Nothing for Nets: Nets 90 – Bucks 82

"Guard to Lopez" was on repeat Saturday. (Photo by Gary Dineen/NBAE via Getty Images)
“Guard to Lopez” was on repeat Saturday. (Photo by Gary Dineen/NBAE via Getty Images)
Brooklyn Nets 90 Final
Recap | Box Score
82 Milwaukee Bucks
John Henson, PF 34 MIN | 8-15 FG | 2-6 FT | 7 REB | 3 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 18 PTS | -13

He’s certainly had his struggles when matched against these big centers. Lopez was way too strong for him and even Andray Blatche had a moment where he overpowered the slight Henson. He stayed active and involved in Milwaukee’s offense, but the whole team struggled to find much success on that end throughout the evening. Henson attempted four jump shots outside the paint, which felt high, though I haven’t taken the time to confirm that four jump shots is a big number in a game for him. He made one, which feels about right.

Khris Middleton, PF 37 MIN | 3-9 FG | 2-2 FT | 6 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 9 PTS | -10

Back to life, came Khris Middleton. For the most part, he was getting jump shot looks, but not in the same volume and perhaps at not quite the same quality. He attacked on at least a possession or two, but the general aggressiveness and size combination of Garnett and Lopez inside seemed more intimidating than what Washington was offering up on Friday night.

Ekpe Udoh, PF 26 MIN | 0-1 FG | 0-2 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTS | +2

He’s still working through a foot/ankle injury, so matching up with a touch hungry Brook Lopez probably wasn’t his favorite thing Saturday night. Lopez was too strong and too mobile for Ekpe, who ended up battling foul trouble while battling Lopez all night. He offered little resistance for the talented big man and contributed his typical line, light on rebounds.

Brandon Knight, PG 37 MIN | 3-12 FG | 2-2 FT | 6 REB | 3 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 10 PTS | -12

Unable to build on a strong finish against the Wizards, which reminded me that game to game momentum is kind of a stupid idea. Sometimes a player figures out something that he’s doing wrong or something that he could do more with success and he’ll improve and put a consistent stretch together. Other times, guys will just shoot well for a while for whatever reason. But momentum doesn’t really seem to mean all that much, especially not for Knight, who still seems out of control and unsure of his position at point guard in games. Not every game, but in some games. In this game.

O.J. Mayo, SG 35 MIN | 7-16 FG | 6-6 FT | 4 REB | 5 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 22 PTS | 0

He did more than pretty much anyone else on the offensive end, not to say he did all that much. 20 points on 7-16 FG is a good second guy line, but Mayo isn’t the second guy in Milwaukee, so the Bucks had more offensive issues against the Nets.

Ersan Ilyasova, PF 29 MIN | 2-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 5 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 4 PTS | -7

When people talk about “The Struggle” I don’t think they typically are referring to this season that Ersan Ilyasova is having, but it’d fit. He looked very frustrated as he marched to the bench when Larry Drew pulled him out of the game for the final time with 3:10 to play and the Bucks down eight.

Miroslav Raduljica, C 9 MIN | 3-5 FG | 2-2 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 8 PTS | -1

He got surprise minutes with Zaza Pachulia out and the rest of Milwaukee’s big men collecting fouls early like small children grabbing at fireflies on a summer night. To his credit, he made the most of his opportunity. Twice he drew and-1s and connected on both free throws. He didn’t provide much relief against Brook Lopez, but at least he was a strong presence as a finisher on the other end.

Larry Drew

It seems like he should have just given Miroslav a real shot, rather than trot out an injured and undersized to begin with Ekpe Udoh, but Drew has watched a lot more Miroslav Raduljica in his life than I have, so I suppose I’ll defer on the matter to him. Also he is the coach and I don’t really have a say. Drew knew Lopez was going to be an issue and he definitely ended up being an issue.

Two Things We Saw

  1. “Brook Lopez is such a load, and certainly we’re going to need every big man available to try and defend him. It’s going to be a really interesting night to say the least, particularly because we are two big men short. We know the problem that Lopez poses down in the post, so we’re really going to have to be good tonight.” That’s what Drew said before the game about Lopez. How prophetic! 32 points on 11-13 FG and 10-11 FT. Whew.
  2. Not much life from the Bucks, who fell to 1-6 in the second night of a back-to-back. The Bucks have have yet to score 100 points and often looked lifeless in game twos. Of course, they are 3-9 in all other games, so it’s not like the first games – or any games – have been great either.

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    • Seems like he’s guaranteed at least a basket a game off the baseline drive to the basket. So that’s something. And he had a nice block on Blatche with his help defense.

      He came out the gate more aggressive with his shot, taking two three pointers within probably the first minute he came in, but his lack of aggression driving to the rim is disappointing.

      Part of that is by Drew’s game plan, but also because Giannis doesn’t want to turn it over. But he’s already proven to be an exceptional slasher, and should look to do so more with the ball in his hands. He can draw fouls with his length and quickness pretty easily.

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