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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.