Minnesota Timberwolves 107 FinalRecap | Box Score 98 Milwaukee Bucks
Ersan Ilyasova, SF 37 MIN | 12-21 FG | 2-2 FT | 12 REB | 0 AST | 2 STL | 2 BLK | 3 TO | 29 PTS | -6The only thing that kept the game competitive early was Ilyasova’s offensive rebounding. He was easily the best performer of the night – continuing his strong play of late. The only caveat is that the offense stalled when Ilyasova was substituted in the game for JJ Redick late in the game. Not Ilyasova’s fault, Boylan just picked the wrong guard to sub for.
Larry Sanders, C 34 MIN | 5-12 FG | 1-2 FT | 10 REB | 4 AST | 1 STL | 2 BLK | 2 TO | 11 PTS | -4Ellis was assigned to guard Ricky Rubio to start the game. Rubio then went 5/5 from three to start the game. The damning thing isn’t that Rubio went 5/5 – it’s that he had five open three-point attempts to begin with. This isn’t 100% Ellis’s fault. After the game, Boylan cited that when someone went doubled in the interior, no one was rotating to help on the helper’s shooter. Who was supposed to be rotating to Rubio? I don’t know and clearly the Bucks don’t either. At the half, the Bucks made defensive adjustments to stop the Wolves shooters which allowed Nikola Pekovic to run wild in the second half. Sanders is a great defender, but he can’t do it all and guarding strong post players is never going to be a strength. The Bucks have clearly surrounded him with too many poor defenders for his defense to shine at all anymore.
Monta Ellis, PG 39 MIN | 7-20 FG | 2-4 FT | 5 REB | 3 AST | 1 STL | 1 BLK | 6 TO | 18 PTS | -8The “Monta Ellis is an underrated passer” meme has reached the point where Ellis back to being an overrated passer. Ok, this isn’t a meme so much as it’s a thing I’m probably imagining. Dump-offs to Sanders when both guys are deep in the paint is easy for Ellis because Ellis can open up space for other guys and is pretty good at finding guys once their open. Plus, there’s a lot of room for error for that kind of pass so you never really notice Ellis’s inaccuracy in those situations. It’s the kick-outs, entry passes, transitions, and cross-court passe that he’s just garbage at because he’s not a very accurate passer. Half the battle is getting it to the open guy, the other half is putting it in a spot for that guy to score. Ellis is exceptional in one area and poor in another.
Brandon Jennings, PG 36 MIN | 6-14 FG | 1-1 FT | 3 REB | 8 AST | 3 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 13 PTS | -11Remember when I wrote that Boylan picked the wrong guard for Ilyasova to sub in for. I was totally talking about Jennings. Don’t let the eight assists fool you, he was a total non-factor the entire night and the offense was better when he was on the bench.
Mike Dunleavy, SF 32 MIN | 6-9 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 2 AST | 2 STL | 2 BLK | 3 TO | 15 PTS | +4Dunleavy brought the total package for this game: some threes, timely saves of some wild Ellis passes, and the offense just looked better when he was around. It’s not a lot, but when he’s playing well, you’re glad he’s there.
J.J. Redick, SG 23 MIN | 4-13 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 8 PTS | +4Redick had a bad game, but there’s a reason he was +4. He moves, he creates space for his teammates. He’s a guy that can contribute positively even when he’s playing poorly.
Jim BoylanI really enjoy Boylan’s transformation from “glad I’m here, let’s get to work” guy to “I’m barely holding in the utter contempt for the way my team plays defense” guy in just over 40 games. This might not be the way it actually is, but it’s the reality I choose to accept. Just like Boylan chooses to play horrible defenders.

One Thing We Saw

  1. No extra important things happened. We’re all just miserable and heading toward oblivion. The Bucks prove the maxim: we receive the playoff seed we choose to accept.