The Odd Couple. Bucks 105 – Celtics 98
|Caron Butler, SF 27 MIN | 2-8 FG | 2-2 FT | 6 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 8 PTS | -3
Butler did not play well early in the game, but he hit a game-tying three and made a clutch steal that sealed the game for the Bucks.
|Larry Sanders, C 18 MIN | 2-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 4 BLK | 1 TO | 4 PTS | -18
Vitor Faverani, who went undrafted in 2009 and wasn’t signed until this year, made Sanders look like a punk. Faverani had 18 rebounds (and six blocks) and pushed Sanders around all game. This time, it wasn’t foul trouble, but Sanders own poor play that kept him out of the game.
|Gary Neal, SG 26 MIN | 4-11 FG | 4-6 FT | 1 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 14 PTS | -17
Neal scored 14 points quickly, but sputtered out shortly after that. As the starting point guard, he failed to create for other players on the court with him. With Neal on the court, the Bucks reverted to the same poor ball movement they had against the Knicks. Neal will work much when Luke Ridnour and Brandon Knight return.
|John Henson, PF 25 MIN | 6-11 FG | 2-4 FT | 9 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 14 PTS | +28
Like just about everything in the first half, the Henson-Pachulia pairing didn’t work out very well. The first few minutes of them checking into the game saw the Celtics getting a lot of looks near the basket. We’ll have to take another look at the tape, but something definitely clicked for the two big men because Henson and Pachulia were definitely the defensive anchors for the comeback.
|Zaza Pachulia, C 30 MIN | 5-10 FG | 10-10 FT | 9 REB | 4 AST | 2 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 20 PTS | +25
For the second straight game, Pachulia was arguably the best Bucks player. He brought steady production on the boards and stemmed the rising tide of Faverani. He has been a great safety valve for Wolters
|Nate Wolters, PG 29 MIN | 5-10 FG | 3-3 FT | 2 REB | 6 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 14 PTS | +23
What is there to say about Nate Wolters that hasn’t been said about Meryl Streep’s acting. Wolters looked much more comfortable tonight which makes sense considering that he’s playing against a scrub Celtics team instead of making his NBA debut at Madison Square Garden. Wolters long three and floater early in the fourth started the game-saving run in the fourth quarter. He’s a good candidate to be everyone’s favorite Buck by the end of the season.
|Giannis Antetokounmpo, SG 12 MIN | 2-5 FG | 1-2 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 5 PTS | +11
A+ for Giannis dunks.
There were points in the first half where I wondered what exactly Larry Drew had the team do during practices. He made good second half adjustments that won the game and that’s all that matters. The Bucks can’t keep falling behind by 20 though and I would like to see them go for transition baskets more.
Four Things We Saw
- The Bucks bench dropped 66 points tonight and all the bench players had a double-digit plus-minus. The bench looks better than the starters on both sides of the ball. Even without injured players returning, expect some lineup changes for the home opener.
- Wolters looks like he favors going to the left even though he’s a right hand shooter. Or it could be that defenses are forcing him left. Either way, he has to get his left-hand up to par quickly.
- Henson looked good in post-ups. He’s even more impressive since Pachulia and Sanders don’t create much space for him.
- Happy home opener!