Dynamic duo of Henson and Harris propel Buc….oh: Magic 113 – Bucks 103


As Tobias Harris sat with one knee on the ground, arm extended into a balled up fist in celebration after hitting a three that would lead either to overtime or a regulation Orlando Magic win over the Milwaukee Bucks and Marquis Daniels pleaded with the ref to undo the mistake he just made, I could only imagine what it felt like to be John Hammond at that moment.

“He has to be absolutely sick right now,” I said.

Could there be a worse scenario playing out on whatever television screen he was watching? Forget Kevin Durant and Dwyane Wade alternately dunking and blocking each other’s shots, THIS was Nightmare Fuel.

John Hammond’s Bucks, the team that traded away a 20-year-old prospect the team would have had control over for at four more seasons specifically so they could try and move up a spot or two in the playoffs, were likely going to lose to the 19 win Orlando Magic, due in large part to that 20-year-old prospect’s late game three and his overall performance, one of the greatest games statistically a 20-year-old has ever had in the NBA.

And if that weren’t enough, when the game stretched into overtime and it became clear with 12 seconds that the Magic had wrapped up a victory, that 20-year-old then busted out and dropped an enthusiastic slam on his old squad, complete with a chest thumping that seemed to scream, “I will make Milwaukee regret trading me.”

In the words of the immortal Mike Dunleavy: “Not the best result for the Bucks.”

Milwaukee Bucks 103 Final
Recap | Box Score
113 Orlando Magic
Marquis Daniels, SF 37 MIN | 6-12 FG | 0-0 FT | 7 REB | 0 AST | 3 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 14 PTS | -21He plays defense pretty well. If he isn’t doing that, he doesn’t really need to be playing at all. He had tons of trouble doing it against Tobias Harris on Wednesday night. Specifically on Orlando’s last possession of regulation. With the Bucks up three, Orlando inbounded the ball to Harris with his back facing the hoop he was 35-feet away from. Daniels did not foul. Harris faced up. Daniels did not foul. Harris made a move to the basket, crossed Daniels over and got separation to get a look from three. Daniels decided to foul, as Harris began to get into his shooting motion. He hit the three. He earned a free throw too. It could certainly be argued that the call was bad, but Daniels could have fouled immediately and avoided the entire catastrophe.
Larry Sanders, C 15 MIN | 2-9 FG | 1-2 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 5 PTS | -16His fall on Wednesday resembled his fall in Denver earlier this season very closely. He missed some time after that one and it’s reasonable to suspect he’ll miss some time again. Sanders attacked the rim from the wing and hit the ground after going up for a dunk, falling flat on his back. Fortunately he didn’t hit his head or anything and he’s a pretty sturdy guy, so we’re not talking a T.J. Ford level injury, but it was still a scary moment. Best wishes to Milwaukee’s best player.
Brandon Jennings, PG 6 MIN | 1-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 3 PTS | -8However he injured his left achilles was less obvious than how Sanders hurt his back. He quietly left the game, quietly left the bench and wasn’t seen again after he came out with 5:47 to play in the first quarter. Best wishes to him as well.
Monta Ellis, PG 47 MIN | 7-27 FG | 6-10 FT | 7 REB | 11 AST | 2 STL | 1 BLK | 2 TO | 21 PTS | -11Without his two most productive running mates or Ersan Ilyasova, he was left to carry the offensive burden. He got his shots up, but didn’t have much success. Really damning were all of the wide open 3-point attempts Ellis missed that could have really made a difference and the two free throws he missed in the last 19 seconds.
Gustavo Ayon, PF 22 MIN | 4-4 FG | 0-0 FT | 6 REB | 2 AST | 1 STL | 1 BLK | 3 TO | 8 PTS | +15He’s generally productive when given minutes, but is prone to some silly fouls and turnovers. His rebounding effort was fairly strong and he was Milwaukee’s best bet to body up against a dominant Nik Vucevic. Oddly enough, Milwaukee was much better defensively once Sanders came out of the game and a good part of that was due to Ayon’s physicality with Magic bigs.
John Henson, PF 41 MIN | 7-17 FG | 3-5 FT | 25 REB | 3 AST | 0 STL | 7 BLK | 1 TO | 17 PTS | -2Monster stat line. Bucks fans had been waiting for Henson’s shot-blocking all season and he delivered in droves against the Magic. His hands were so quick and his arms so long, Orlando didn’t even seem to suspect many of his swats. Plus, he dove to the rim as Larry does so often and got a number of easy dunks off of those cuts, which is all he’s really asked to do offensively.
Mike Dunleavy, SF 37 MIN | 5-11 FG | 4-6 FT | 6 REB | 6 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 17 PTS | +2He was a big part of why the Bucks were winning in the fourth quarter and why the Bucks blew this one in the fourth quarter.

