Oy: Heat 110 – Bucks 87

Lonely Bucks fan watches game in Miami, becomes a Witness. (AP Photo/Alan Diaz)

I’m not sure what caused it, but I felt some sort of feeling before Sunday’s playoff opener for the Milwaukee Bucks.

As I waited what felt like forever for the day games to wrap up and Milwaukee to take the court Sunday evening in Miami, I thought maybe something crazy COULD happen. I was inundated with articles and columns about how focused the Bucks were. How ready they would be. How they had nothing to lose. Living in the city of the team expected by all to possibly challenge for most blown out team in playoff history is an interesting thing.

The long odds are acknowledged, yet everyone’s going through the motions as if there’s  a chance. And after enough going through those motions, suddenly you convince yourself, “Hey, maybe this thing could happen. Maybe not a series win, but maybe they could take one down. And why not tonight?”

I guess now I know, “Why not tonight?” Why not? Because the Heat, that’s why. Because LeBron James. Because Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade. And apparently, because Birdman.

From start to finish, the Heat gave a lot of good answers to any questions you, I or anyone else may have had about them, not that we had many to begin with. Miami jumped on the Bucks early, quickly going ahead by 13 before letting off the gas a bit. The Bucks hung around and cut the lead to as little as three points. A seven point halftime deficit felt like a solid accomplishment from the Bucks.

Rather than let Milwaukee build on the modicum of success they had established, the Heat pounced quick in the third and on the heels of a ridiculously complex, yet easy looking dunk from James and a put-back from Birdman Chris Andersen, they put Milwaukee away in the third. Maybe it took longer than many expected, but Miami blew out the Bucks and brought Milwaukee back to reality.

