This season has finally come to the end it was always destined to meet: Heat 88 – Bucks 77

Your leader in minutes, Luc Mbah a Moute. (AP Photo/The Miami Herald, AL Diaz)
Your leader in minutes, Luc Mbah a Moute. (AP Photo/The Miami Herald, AL Diaz)
Miami Heat 88 Final
Recap | Box Score
77 Milwaukee Bucks
Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, PF 40 MIN | 2-7 FG | 5-6 FT | 4 REB | 3 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 9 PTS | -14

If you predicted that in Milwaukee’s final game of the playoffs this season, Luc Mbah a Moute would lead the team in minutes played, congratulations, you were right. Not only were you right, but you’re also kind of a masochist. Even with Mbah a Moute defending LeBron, the mighty Heat forward ended up with 30 points, eight rebounds and seven assists. Interesting that Boylan opted to double down on a strategy that wasn’t really producing any results.

Ersan Ilyasova, SF 27 MIN | 3-13 FG | 1-1 FT | 9 REB | 2 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 8 PTS | -1

It’s crazy to think Milwaukee’s most effective offensive player in this series and for most of the season, played just 27 minutes in the final game. I recognize it was a function of matchups and positioning, but in what world are the Bucks not better off with Ilyasova playing 40 minutes than Luc Mbah a Moute? Milwaukee made no effort all series to dictate the matchups on the court, rather the Bucks just responded to things the Heat did. Seems like a great way to assure a series as noncompetitive as the one we saw.

Not that Ersan was all that effective anyway. The Heat’s speed and athleticism overwhelmed him and forced him to take the ball off the dribble or rush finishes inside. Having to do either of those things is rough for Ersan, being forced to do both constantly is recipe for failure.

Larry Sanders, C 31 MIN | 3-9 FG | 1-1 FT | 11 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 3 BLK | 2 TO | 7 PTS | -14

He was frustrated with himself for blowing some not too difficult opportunities at the rim. It seemed all game like he wanted to take the burden from Ellis and Jennings and be relied on for more offense. He’s got some work to do if he wants to be a guy capable of taking much more of a load on offense, for sure. But this was another high effort, high energy game from Sanders where he made an impact and kept the team afloat. If anyone outside of Ellis had a solid shooting game, Milwaukee may have pulled this one off and Sanders would have been a big reason why.

Monta Ellis, PG 39 MIN | 10-20 FG | 0-2 FT | 5 REB | 8 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 6 TO | 21 PTS | -10

He again looked like a capable, if wild, point guard very often. But his limitations as a three point shooter seem so damning. Ellis made exactly three of the 19 threes he attempted in four games against the Heat. How can you be a functioning, big minute guard and be that bad at shooting threes? It’s his biggest flaw and it’s a very important spot to have such a big flaw. Ellis has so many strengths: He’s so quick, capable of getting to and finishing at the rim, he plays his ass off, he’s a good mid-range shooter considering how many shots he takes. But at his size, he’s got to be able to hit threes. He’s not going to have his quickness forever.

Without that ability, how could a team even consider giving him more than $10 million annually? Especially with his off ball defense being what it is.

Brandon Jennings, PG 23 MIN | 1-7 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 1 BLK | 2 TO | 3 PTS | -9

I … I can’t …. I don’t …. where do we even begin …

Ekpe Udoh, PF 16 MIN | 1-4 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 2 STL | 2 BLK | 0 TO | 2 PTS | 0

It’s almost too bad he got a rebound. 16 minutes and only a few stats is exactly the way Udoh’s last game of the season should have gone. He’s the least productive, productive player I’ve seen since Michael Curry.

Mike Dunleavy, SF 28 MIN | 5-9 FG | 4-5 FT | 5 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 17 PTS | -3

He was Milwaukee’s most capable all-around player in what was almost certainly his final game as a Buck. Moved the ball as well as ever, grabbed some rebounds, hit some threes. He was everything good about Milwaukee and everything good about himself on Sunday. It’s too bad Milwaukee is so far from being a competitive basketball team, because Dunleavy is absolutely one of those guys who will end up fitting perfectly on a team that’s already where it wants to be.

