|John Henson, PF 27 MIN | 3-8 FG | 2-4 FT | 5 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 8 PTS | -11
Oh, the struggle When Milwaukee went big down the stretch, he manned the power forward slot opposite Dirk Nowitzki and really struggled playing pick and roll defense against Monta Ellis and Nowitzki or anyone else Nowitzki screened for. He looked lost. Sometimes he hedged, sometimes he didn’t, either way, he rarely made an impact.
|Caron Butler, SF 38 MIN | 7-19 FG | 2-3 FT | 13 REB | 3 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 19 PTS | -1
In five games this season, Butler has had more points than shots just twice. That’s not ideal for one of the team’s leaders in shot attempts and minutes. He took more than one questionable shot down the stretch, which Larry Drew surely thought about as he chastised his team’s selfish play late in the fourth quarter when talking to the media after the game. On the plus side, he was one of precious few Bucks grabbing rebounds.
|Zaza Pachulia, C 38 MIN | 1-6 FG | 2-3 FT | 7 REB | 1 AST | 3 STL | 1 BLK | 3 TO | 4 PTS | -1
The magic finally went away for both Pachuila and Wolters. His 38 minutes came on the heels of a 41 minute night and it’s safe to say it’s dangerous/less than ideal if Zaza Pachulia is averaging nearly 40 minutes over any stretch of games for your basketball team. He does the whole toughness thing pretty well, but he’ll have more games like this one than he will like Wednesday night.
|Nate Wolters, PG 36 MIN | 2-6 FG | 1-2 FT | 3 REB | 5 AST | 2 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 5 PTS | -9
Much like Pachuila, midnight finally came for Wolters. He kept his turnovers down, but wasn’t really able to contribute much else offensively for a team that definitely needed someone to contribute more offensively. I’m fine with a team that’s shooting threes a lot, but someone needs to be able to get to the basket every now and then. Wolters did not do that.
|O.J. Mayo, SG 37 MIN | 11-20 FG | 2-2 FT | 6 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 6 TO | 28 PTS | -3
He may have been a little too inspired at times against the team that cast him aside after last season, but Mayo was at least working to create some shots. His six turnovers were a sign of a bit too much aggression, but it’s hard to complain about this sort of shooting night.
|Khris Middleton, PF 18 MIN | 2-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 6 PTS | +6
He wasn’t crushed by Dirk when he had to guard him in a small ball lineup in the fourth quarter, but he couldn’t help on the glass like the Bucks sorely needed. His spot-up 3-point shooting game is strong, but he can’t contribute much else on offense. Even with Dirk Nowitzki on him, the Bucks still didn’t look his way to create anything.
|Ekpe Udoh, PF 12 MIN | 0-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTS | -5
As Ekpe would say: Yeesh. DeJuan Blair showed him what was what on the glass.
|Brandon Knight, PG 15 MIN | 3-7 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 6 PTS | -6
For essentially his debut, not too bad. He certainly exhibited some rust, but that’s to be expected. His first half was very sloppy and disjointed and he doesn’t really show signs of being a “playmaker”, but let’s let this thing develop before we make decisions. I think Nate Wolters showed us tonight that more than a few games are necessary before we anoint anyone anything.
He’s still figuring this team out and I think they are still figuring out what they want from him. Something’s going to have to give at some point. Drew was visibly displeased after the game, citing how much this game reminded him of what he’s already seen this season.
“I’m tired of playing comeback basketball,” he said. “I really am. It just takes too much out of you, which I told our guys. Just a carbon copy of our game up in New York, our game in Boston. We get down because offensively we don’t execute, we don’t move the ball, we keep the ball on one side of the floor and we just start playing one on one. And for us, that is a recipe for disaster for us.”
He went small in the fourth quarter with Butler and Middleton as his forwards, but again was willing to switch it up down the stretch when he brought in Henson for Middleton. Nothing worked.
Three Things We Saw
- No Giannis again, which will surely upset some people.
- Monta Ellis was the hot-button issue all night. He finished with 18 points on 6-14 FG. He was typically balanced in his drives to shoot and drives to pass, but didn’t get a ton of help from his teammates on finishes. He scored just six points in the second half as Milwaukee made sure a few defenders met him near the rim more often. He referred to himself in third person after the game, just for old time’s sake.
- Milwaukee was down 34-19 after the first quarter, which is very much like most first quarters for the Bucks this season.