Milwaukee Bucks 87 Final
Recap | Box Score
110 Miami Heat
Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, PF 29 MIN | 2-4 FG | 2-2 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 6 PTS | -15Has to play a lot, isn’t capable of contributing much. You almost have to wonder if it’s not even worth playing Mbah a Moute and Daniels. Are they even capable of slowing down LeBron James at this point? He’s doing what he wants, regardless of who is out there for the Bucks. So why not just put the best players you have out there and deal with the results? I don’t know, that’s probably kind of drastic and reactionary, but Milwaukee’s going to need something drastic to happen, simply to win a game.
Ersan Ilyasova, SF 28 MIN | 1-7 FG | 0-0 FT | 6 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 2 PTS | -14Miami is very aware of who is good and who isn’t on the Bucks. They know how efficient Ilyasova can be and how much damage his shooting can do. He had no space to breathe on Sunday, let alone get off a shot. The Heat closed out very hard on Ers and made him put the ball on the ground before he took shots. Also, I always get the feeling that the bright lights aren’t a friend of his. He’s always battling with his confidence and in and out of games mentally – this stage may not be for him.
Larry Sanders, C 19 MIN | 3-7 FG | 0-2 FT | 5 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 6 PTS | -22This was more of the Larry Sanders of last season, rather than the one that impressed spectators, scouts and centers across the NBA this season. He fouled LeBron James less than a minutes into the game after turning the ball over after failing to get out on Chris Bosh in the corner. Rough start. He missed some shots around the rim and then picked up his fourth foul very quick in the third quarter. Milwaukee wasn’t great when he was on the court and they were dreadful when he was off too.
Monta Ellis, PG 39 MIN | 10-19 FG | 1-6 FT | 4 REB | 3 AST | 4 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 22 PTS | -26The matching 1-for-6 performances from behind the arc and at the line aren’t very fun. This is almost a magnificent win for Ellis though, considering he didn’t even crack double figures on average against the Heat during the regular season. Milwaukee’s going to need heroic performances out of both he and Jennings if they’re going to win a game though. Fittingly, he was a -26 on the night, while Dwyane Wade finished the game a +26.
Brandon Jennings, PG 33 MIN | 8-20 FG | 6-7 FT | 1 REB | 2 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 26 PTS | -9After all the hoopla made of his prediction of Bucks in six (and really, what was he supposed to say?), Jennings did his best to backup the tough talk with a solid performance. He doesn’t need to just play well, he has to probably have the best shooting series of his life in order for the Bucks to even challenge. Milwaukee’s going to need five or six threes made a game from Jennings and nights closer to 50% shooting than 30%. This was a good start for him offensively, as he connected on some floaters that are always tough for him. He can spark the team a bit, but they need way more than a spark.
Ekpe Udoh, PF 21 MIN | 2-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 4 PTS | +2The only player with a net positive plus/minus on the night. Of course. He always finds a way, doesn’t he?
John Henson, PF 20 MIN | 3-7 FG | 0-0 FT | 5 REB | 0 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 6 PTS | -9His first taste of playoff basketball was a lot more difficult than his first taste of the Miami Heat, when he exploded for 17 points and 18 rebounds back in December. He wasn’t being taken lightly on Sunday. His willingness to be aggressive is admirable, but the two airballs he ended up with were a bummer. Sometimes that’s going to happen, but sometimes he’ll make his short little lefty hooks too, so he’s just got to keep on being aggressive and getting his reps.
Mike Dunleavy, SF 17 MIN | 2-4 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 5 PTS | -12It was surprising how little he played, but I guess that owes to his inability to be a difference maker on the defensive end. Milwaukee needs as much offense as it does defense though, so there will have to be a better balance of minutes between he, Redick, Mbah a Moute and Daniels going forward for sure.
Marquis Daniels, SF 11 MIN | 1-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 2 PTS | -3I’m not sure he can log more than a few minutes a game if the Bucks are going to challenge for more than 30 minutes.
J.J. Redick, SG 16 MIN | 1-6 FG | 3-3 FT | 1 REB | 3 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 6 PTS | -7He’s a pro, so it will never be obvious, but you have to wonder if his mind is starting to wander off towards the summer, when he can find a team that’s a better fit. 16 minutes in a playoff game? I’m not even sure that can be adjusted much with success, the more I think about it. He’s a terrible matchup for the Bucks against the Heat. Unless he took minutes from Ellis, he’s just too small to play the three against Miami very often.
Jim BoylanDunleavy and Redick combine for 33 minutes. Mbah a Moute and Daniels combine for 40. That’s something that has to be figured out. Can the Bucks do anything defensively? Can they get creative and maybe hide three offensive perimeter players behind Sanders and maybe Udoh or Henson? Adjustments need to be made. Rapidly. But still, I’m not sure there’s much Boylan can do.

Three Things We Saw

  1. The scariest part? It didn’t even seem like the Bucks played particularly poor or that the Heat played particularly well. It just seemed like this was kind of a tablestakes playoff game, where both teams brought their most basic games.
  2. LeBron’s shot chart, which made its way around the internet on Sunday evening. Whew, this guy, amiright?
  1. Game two is Tuesday. From a point differential stand point, it can’t get any worse, right? RIGHT!?

Categories: Playoff talk,Recaps

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  1. At this point the Bucks need to get creative with the rotation. What do you think of a line up that include Henson, Ilyasova, and Sanders on the front line? I think Henson would be an interesting matchup against LeBron with his length. Obviously, he lacks the strength to stop James but it would just give us another body to throw at him. Also with Ilyasova’s shooting ability the Bucks could still have 3 shooters on the court at once. Plus, three very solid rebounders on the floor could help close the board disparity we saw in game 1. Just a thought. Wondering what you think

  2. Kenny Smith’s observation about Jennings at halftime was astounding because I have never read it on any Bucks based website even though it is so obviously true. What he said in essence is this: Jennings plays well in mostly chaotic situations. In a set offense he is uncomfortable and below average.

    The more I think about the hundreds of games Ive watched Jennings play the more true that statement seems. Jennings is best when things are loosey goosey, and since the Bucks have no legitimate shot against the Heat he has a free pass to play as loose and erratic as he wants this series. Im sure he will continue to look good at times in this series, but his overall style isnt a fit for the starting pg position on any serious team.