J.J. Redick, SG 28 MIN | 5-11 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 10 PTS | -9

Not a bad way for J.J. to go out, despite another 0-for night from behind the arc. After the game, he talked with Ray Allen for a good five minutes as players wished each other well on the court. They had a few laughs and seemed to have been talking about things important to them. I can only imagine that Allen was telling him how nice it is to be on a team so tailored to his strengths. Redick was not on that sort of team.

Jim Boylan

Way to get creative in your final game, Jim. To be fair, there’s nothing he could have done that would have mattered in this series. It was over before it started. But he didn’t even TRY to do anything different, save for that one lineup everyone buried him for in game two. The Ish Smith/Marquis Daniels lineup. With nothing to lose, you would have thought he would try something crazy in this game. Not so much though.

Four Things We Saw

  1. After acquiring J.J. Redick in late February, the Bucks went 12-21, including the sweep at the hands of the Heat.
  2. Ray Allen has a very subdued three-point celebration, where he puts down three fingers on his side. It’s so subtle and perfect and everything you’d want someone as smooth as Ray Allen to do.
  3. Average point differential in the playoffs for Milwaukee was -14.8. It appeared before the series that this was a team that didn’t really deserve to be in the playoffs and the results seem to indicate that was absolutely the case. Each of these games “could” have been won by the Bucks, I suppose, but it never really felt like they had a chance. Miami quietly controlled every aspect of each game and pretty much decided when the game was over.
  4. The Bucks shot 63% on free throws over the course of the series and it’s not like John Henson was taking 15 a night. Monta Ellis made just 37.5% of his free throws! 6-for-16! Dunleavy, Redick and Ilyasova were the only players to shoot better than 80% from the line this series for Milwaukee and the latter two attempted just five together.

Jeremy Schmidt writes the Milwaukee Bucks blog Bucksketball. He founded it in…

18 Comments

  1. Didn’t watch this game, listened to it. Somehow I don’t get nearly as frustrated listening vs. watching, or maybe it was not having the added anger over poor officiating. Or maybe I literally had no expectations for this game, due to the first three being what they were. I know the broadcasting crew was really making a point about the turnovers, way too many, and at very crucial times, like when they were down by two in the third quarter, only to turn it over twice and being down by 8 after cold blooded 3’s from Allen and Chalmers.

    At any rate, ought to be an interesting off-season. Ironically, the order of the backcourt’s likelihood of returning vs. what I want to actually happen are exact opposite. I want Reddick to return, maybe Ellis, but definitely not Jennings. But I (unfortunately) expect Jennings to be back (way over-paid), maybe Ellis but probably not Reddick.

    Who we drafting? Or better yet, what are we drafting? :)

  2. I like & agree with Jeremy’s sympathetic review of Jim Boylan in this article, but If you to ask me one reason…ONE REASON ONLY to justify firing Jim Boylan, you cannot sit someone like Brandon Jennings the enitre 4th quarter. I understand he wasn’t playing well, but he’s considered the best or second-best guy on the team….how F#!* do you just let him sit there and then in the press conference say, “Yeah, well you know, just trying different things, I think what I had out there gave us the best shot to win.” Sorry, not buying it, throw whatever JJ + Monta stats you want at me, but I’m not buying that. You can’t put stats on “clutch.” JJ isn’t clutch. We’ve learned that since the All-Star break. Poor, poor coaching. I understand he was doomed from the git-go in the series, but it felt like they just wanted the final bullet in the head to have the season over with. I would’ve rather lost the series 4-1 than 4-0.

    • did you watch the game? Brandon was giving nothing.. no ball movement, no drives, no defense, no passing.. three separate times he tried to force a 3-pointer and was stuffed and had to make a terrible air pass.. he brought nothing as far as effort or heart and I have no problem with Boylan’s decision there

      • I did but you just never know when someone can turn it on. I know it sounds naive, but still… JJ wasn’t going to do it. Regardless, None of these guys…Ellis, Jennings, Boylan, etc. will be back. Which I am ok with, but I want a serious sense of direction this off season…not this “we’ll keep trying to be a playoff team.” I am 110% ready for an Orlando Magic/Cleveland Cavs rebuild. I would trade a piece like Luc Rich or Ersan (aka not Larry or John) + our current 1st pick to try to move in the Top 5 of the draft and get Trey Burke. Thats where I think it all begins again for me…

  3. happyfeethustle

    Thank heavens…the suffering is OVER. Im as loyal as a mutt when it comes to the Bucks team-and thats a PAINFUL life to live. No matter how
    disappointing the effort is ,.. I come back for more abuse. Geez….I wish I could wash my hands of my hometown loyalty.