His shooting, passing and rebounding all came together in one of his most complete games of the season. Unfortunately, he was the inbounder who failed to get off a pass within five seconds with the Bucks up five and just 39 seconds remaining. Doh.

Two Things We Saw

  1. Tobias Harris: 30 points, 19 rebounds. 20-year-olds to do that: Harris and Lebron James. And it’s not like Harris just got garbage points against a bad team. He did this against a team that qualified for the playoffs. He was all over the offensive glass and finishing at the rim constantly. Everyone is furious.
  2. I’m going to refer to the Bucks as a team that has qualified for the playoffs rather than a playoff team going forward. It feels disingenuous to me to call this group a playoff team, as they may be one of the five worst playoff teams in recent memory. I know, I know, I’m a hater and I’m the worst. But the reason I’m hard on them is because if this team succeeds temporarily with this shell of a roster, it will only feed the idea that it could work long term.

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  1. My fiancee summed it up pretty well, when I insisted on seeing the end of this abomination instead of starting the Mad Men premiere we had DVRed:

    “I feel like this game ruined our night.”

    Could not have gone worse, more so considering the trade. THIS game deserves all the bile and anger you can heap upon it. Even with the Replay Devils botching the refereeing and Brandon Jennings taking himself out of the game to teach everybody a lesson (note: may not be accurate), this was a tough one.

    Still: Henson. Henson Henson Henson. That late GT was horse-puckey. As long as Hammond doesn’t trade him in the offseason for (who’s the worst “big name” wing fit for this squad…) Tyreke Evans or Michael Beasley, we’ll be good with him for a long time, esp. if he and Sanders figure out how to play together. Always a silver lining. Side note: enjoyed that “team who has qualified for the playoffs” line. Good show.

    • I watched the first half of the first quarter and I was too mad to keep watching. No chemistry, no heart on this team.
      Then a friend texted me and said Henson was killing it so jumped back in. Late in the 4th, I made the critical mistake of texting my friend back, thanking him for getting me back in on the game.
      With the Bucks, everything is depressing or disappointing but I keep forgetting that. Even John Henson having such a great game is depressing because this awful tease of an organization will just trade him for a stale bag of popcorn.

  2. So, this is the nightmare of most Bucks fan. The vision of Harris, Henson and Sanders anchoring a dominate 3-4-5 group for the Bucks is now a painful memory. We are left with 3 guards who don’t seem to like being in Milwaukee, are playing under their talent level and will result in 0 playoff wins.

    Why the hell do the Bucks even bother drafting players? They either have terrible injury luck, Redd, Ford, Bogut or get traded away for crap, Meeks, Harris, Henson in 2 years. Or my personal favorite they just flat out suck, Alexander and Yi.

    Maybe my loathing of Jennings is clouding my judgment, but Ish Smith looked a lot better than he was supposed to be.

    • Is the entire sky falling?

      Harris is not a 3 and would not see playing time on a team also rostering Henson, Ilyasova, Udoh and LRMAM. We’re left with much more than three guards who don’t want to be here and are playing poorly: we still have Henson, who shows immense promise, and Sanders, who is not going anywhere. Plus one of those three guards, Monta, has been playing much better overall since the Redick trade, even including his recent slump. In fact he had one of the best months of March of all NBA players.

      Finally, the Bucks have actually been the BEST DRAFTING TEAM IN THE NBA, according to this study (1989-2008): http://www.82games.com/bestdraftingteams.htm.

      • That is majorly skewed by Michael Redd being a late 2nd round pick and include Ray Allen, Vin Baker and Glenn Robinson. They haven’t had a draft pick pan out since Ray Allen and as they always do, they traded him for crap.