    Yes he played pretty well last night, but he won’t consistently make those layups or hit those contested 3s, we have 4 seasons of statistics that prove that. And he sure as hell won’t run a set offense efficiently or play within his role and elevate his teammates abilities. His approach to the game is the opposite of methodical which makes it seem insane that Scott Skiles started him for three straight seasons. The Bucks need to let Jennings go at the end of the season, he isn’t disciplined or team oriented enough to have the ball in his hands so much and have such a heavy influence on how the team plays. He is too mentally immature for his duties and Im afraid he is set in his ways since he has been a starter and illegitimate face of the franchise since day 1. His game has changed very little since his first year. I will be overcome with joy if and when he is gone even if it means the Bucks take a temporary step-backward, but I only think they will be better without him.

    Best of luck elsewhere BJ3

    • “Yes he played pretty well last night,”

      Were your hands shaking as you typed that? LOL

      • Patti, my hands weren’t shaking. You love Jennings good for you. He was hot last night but that doesn’t make his shot selection good. He’s not a good point guard and we better not sign him end of story. Im glad you know how I feel.

  3. Maybe it’s just me … but the Bucks are not just a bad playoff team but are one of the worst 4-5 teams in the entire league right now.
    Of course, what do we expect with a starting front court of Luc, Ersan and Larry? Luc is probably the worst starting player in all of basketball. He’s barely good enough to be in the rotation. Ersan is a legitimate bench/role player because of his shooting and rebounding but not nearly athletic enough to be a good starter. Larry has barely servicable offensive skills and the awesome defensive player we saw for most of the year seems to have disappeared.

    No wonder the twins only had 5 assists between them.

    Tuesday start Henson and Larry with Dunleavy and the little guards. Switch Henson and Epke on and off Lebron. Let Ersan come off the bench and shoot. Let Redick and Monta play together. Go low to Henson. Let Daniels and Luc rest unless there is major foul trouble.


    if all else fails at least Henson and Larry will get major playoff experience.

  4. Always the constant BJ haters. Even when he is consistant the chatter continues. If you want a disciplined off. move to San Antonio. What other successful off. in the NBA has points guards who do not score. What about our, “No D Big men”, Our Can Not shoot unless we are open for a two looks”, or the ones who can not handle a got pass in transistion. Run the Off. through BJ and Ellis like earlier in the season and spot them with the, I can not hit an open shoot ReDirect. The Bucks are still and off challenged team. Does any body wonder why we were non competitive while BJ was on the bench. Asks real questions about perfomrance, instead of your constant rambling and blaming one player for this average team’s inability to compete four quarters with elite teams. Keep getting rid of young players that you have invested in….Thats how you always stay right where your are. All good things take time….14 other teams are sitting home and our young team is getting this good experience to the betterment of our future and that should include BJ…Go Bucks…All of them…Haters..You should honor the value of teamwork yourself instead of all your negative player hating banter…Give it a break and enjoy the little play of experience we are getting…

    • I don’t even … I didn’t write anything negative about Jennings … I ju … I ca … so confused.

    • This team certainly has worse players than jennings that are equally responsible for our mediocrity, but they aren’t being touted as the face of the franchise and set to make 11 million a season like he is. and they dont shoot 17 shots a game and guide (or misguide) the flow of the offense the entire game. We cant afford to have jennings as the face of the franchise anymore, its just a ridiculous charade. Get him out of town, Im sure he will have success elsewhere but I can’t stomach his playing style and body language anymore.

    • Ehh… what? He didn’t say anything negative about Jennings at all. Unless you’re referring to Sillybilly, in which case, he’s not all wrong. Jennings is most effective playing chaotic, quick basketball, not in half court sets, and unfortunately that doesn’t work all that well in the playoffs.

      Hell, his most efficient shot (scarily) is the three point jumper in transition at the top of the three point line. And while Jennings isn’t a bad three point shooter by any stretch, he’s still not exactly Steph Curry or a Ray Allen.

      There’s nothing wrong with constructive criticism of your team and of its players. If that’s a problem… well, this may not be the site for you I guess.

