Bucks bamboozled by Spencer Hawes, Sixers, 115-107 (OT)

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At one point on this dunk, Ersan Ilyasova made the Air Jordan pose. I swear he did. (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)


Milwaukee Bucks 107 Recap | Box Score 115 Philadelphia 76ers
Ersan Ilyasova, PF 41 MIN | 9-17 FG | 0-0 FT | 6 REB | 6 AST | 3 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 19 PTS | -6

Ilyasova shook awake a sleepy start and played a magnificent 2nd quarter. He parlayed a rare speed advantage (against Spencer Hawes, who started at power forward) into ball pressure, charges drawn, on-ball pressure, a steal, and lots of open jumpers. He even baited Hawes into a technical foul with one savvy charge drawn. For the first time this season, he looked like good ol’ Ers.

Caron Butler, SF 36 MIN | 13-22 FG | 8-11 FT | 8 REB | 3 AST | 3 STL | 0 BLK | 4 TO | 38 PTS | -7

After three games near the 80-point mark, the Bucks got 102 points in regulation in part because their leading scorer had 38 all by himself. Lots of smooth finishing at the rim propelled him to 17 first-half points. In the fourth quarter he pushed the Bucks to a lead by sandwiching two long jumpers around getting fouled on a three-point shot. That triggered a 16-point, fourth quarter supernova. Butler also grabbed 8 rebounds.  There’s still hope that a Butler-Ilyasova-Sanders starting frontline might not get crushed on the defensive glass. Unfortunately, every other frontcourt combination Larry Drew has tried this season has.

Zaza Pachulia, C 34 MIN | 3-8 FG | 1-1 FT | 6 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 7 PTS | +3

Maybe it will get better when he’s in the game against backups, but Pachulia’s inability to elevate is a real issue. He just can’t get up in the air. As a result, shots near the rim that should be rather easy become tough, contested attempts — often misses. He went 1-6 on shots in the paint, while also passing up shots and turning the ball over trying to find daylight to squeeze off a shot. Lack of elevation also means he doesn’t contest/block shots.

Luke Ridnour, PG 34 MIN | 1-7 FG | 1-2 FT | 4 REB | 9 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 4 PTS | +3

Opposing starting point guard Michael Carter-Williams had 12 points, 11 assists, 8 rebounds, 5 steals, and a block.

O.J. Mayo, SG 36 MIN | 3-12 FG | 3-4 FT | 0 REB | 8 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 9 PTS | -5

Mayo had 8 assists and 0 turnovers. When driving to the rim or in transition, he kept his eyes open for players in position to finish at the rim or draw a foul. In overtime he tried to look for his own shot (0-4 FG), a shot that had escaped him for most of the night. He wasn’t any great shakes on defense either.
Also: 0 rebounds in 36 minutes. That seems hard to do.

Ekpe Udoh, PF 12 MIN | 3-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 2 TO | 6 PTS | -2

I was going to joke that we should nickname Udoh as “Lord Kelvin”, because he’s an absolute zero on offense. Then he made two open midrange jump shots in the early part of the fourth quarter and now I have to retract that joke.

John Henson, PF 19 MIN | 2-4 FG | 1-2 FT | 3 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 3 BLK | 0 TO | 5 PTS | -12

If there’s a difference between the way John Henson played last season vs. this season, it lies in his improvement as a help defender. When his teammates get beat out on the perimeter, he now gets over in time to contest shots at the rim. He showed this new skill multiple times in Philly. He blocked three shots and got shortchanged by the scoring table on another.  On the other hand, he again got bumped away from defensive rebounds far too easily.

Nate Wolters, PG 18 MIN | 3-5 FG | 1-2 FT | 1 REB | 4 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 7 PTS | -3

He didn’t look significantly worse or better than Ridnour. He hit one of three jump shots and finished his other two shots in the paint. I would still personally give him more minutes because he’s the closest thing the Bucks have at the moment as a threat to dribble in the paint and finish a shot there.

Giannis Antetokounmpo, DNP-CD

Yes, Butler was great, but I miss Giannis.

Larry Drew

Up by three points in the final moments of regulation, the Bucks only needed to prevent a three-pointer to walk away with a win. He should have used his best defenders. Instead, he used a bad defender playing on a sore foot: Gary Neal. After a switch, Spencer Hawes buried a three-pointer over him. Maybe it had no impact on the play, but that’s not a good choice.

Three Things We Saw

  1. Spencer Hawes World Domination Game. Called it.
  2. The Bucks forced 26 turnovers, but allowed the 76ers to shoot 57% from the field. Woof.
  3. The Bucks yielded 10 offensive rebounds, and only got 22 defensive rebounds themselves. Spencer Hawes got an offensive rebound while lying on his back, which is the kind of thing you do in your world domination game.

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  1. Yawn… a dismal and boring season, without the consolation of developing young guys. So few minutes for John and Khris, none for Giannis. This franchise is so adrift, I don’t know if five lottery picks would make a difference…. Sigh!