        Mbah a Moute hasn’t played well in over a full season now. Udoh really doesn’t have a spot on this team going forward. After this season the starting lineup should have been Harris-Henson-Sanders. With Ersan off the bench where he is most comfortable and effective.

        As far as Harris’s position, he is like Josh Smith he isn’t a clear cut 3 or 4, but he can play both (and Harris shoots better than Smith). He is a significant upgrade over LRMAM and could allow for Dunleavy to stay on the bench.

  3. The Bucks make me so very sad. Tobias is good, maybe not an All-Star, and somebody on a bad team has to get points, but either way he’s good. If we’re not going to win a title, trading away young draft picks is the last thing you should do. Hambone is a decent GM, I think, but he really whiffed on this one.

    What’s left, five games before we kneel before the Almighty King James? All Hail Miami! All Hail Miami!

  4. “Tobias Harris: 30 points, 19 rebounds. 20-year-olds to do that: Harris and Lebron James. And it’s not like Harris just got garbage points against a bad team. He did this against a team that qualified for the playoffs. He was all over the offensive glass and finishing at the rim constantly. Everyone is furious.”

    Against a team missing its (and perhaps the NBA’s) best interior defender (Sanders) for the majority of the game, as well as its second-best rebounder (Ersan) for the entirety of the game. Look, Harris played lights-out, but his stat line is unarguably inflated by these facts (Vucevic’s too). This was a depressing loss, but considering the team was without Sanders, Ersan and BJ, it’s not indicative of much.

    • In the first quarter, with Larry on the court right by him, three times Harris grabbed offensive rebounds and scored on each of them. He even lofted up a shot directly over Larry on one of these.

      Maybe the stats are inflated, but I suspect he was going to have a big night whether Larry was in or not.

      You could make that Ilyasova case, but Milwaukee’s supposed strength is its big man depth. Ayon is a fine player and a better defender than Ilyasova.

    • Tobias is averaging 19points/9boards as a starter.. wonder when you are gonna be impressed

      • 19 and 9 on a bad team. I’l go ahead and make the Gerald Henderson comparison one more time. The Magic have won 4 games since the trade. Sweet? He’s not LeBron James. If you could all slowly take your lips off of his dick and wipe yo chin…maybe quit crying too.

        I still have faith in John Hammond moving forward. He can redeem himself this summer.

        • what was reddicks stat line on the magics?? what is it now??? i rest my case. Inflated numbers on a bad team. Is harris a good player? Yes! Did we give up on him too soon? Yes!! should we have gotten back better talent for as much potential he had and what he showed us in summer league? Absolutely!!! But if he ends up being a PF on the magic, id rather take Henson who has just as much ability offensively and when he bulks up, maybe even defensively

  5. And now everyone knows why I have advocated, since the start of the season, for the destruction (minus sanders, henson, and harris) and reconstruction of this team. Harris proved my point tonight that we shouldve kept him, shipped out jennings and ellis, and looked to the future….a SOLID future. A future of young players with loads of talent and positive attitudes. Instead of having a young and talented trio of henson, harris, and sanders, we’re now worse off since making the trade for JJ. Is it just me, or are we losing A LOT? Is it just me, or is there absolutely no chemistry, no will, no desire? Ahhh, Milwaukee……

    • 100% agreed. This team isn’t going to win anything, trading for a win now situation was ridiculous. I just hope they don’t compound the mistake with handing out big contracts in the offseason to anyone currently on the roster.

      • Double 100% agreed!!!!! That has been what ive been saying all along if harris is a small forward. The 2014 draft class has some FRANCHISE changing players. Can you imagine Sanders, Henson, Wiggins or Parker, and then with Harris producing like this, then trade him for a really good guard. Then Milwaukee would have something to cheer about. My other complaint is why did we give up so much for a reddick rental? Did anybody actually think the Magic would seriously resign reddick with them being in rebuilding mode? i dont! i would have called their bluff for sure

  6. Im hoping Henson can add some bulk this offseason…the 3 headed monster of Larry, Henson, Ersan is actually pretty formidable. If Larry can learn a go to post move I think the Bucks would have a frontcourt that would be feared in the East.