  5. LRMAM shooting two threes? I think I have a better shot as a 5’9″ 35 year old making the team, and then making a three against the Heat in the playoffs than he does of just making one at all. I would’ve benched him the rest of the game after the first attempt, much less the second. I don’t care how open you are.

    Don’t even get me started on Udoh. That guy just looks lost out there. I’m surprised to see rebounds in the stat line for him. It was awful watching him play.

    Also, did anyone else notice Reggie Millers’ comments? He mentioned twice how Jennings and Ellis have to throw up bad shots because nobody else can score, then later in the game notices that the Heat have a ton more assists then the bucks, and says how they should be passing it around more. Just an observation, thought it was funny. Some of us who actually know the Bucks know that the offense was a heck of a lot better when those two actually passed way more than they usually do. Although, hats off to Miami Defense, man those guys are stifling!

    • The Heat defense is really good but when they close out, it wasn’t to hard to get past them on a pump fake. They fell for it every time. Unfortunately Redick, Dunleavy, and Illyasova are too slow to drive. I don’t know why they wouldn’t hit those mid range jumpers with as good of shooters as they are though or dish it off when it would have been 2-1 somewhere. Also, why don’t they mix it up on defense and go zone sometimes to try and throw the Heat off a bit?

      • Totally agreed, the shooters need to hit those midrange shots, and then MAYBE we could get a few easier buckets. Not a huge fan of Boylans moves here on offense or defense, and rotations for that matter. And his body language was tuhrrible. Always shaking his head and lowering it and stuff. Showed no confidence in his players or any emotion either. Maybe he should get kicked out of a game, fire some people up a bit. Instead of standing around watching the almighty Heat.

  6. and now we got dalembert talking about his interest in playing for the Heat next year. its obvious that there is no fight and no determination in this bucks team. we’ll see what happens over the course of the next week (maybe even week and a half if we can get a win or 2)

  7. Just awful to watch beyond halftime. I want to at the very, very least to win once at home. They owe it to the fans.

  8. These young men worked hard all year to get in the playoffs, to say nothing of the many years they have spent trying to get this chance.

    My hope is that they enjoy playing these games and benefit from the experience. A win would be a lot to ask, but it is possible. They have sure given me a lot of entertainment this year!


  9. I don’t know what’s more absurd, the B for Jennings or the C for Boylan. Jennings was the only guy competing last night and the only reason we got close a few times in the game. But yes let’s all rag on Jennings even when he’s good. No wonder why he wants to leave Milwaukee. We get it Jeremy, you hate Brandon Jennings but can we get a new poll? Like should Jim Boylan ever coach in the NBA again? Oh but what about BJ3s low assists numbers :( well he brings up the ball half the time, Monta Ellis has to show how terrible he is and throw up an awful 20 foot shot or turn the ball over half the time. Have you ever seen an iso ran for Jennings in his entire pro career? No. He brings the ball up, has to pass to someone terrible, but it’s his fault that he’s played under a Scott Skiles/Jim Boylan offense. He made Mario Chalmers his bitch last night and fans are still blaming him for the loss? Unbelievable. Oh god he underwhelmingly bumps his head like Darius Miles when hes draining 3s, GET OUT OF HERE, get off this team!

    And Jimmy Boylan…what can I say? You are a huge piece of shit. You start the game with Larry guarding Bosh knowing Bosh will just sit at the 3 line. So you take one of the best lane defenders out of the lane, brilliant. The crazy thing is its beyond noticeable what they are doing to eliminate Larry and you just say okay Im Jim Boylan Im an idiot. And then BJ3 has us within 8 in the second half practically by himself and you sit him. Not that he needed a quick rest or any rest at all but you sit him, and he still sits, and the lead expands to 20. Now lets bring him back in. 33 minutes for Jennings, 33. He didn’t look tired destroying Mario Chalmers but you had other plans. As awful as this team is, you make them so much worse.

    • Ellis is better than Jennings, end of story.

      People who want the Bucks to resign Jennings to a long term contract are uninformed or delusional.

