draft picks in the future.

    Never sign a bad deal again.

  6. Man, you guys make it great to be a Bucks fan. Though I may not totally agree on player assessments, your comments sure show you care. Welcome me to the BuckWagon, but I will save the criticals for the off season. We still have a pulse in this Post Season and I am going to milk with high hopes that we can win the next game…Go Bucks.

  7. Really? Seriously? One place I read about the technical foul on Lebron James that was rescinded, one. Not on ESPN, FOXSports, CBSSports, or here. That’s not a big deal to anyone? That you can successfully argue a technical foul called against you and have it rescinded. Not a chirp here or a chirp there. He said he was yelling at himself, really? When he was clearly screaming at the referee at that play. When he was yelling at them constantly on any play he missed a shot or turned the ball over. But he doesn’t get the technical foul because he “argued” against the ref correctly. That’s not mentionable? We just ignore one of the strangest and blatant homer refereeing occurrences in NBA history. Was I high or something? Did that not happen? Blows my mind.

    For as bad as Jennings shot, getting murdered every time you touch the lane really doesn’t help.

    • I’m glad you brought up the technical foul on LeBron
      that was rescinded. That was weird, and maddening,
      but I kind of forgot about it. It should be looked into.
      How often is a player allowed to talk himself out of
      a technical already given? Suspicious!

  8. I actually really enjoyed Game 2 and was generally
    impressed by the play of the Bucks!

    I think I actually saw…um…that’s it, TEAMWORK:
    Two or three or four passes before a shot, balanced
    scoring, good effort on defense, heads-up play,
    resilience when the Heat looked like they might pull
    way ahead. I was even happy to a great extent with
    Monta and Brandon, how they passed up shots to pass
    the ball around. I liked the way that Luc took the
    ball strong to the hoop. I actually thought Marquis
    was good. Also, even after things got out of hand in
    the 4th quarter, it seemed like the Bucks played hard
    through to the end.

    I don’t want to get carried away, but I was genuinely
    excited for the Bucks. Please, guys, keep it up, and
    if you go down, go down with dignity and fight!

    For Thursday: We can’t give up on Henson so fast,
    even though he looked bad in his all-too-brief stint.
    I really didn’t think Ish looked that bad, and would
    give him minutes in the first half, then possibly the

    I like the way Luc bothered LeBron, but mostly I wouldn’t
    cover LeBron or Dwayne outside the free-throw line —
    make them shoot jumpers. Find a way to keep Larry and
    John close to the basket for blocks and rebounds. Make
    their three-point shooters take two-pointers.

    Good job, guys! Now keep it up! Let’s beat these
    South Beach Bums! I’m rooting for a continuation of
    the new and improved Bad News Bucks!!!

  9. This series is honestly making me a little sick. I thought we had the talent (unproven though it was) to make a run at a few games against the Heat. Sure they are great, but we seem to match up pretty well.

    But no, we just get absolutely crushed, make seemingly horrendous coaching/lineup decisions, and look like a the joke of the playoffs.

    Lastly, USE REDICK! The man can shoot when he’s given the minutes and he’s not worse on D than Monta or Brandon.