|Khris Middleton, PF 23 MIN | 3-9 FG | 0-0 FT | 7 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 1 BLK | 2 TO | 7 PTS | -13
Middleton played a decent game after starting at small forward against LeBron James. He seemed to be a small obstacle for James to score on and that’s about the most you can expect out of a second-year player guarding the best player in the world. On offense he showed good aggression with the ball but failed to finish at the rim multiple times. His rebounding was also much better than against Dallas on Saturday. I was pleased, despite him getting nutmegged by Mario Chalmers.
|Caron Butler, SF 25 MIN | 4-15 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 10 PTS | -15
If you’re gonna shoot, you might as well shoot. Butler has taken control of his role as “scorer” despite his inability to score. Is there much more I need to say besides he shot 4-15? That, my friends, is a bad shooting night.
|Zaza Pachulia, C 18 MIN | 1-4 FG | 1-1 FT | 5 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 3 PTS | -10
Thousands of people picked up Pachulia in fantasy basketball last week. Thousands will drop him tomorrow morning. He saw less minutes than he’s seen recently which is a good sign for fans who want to see the young guys play. Perhaps Drew truly does give playing time to the players who play well. What a concept!
|Nate Wolters, PG 24 MIN | 4-8 FG | 1-2 FT | 3 REB | 3 AST | 3 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 9 PTS | -10
Second-straight struggle game for Wolters with most of the point guard playing time going to Brandon Knight in the second half. However, I’m still judging Wolters as a second round pick. And he played well for a second round pick in his sixth game. He looked relatively composed and displayed confidence while taking the ball up the floor. His defense on Chalmers, however, was not good as he just didn’t have the quickness to keep up with him. He’s a rookie. There will be peaks and valleys. Tonight was a small valley.
|O.J. Mayo, SG 25 MIN | 2-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 3 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 6 PTS | -23
The lowest scoring game of the season for Mayo was not because of poor shooting. But rather an inability to find shots against a stifling Heat defense. He struggled to guard Wade early on and saw little playing time when the game became a blow-out in the second half.
|Ekpe Udoh, PF 17 MIN | 2-6 FG | 3-4 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 7 PTS | -9
I’m a big fan of Ekpe Udoh as a person. I’m in his book club! But as an NBA player … woof. Not looking good right now. His offense is non-existent. His rebounding is even less noticeable. Hopefully this is just some post-injury rust.
|John Henson, PF 25 MIN | 7-10 FG | 4-4 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 18 PTS | -15
The long-arm outlaw (just go with it) looked great on offense going 7-10 for 18 points in just 25 minutes. His hook was smooth and he reacted quickly when he got the ball. Reduce hesitation, increase points. It’s science. You’d like to see him grab more boards but he was often pulled out of the paint to guard Chris Bosh. Another solid game for Henson against the Heat.
|Miroslav Raduljica, C 11 MIN | 0-0 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTS | +3
He played in his first NBA game. He’s still seven-foot-one. And he still can’t move. There’s not enough to grade him on.
|Brandon Knight, PG 24 MIN | 0-2 FG | 6-6 FT | 0 REB | 6 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 4 TO | 6 PTS | -13
He was able to get some stress-free playing time in the second half and showed necessary creativity. He drove with a purpose, seeming to know his next step before the defender. He unfortunately lost the ball in traffic too many times before he could get his pass off. But it was a promising performance on offense with him getting to the line six times and collecting six assists. Hopefully he just gets better tomorrow night in Orlando.
|Giannis Antetokounmpo, SG 22 MIN | 4-8 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 11 PTS | -1
He made the first three-pointer of his NBA career. And the second. And the third. It was a joy to watch him shoot and I hope he impressed Coach Larry Drew enough to get more playing time tomorrow night. He is still EXTREMELY raw. But, uh, he’s eighteen years old. Raw is what you have to expect. His natural length, athleticism, and sweet three-point stroke are what’s unexpected.
|Gary Neal, SG 26 MIN | 6-11 FG | 3-4 FT | 3 REB | 4 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 18 PTS | -9
Neal and Butler shot 32.9 percent of the Bucks shots tonight. I don’t know what else to tell you. Neal happened to make most of his, however.
Not much more you can expect from Drew. He tried his best with an extremely inferior team and was willing to go young when the Heat pulled away in the second half. I’d love to see more Wolters/Knight action.
Four Things We Saw
- LeBron James is very good at basketball.
- This is going to be a long six weeks. We all knew interior defense would be a problem without Sanders. But seeing the Heat have their way in the paint early-on was quite disheartening. It was as close to a layup line for the Heat as you’ll ever see in an NBA game.
- I don’t know if I’m going to be able to handle a whole season of Gary Neal pulling up for three. And it’s only November. **deep breath**
- Bucks will jump on a bus traveling north tonight for tomorrow night’s game in Orlando. Expect my AMAZING preview sometime tomorrow morning. Y’all excited. I know it.