      • Jennings leads him in True Shooting Percentage, Assists Per 48, Assists/Turnover Ratio, while having a lower Usage Rate than Ellis. And they have the same PER. Neither of them are good on defense. They both have played under a Scott Skiles/Jim Boylan offense. CP3, Westbrook, Deron, Kyrie, Curry, Wall, Parker, Rose, probably aren’t going to go anywhere anytime soon. So who else would you like to have? I like Vasquez and Dragic, but I’ll take Jennings for the 9-10 mill he will make per year.

        • He doesn’t beat Monta in heart or professionalism. Jennings can be “thug nasty” somewhere else.

        • Ellis had the worst season of his career this year, second half of the season it was very very clear that he was a better player if you watched the games

          • I’ll bite. Jennings a thug, come on now. Tyler Hansborough has a lot of heart. So you are admitting that Jennings was a very very clear better player in the first half of the season? I agree. So if Monta has his worst year (year and a half) under Scott Skiles/Jim Boylan wouldn’t you think Jennings is also affected by the same coaches? The answer is yes. I did some number crunching for you, I love statistics. When Scott Skiles/Jim Boylan coached the Bulls (5 seasons) the starting PG (Hinrich, more than likely a “truer” PG than BJ3) averaged 41% shooting, 14.3 PPG, 6.4 APG. Starting SG (Jamal Crawford, Ben Gordon) averaged 42% shooting, 17.7 PPG, 3.3 APG. So tell me again why Monta Ellis had his worst year and a half and why Jennings is bad again. Thank you.

          • James, good points. I do wonder about
            the coaching on the Bucks, both practical
            and personal. I’m hesitant to get too high
            or too low with Brandon or Monta. I like
            these guys, but they drive me crazy!!!

  10. The delusion here is paying Reddick and the back the back up point guard traded to Orlando 7 million a year, but you ragging on the guy making 3 million plus. Based on that fact alone, we should be willing to resign and or match what is offered to BJ. Especially, when that is the only control our team has. Ellis and Reddick can walk and we have not a thing to say. It is Christmas in the Reddick household. Seven Million for what…get a grip. There are players I really dislike on this team, who are slow footed, can not jump or defend, but they are our bucks. So, suck it up and back your team…Go Bucks

  11. I’m not sure what to make of Brandon in general,
    as a player or a person, but one thing I’m
    practically sure of is that he is not a good fit
    at point guard. Neither is Monta. Whether you
    consider them great or lousy, I don’t think either
    has the skills or the temperament to be a true
    point guard.

    I doesn’t seem as though either is a particularly
    good ball-handler or passer, for example, especially
    against tight defenses in crunch time. I’m not
    sure either is that good at playing at a fast pace
    while still keeping their bodies and minds under

    I’m not confident that either can command the floor:
    directing the offense, inspiring teammates, leading
    the way. Also, both seem trigger-happy, almost
    incapable of keeping from excessive shooting for
    very long.

    Another thing: I don’t think either player is working
    out well with the Bucks, for whatever reasons. In other
    words, I think both should move on and, I hope, find
    success elsewhere.

    Could be wrong about all this, but I think getting
    a star point guard, probably through the draft, is our
    main priority — along with the best coach out there.

  12. We qualified for the playoffs with one of the worst playoff records in recent history, playing the defending champs, and half of these guys won’t be around next year anyways… including Boylan. So… as others have said, put your best out there, and let em go… especially tonight in game 2! Jennings is obviously “refreshed” by the national spotlight / tryout, so let him do his thing and enjoy his last few games in a green / red uniform. Maybe we’ll steal one.

    That being said… is anyone else concerned about LRMAM’s health? Seriously… is there something medical going on with him we should be worried about, beyond basketball? The guy was one of the best stoppers in the league during the first half of the season, and the guy is now a shell of himself on the court. I feel like he’s getting minutes for reputation, not performance… but couldn’t help but worry about the guy watching him in game 1… no energy, no strength, nothing. What’s up?

    • Just saw last week’s article about LR’s health issues… must have missed that one. And hopeful that it is “just a virus” as he says, and not something more serious. Would be great to have him back at full strength heading into next year, especially with all of the defensive issues this team has.