  2. Why did the Bucks lose the game tonight? I’ll give you two obvious reasons:

    Za Za Pachulia- 34 minutes. 7 points 6 rebounds.
    Luke Ridnour- 34 minutes. 4 points 3 turnovers.

    Until Larry Drew stops giving major minutes to career back up journeymen like these two … the Bucks will continue to blow these kinds of games and worse. Injuries are no longer an excuse.

    Example- Potential starter John Henson plays 19 minutes. The 76ers are a perimeter 3 point shooting team. Why in the world would you play Pachulia instead of Henson? In the final two minutes Hawes hits 3-3’s because we don’t have a big man on the court to contest him from perimeter. HELLO JOHN HENSON!

    Since it’s the JFK anniversery I will call it the “tanking conspiracy”.

    ps- So who does John Henson have to sleep with to play 30 minutes a night and even – god forbid- START a game?

    • This is exactly my thoughts. I’m starting to wonder if Drew is taking the “Skiles” approach where he wants Henson to sit a good amount before taking a bigger load next season. It is possible; I think that Drew doesn’t believe in his own team and wants to give his guys time to learn and develop more. He’s came to the conclusion that this team can’t do anything and may just be trying to help them lose and gain a top tier player next year. I personally don’t have a problem with that.

      Don’t forget that I really believe if Ersan has a strong year going into the trade deadline that he could be a really strong asset. Either way as long as he’s on the Bucks it is going to be a road block from getting Henson major minutes. It will either be trading him or letting him walk in free agency and he is far too valuable to pass up getting a return on your investment.

    • Also… it’s not really fair to Zaza and Luke to play them so many minutes; it’s too much, and doesn’t bring out the best in them.
      I have to hand it to Ersan, he usually plays good basketball for us, and is sometimes outstanding. Yet, as brandon writes, it might be a good time to trade him, along with another guy or two (Caron is trending up… for one game, at least), for the point guard we so desperately need to maintain some semblance of order and enthusiasm on the court. If guys like Jrue Holiday and Drew Bledsoe have been tradeable, I wonder who might be out there for us to acquire at quarterback. Even if we get Parker or Wiggins, we’re going to need someone to get them the ball, and to provide leadership for all of our guys.
      Go Bucks!… but they seem almost unbearably abysmal and unworthy of watching right now. I’m so much hoping for something to change that as soon as possible. More minutes for John and Khris, maybe for Giannis and Nate, the return of Brandon and eventually Larry, would be a big help… at least glimmers of hope. Help!

  3. This was infuriating to listen to…oh the f@@king disgrace of this loss.

    FINALLY the Bucks rack up some points, a pleasant offensive outburst…only to piss the game away with poorly executed possessions and DEFENSE!

    I’m guilty of being too lenient on entire team, as well as Mr. Drew (can’t call him coach right now)-the lack of focus and accountability is bewildering. My brain is swimming with the what’s,why’s,how’s,what for,can they
    when’s,how the hells….. UGH.

    How long before this team completely disintegrates,and goes to the crapper…starts blaming each other and turns back on Mr.Drew? Not even a full month in, already a disaster…

  4. Im glad they lost. I dont want to win if the vets are playing the majority of the minutes. It doesnt help with the draft or player development

  5. I knew this team wasn’t going to be very good but I honestly didnt think they were gonna this bad…I mean losing to Philly is pretty terrible

  6. Philly is better than most people thought they’d be primarily because Michael Carter-Williams is seemingly, and somewhat unexpectedly, a stud in the making. The Bucks, on the other hand, healthy or not, are a BAD team. And you guys should be thanking the good lord for it. A franchise type player is potentially in the works. Capitulate the season. Reap the benefits later. How is this really any worse than the last ten years? The eight seed is really tiresome. Time to lose big and start over from scratch.
    If there is one thing that I am in agreement with, is that the young players like Henson and Giannis should get the bulk of the playing time. Its not like they’re gonna win more games with them playing. However, the experience they will gain for the future will be immeasurable. Here’s hoping for more minutes for those fellas in the very near future.

  7. Only a dummy wouldn’t be happy about the win today. 1 win closer to a high lottery pick. GO BUCKS LOSE!

  8. I might be the worst Bucks fan for wishing this but I hope we lose every game until Brandon and Larry get back. I’m not going to be excited about a bunch of vets winning, but I would like to see the team do better once our young pieces get back. I want to see knight mayo middleton/giannis Henson and sanders win some games to boost their confidence and potential for next season. Add in a top 8 pick and we could really have something next year especially if we can show that we can get some wins with the young guys we have this year. I don’t want to lose every game when those guys come back, even if it means a couple spots lower on the draft board. I want our young guys to show us something that will make us believe that we CAN contend if we get a star, because the star wont be able to do it alone.

  9. So when do we trade off Ersan?

    I love him, but he would be infinitely more useful on a good contending team. They have balked at trading him in past years and if ever there was a team he is being wasted on it is this years squad.

    • Im sure they’ll do a bonehead trade wit the Rockets for Asik because lord knows the Bucks never can have too many backup Centers

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