    • Ersan as a SF? didn’t we try and fail at that experiment early in his career? He doesn’t have the feet for it.. I would much rather see Henson/Sanders in the post next year with Ersan coming off the bench

      • If ersan is coming off the bench, id rather trade him in a year or so if he is making 8 mil a year. Right now its fine because henson is still on his rookie contract

      • I didnt mean Ersan starting at SF I just meant all 3 of them playing the 4/5 getting 30+ minutes per game. I think Henson/Sanders would be best starting as well, but what Ersan lacks defensively he makes up for with outside shooting and rebounding. So I wouldnt mind him as the starting 4 with Henson 1st off the bench

  7. 37-41 as of today… does anyone feel we can win any of our remaining 4 games, unless one of the playoff teams is resting their starters, and without potentially Sanders and Jennings? Maybe Charlotte… maybe. So… 37-45, or at best, 38-44. Buy your 1st round playoff tickets now!!!

  8. As bad as that looked for the Bucks last night, with Tobias dominating, I don’t think its actually so terrible. Tobias dominated, but so did Henson, who I assume he guarded a lot (I live in TN so I can’t watch many games).
    Moving forward, we have Larry Sanders, Henson/Ilyasova, LRMAM/Ilyasova, and hopefully Redick will resign to start alongside Monta. All we need is one player in the draft to make a pretty solid, complete team.

  9. happyfeethustle

    Im physically sick to my stomach… my entire evening RUINED by a bonehead move-actually multiple bonehead moves. 5 pt lead, less than 40 sec. remain and possesion. A inbound violation? really? Holy hell! Cmon man….is that the BEST u can do? A missed 3pt and a NO BOXOUT rebound putback under the rim? Cmon man …..is this true? 2 of 4 from free throw line late game…..grrrrr M O N T A. The cherry on top- slow footed , 1/2 hearted attempt to foul-leads to a 3ptr and 1. I puked all over my Bucks Hoodie. Turn Harris into a F@#KIN HERO-nice work Marquis!

    I was HUGE supporter of trade w/Magic- til 2 weeks ago. I dont see the BUCKS using Redick as he needs to be used. With 7yrs in the league-his ability to adapt to BUCKS style offense has proven to be fruitless!
    Harris, is getting FREE REIGN in Orlando to showcase his offensive skills-and he has PLENTY. Now, lets not overstate it- the Bucks defense struggles with the WORST offensive teams in the league-but,…I think J.Hammond made a boo-boo by letting Harris go too soon.

    Grrrrr….. I just hope that Hammond redeems himself in off season deals! I dont see Redick re-signing, so we all have to just get bye the Harris/lamb 4 Ayon/smith deal. OUCHY OUCH OUCH-that hurts

    Go BUCKS Go

  10. I agree with a handful of people that having Larry and Ers out inflated Tobias’ numbers a bit, still had a great game though. I’ll disagree with the “it’s not like he had garbage points against a bad team” statement. A team that’s going to finish 7 games under .500 isn’t a good team or an average team for that matter. People who want to keep Monta Ellis, you are insane. Teams should have to finish .500 to make the playoffs, if not the top seed gets a bye so on and so forth. John Hammond does draft well seeing that in the last few years Jennings (starter), Meeks (role player), Sanders (starter), Leuer, Harris (starter), Henson (will start soon), Lamb all play in the NBA with the only loser being good ol Tiny Gallon. Wish he knew how to trade but that’s another story. I was waiting for Sfisch to go nuts about Tobias and post but I didn’t see 4 or 5 chopped up paragraphs. Go Bucks? Maybe.

  11. I don’t know what to do about these guards…

    Ellis is almost definitely going to opt-in, because there’s almost no way he’s getting more than $11 million per anywhere other than Charlotte, Phoenix, or Orlando. While he’s had a good run, he’s destined to be the “best” player on a shitty team. Right now, that team is Milwaukee, unfortunately, but maybe I could see him being a “marquee” signing for the Bobcats or something if he opts out this summer. Until he decides it’s okay to come off the bench and be instant offense with the second-unit, a la Jamal Crawford, he’s too high-usage to do too many good things over the long-term (and those bricked late-game free throws…).

