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Milwaukee Bucks 94 Final
Recap | Box Score
113 Detroit Pistons
Ersan Ilyasova, PF 16 MIN | 1-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 2 PTS | -16

When the Pistons weren’t scoring in transition in the first quarter, they were getting three-pointers from Brandon Jennings and turnarounds from Greg Monroe over Ilyasova. Other than that, Ersan’s impact on this game was negligible.

Khris Middleton, PF 21 MIN | 5-9 FG | 2-2 FT | 5 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 14 PTS | -10

Middleton started in place of Caron Butler. While he provided a bit more energy and defense, he wasn’t a difference maker in any real way.

Zaza Pachulia, C 17 MIN | 2-3 FG | 4-4 FT | 1 REB | 2 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 8 PTS | -9

He had to jump center for the opening tip against Andre Drummond. He had to play center against Andre Drummond. He wasn’t suited for either. Among Bucks bigs, Pachulia has the worst opponent field goal percentage within five feet of the rim: 56.0% (data from NBA.com/stats). Tonight’s performance won’t help that bad number get any better.

Brandon Knight, PG 21 MIN | 2-7 FG | 4-6 FT | 0 REB | 4 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 6 TO | 8 PTS | -12

If there’s one thing that sank the Bucks, it was that Knight really wasn’t attuned to the rest of his offense. Each of the Pistons’ starters had a first-quarter steal and Knight’s four first-quarter turnovers helped Detroit jump to a 38-18 lead. He flunked this test, but it’s early in the semester still. The one bright spot: dribble penetration that led to a few free throws.

O.J. Mayo, SG 25 MIN | 1-4 FG | 3-4 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 5 PTS | -20

O.J. Mayo played 25 minutes in this game? I demand a recount.

John Henson, PF 22 MIN | 7-12 FG | 1-2 FT | 7 REB | 1 AST | 2 STL | 2 BLK | 1 TO | 15 PTS | -13

At this point, one has to wonder if Larry Drew is being too loyal to the player who came with him to Milwaukee from Atlanta: Zaza Pachulia. Henson has infinitely more skill as a scorer and as a defender. Even his defensive rebounding percentage has crept past Pachulia’s. It’s time.

Caron Butler, SF 27 MIN | 2-7 FG | 2-2 FT | 5 REB | 3 AST | 1 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 8 PTS | -9

Rome wasn’t built in a day. Caron Butler didn’t make a whole-hearted appeal to get re-inserted into the staring lineup in one game.

Nate Wolters, PG 17 MIN | 4-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 3 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 8 PTS | +11

Wolters looked like the most competent point guard on the team on this particular evening, but that’s an easier feat when you don’t have to demonstrate those skills before garbage time. He had some nice finishes at the rim when the Detroit defense cared the least.

Luke Ridnour, PG 10 MIN | 0-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 4 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 0 PTS | -18

Other having 4 assists and dropping a +/- bomb of -18 in ten minutes played, his boxscore line was virtually empty.

Giannis Antetokounmpo, SG 12 MIN | 2-6 FG | 2-2 FT | 4 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 6 PTS | +7

He tried the Dirk one-legged stepback again. It missed. Moments later, he airballed a jumper. He did manage two dunks, one of which was a swooping, graceful ballet number.

Gary Neal, SG 23 MIN | 5-11 FG | 2-2 FT | 4 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 14 PTS | +1

Down by 28 early in the fourth quarter, the Bucks made a back-door, garbage-time run to cut the deficit to 18 with five minutes left, then Nate Wolters found Neal with a pass that got him a wide-open three-point look. It was the first catch-and-shoot that I’ve seen Neal take as a Buck that was truly off by a large margin.

Larry Drew

Larry Drew asserted after the Bobcats game that such a lackluster effort would never again occur under his watch. Less than 48 hours later, it did.

Three Things We Saw

  1. Brandon Jennings made four of his five shots in the first quarter, all from three-point range. Charlie Villanueva made four of his five shots in the second quarter. The scorned Bucks got their revenge. Jennings, in particular, played with a spiteful edge. To no one’s great surprise, he plays better in those situations.
  2. The Pistons had seven players score in double figures: their starters, plus Rodney Stuckey and Villanueva. Their field-goal attempt totals: 11, 10, 10, 10, 10, 9, 9. That’s an extremely even shot distribution.
  3. One inconceivably miserable first half of basketball. The Bucks trailed at the half, 65-34, leaving fans in need of two aspirin and many more ping pong balls.