    BIG changes coming !! (?) I hope for the best-prepare for more of the same.As players go-I would like to see the Bucks resign Dunleavy. Redick…hmmm…just dont believe the team took advantage of his minimal BUT effective skill set- he’s leaving town. Ellis-grrrrrrr!
    His 3 pt. attempts are AWFUL-but, he has games where he knocks in 5 of 8 . Too much inconsistency from the arc. MUST be improved or limited # of attempts. Long rebounds are KILLERS on those missed 3s. Most other areas of offense are good for Ellis- defense, a whole different issue!

    Sign Brandon & TRADE him -Can we do that, sign n trade?
    Sannders,Ers,Henson,….ADD some quality pieces, youth and veteran.
    I EXPECT a better team next season…must move forward!

    Cant wait for November…. Hey Hammond ” WE NEED A S O L I D COACH”

  4. happyfeethustle

    On the issue of a SWEEP…well, the Bucks actually put themselves in position to WIN both games 3&4. Game 3 , Bucks had a 6pt. lead in the 3rd quarter-game 4, Bucks were within 2 baskets early in 4th quarter.
    Sloppy passing, weak rebounding,TURNOVERS, poor shot selection…Bucks didnt do anything WELL late in game. The Heat actually gave the Bucks a chance to get a HOME COURT win…just as the Bucks couldn’t move up to 7th seed late in season-they just CANT seem to take advantage of the opportunities to succeed!

    Final thought: Lets all try to think positive about the next Bucks season, There are possibilities for a BETTER team out there.

    Thanks Bucks :)

    • I am 110% with your comments except I think JJ just has too much of a bad taste in his mouth to “want” to play here no matter the money. But It’s just so tough to be positive right now. I would be a little more positive if we got a new, young, ambitious owner with a deep(er) pocketbook. I feel like Kohl just wants us to compete and thats it. I am officially not ok with that anymore.

  5. Anyone else having trouble with the site? Every time I come here it’s reverted back to the second game of the series being the lead story. Can’t seem to get it straight. Have to go to ESPN and redirect here that way.

    • This is first time since game 4 I’ve been able to see anything except old posts.

  6. My thoughts are the same as they were after the all-star break. Time to rebuild. No stars on our team now and no stars will want to come to Milwaukee via free agency. We have some nice young pieces. Lets build around that.

    There are legitimate super stars in 2014 and 2015 drafts. Now’s the time to pull the Oklahoma City Thunder. Teams that tried to do that the past 3 years just got punked, that’s why they still suck. If we did that we would have a young exciting team that fans could get excited about in time to get another arena before their lease runs up. Fans are smart enough to not get behind a mediocre team

    PS. i like the

    • idea of trading whatever pieces not sanders and henson and our 2013 draft pick for a 2013 top five pick, and let the rebuilding begin

  7. I think our priority right now is keeping the Bucks in Milwaukee. Am I the only one that is feeling a little nervous?

    Can someone please reassure me they’ll stay in Milwaukee?

    • they’ll most likely stay in Milwaukee because Stern doesn’t like moving teams anymore ex. New Orleans, Sacramento. I think he learned his lesson after the Seattle debacle. I still depise the Thunder because the Sonics with Kemp and Payton was a very fun team to watch and the Seattle crowd was excellent during those time.

  8. Heat fan here but I have to say I love this site. Its nice for a blogger to actually tell it like it is instead of wearing those delusional fan googles writers like to wear (New York, Chicago). I’ve actually visited this site perodically throughout the year because it almost always remains objective. Monta Ellis said he is just as good as Wade (A high minute functional guard that isn’t good at shooting 3s btw). I don’t think that is true right now but, if he changes his mindset to taking the ball to the basket more and increasing his rebounding and assists its possible. However, very few players commit to driving the ball to the basket instead of taking the easy long jumper when given. Anyway have a good one Bucks fans and better luck next year except against the Heat.

  9. a C for Boylan is ridiculously. he deserved a frickin F-. The dude just gave up a month and a half ago or he just is a terrible coach.