    So what about letting him walk (with an amnesty if necessary) and re-signing Redick (3 year, $27 mil) and BJ (5 year, $55 million) to be the starters? Bring in a mid-level, serviceable, athletic wing to start at the 3, and then you’ve got:

    BJ-Redick-wing-Ers-Sanders with Henson as a quick-sub 6th man for the 4/5, Dunleavy 7th at the 2/3, and Ish (or some other cheap non-threatening backup guard, so Jennings and Redick get their minutes) 8th. Then there’s Udoh/Ayon to flesh out the 4/5 rotation. Luc Richard moves to the end of the bench next to Gooden to be the spirit/hustle/emergency 3/4/5 guy. Draft a promising wing with some length, and build for the next half-decade around he, Jennings, Sanders, and Henson.

    That’s pretty much the best-case scenario. We’ve been hard on Jennings this year, but it’s tough to remember that he’s only 23, never played in college, is athletic/fancy as hell when he wants to be, and PG is the hardest NBA position to learn. Think it makes more sense right now to give him a much longer leash and see what he can do. He, Larry, and John might do good things together.


    • Nope, Dunleavy’s gone this year, too, and he’s lonnnnnnnnng gone. So we have to adjust.

      There are three SF UFAs that would make sense for the 2014 Bucks and could be had for the money they can spend: Corey Brewer, Al-Farouq Aminu, or Dorell Wright. Not a superstar among them, but each would be useful in his own way. The team would still then need to find a backup 2/3 who can shoot (draft?) along with a couple veteran-minimum end-of-benchers, but otherwise, the above schematic could totally work. They could also throw a money truck at Chase Budinger and see if Minny lets him walk, but that might be imprudent.

      Honestly, though: how hot would closing games with a happy BJ-Redick-Brewer-Henson-Sanders be? Or occasionally Ers? The right coach and a little luck and that team could easily be eight-to-ten games better than this one.

    • 9 million for JJ Redick? I’d like to think that even the Bucks front office isnt that stupid. Paying Jennings 11 mil per year is way too much also but that wouldnt surprise me

      • Don’t see any better options on the free agent market, is all, at either position. I think each of those players have had a down year because of how much Monta Ellis demands the ball to do the things he does. A Jennings/Redick backcourt would have a nice division of labor, with Redick more comfortable creating and Jennings more comfortable making decisions, both knowing that if something goes wrong the guy next to him won’t just take the ball and ensure he gets his on the next possession. They seem to have something like $29 million available this offseason, so locking up three starters with $26 million (20 for BJ/JJ, 6 for the new three) of that seems to make sense.

        Maybe it doesn’t.

        I’m not trying to make Ellis the villain, either. He’s just doing what he thinks is best. It’s commendable, and he’s been great sometimes, but his awful percentages, bricked free throws in the clutch, and shoddy defense (disguised by how good he is at jumping passing lanes) portends this being the ceiling of a team lead by him.

  12. I didn’t realize that Tobias would be
    this good this fast, but I did think he
    could help the Bucks this season with
    15-30 minutes per game. My pleas are
    in the archives.

    As is now clearly evident, Tobias can do
    what no other big man on the Bucks can do:
    create his own offense going to the hoop
    or pulling up for the jumper (as it turns
    out, even from beyond the arc). Now it
    seems he can also pound the boards. He also
    appears to be a really good team player.

    I will say that it has been really lonely
    advocating for the guy. The vibe on this blog
    seemed to be that Tobias was too clueless and
    clumsy to play right now, and there was little
    or no regret for trading him at the deadline.
    I also haven’t seen much support on this site
    for my urging the Bucks to play John Henson
    more this season.

    If I have any credibility at all, first I
    would say that I’m gradually getting to the
    point where I’m getting over Tobias. So moving
    on, we need to get a top point guard, probably
    in the draft, and the best coach available,
    even at a high price. After Larry and John,
    I’m not really all that thrilled about anyone
    on the current roster. There may be a couple
    of keepers, but I don’t know who they would be.

    I’ve gone over this in my last couple of blogs,
    so I won’t go into more detail. I’ll end by
    saying that Jeremy makes a good point: It’s hard
    to know how to root for these Bucks, because
    any success the rest of this season might deter
    management from making really big changes in the
    off-season. So I’m torn. How do I handle this

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