Overtime disappointment again: Cavaliers 114 — Bucks 111

Miroslav Raduljica was the Bucks' 14th different starter this season. (Photo by Mike Lawrie/Getty Images)
Miroslav Raduljica was the Bucks’ 14th different starter this season. (Photo by Mike Lawrie/Getty Images)
Milwaukee Bucks 111 Recap | Box Score 114 Cleveland Cavaliers
John Henson, PF Shot Chart 37 MIN | 7-12 FG | 4-4 FT | 10 REB | 3 AST | 0 STL | 2 BLK | 0 TO | 18 PTS | -17

Part of the reason the Bucks stayed close enough in the fourth quarter is that Henson protected the rim on one end and made all of his free throws on the other. Another solid double double.

Khris Middleton, PF Shot Chart 50 MIN | 5-15 FG | 0-0 FT | 7 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 14 PTS | +8

Back-to-back games of 50 or more minutes are a testament to how much Larry Drew counts on Middleton. His three-point shots were falling, but his shots on the move were mostly duds.

His missed boxout allowed the tip-in that forced overtime.

Miroslav Raduljica, C Shot Chart 17 MIN | 2-6 FG | 3-5 FT | 4 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 2 BLK | 1 TO | 7 PTS | -4

Raduljica started his first-ever NBA game, as Coach Drew elected to match Andrew Bynum’s size. After a 1-5 FG, plodding first half, Miroslav rustled up a pile of free throw attempts at the start of the third quarter when the tempo picked up.

Bynum made him look like a genuine first-time starter with a long up-and-under move for a dunk.

Brandon Knight, PG Shot Chart 35 MIN | 6-20 FG | 4-4 FT | 14 REB | 8 AST | 3 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 17 PTS | -5

Knight had 17 points, 14 rebounds, 8 assists and 3 steals to fill up the boxscore. In fact, no NBA player had posted numbers that high in each category until tonight.

But Knight still could do a better job directing the offense. His passes occasionally get deflected or miss their mark, and there aren’t enough of them. 20 shots is too many.

Also, Kyrie Irving scored 39 points.

Giannis Antetokounmpo, SG Shot Chart 23 MIN | 2-4 FG | 1-2 FT | 0 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 6 PTS | +1

Giannis Antetokounmpo, starting shooting guard, needs to better learn how to control his aggressiveness in the opening minutes. He can still be an above-average defender without fouling. Instead, he can lay back a bit and redirect his aggression to the defensive glass.

Random side note: If the Bucks are going to make him their inbounds pass defender in key situations, they need to make sure he knows the rules.  He is reaching his long arms way over the plane of the baseline.

Ekpe Udoh, PF Shot Chart 28 MIN | 4-7 FG | 2-2 FT | 6 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 10 PTS | +3

His defense was below his usual standard, but that’s a high standard. The rotations and switches were clunky instead of automatic. He had more than one professional offensive move in this game, so that was a nice bonus to see.

Nate Wolters, PG Shot Chart 18 MIN | 3-7 FG | 2-2 FT | 0 REB | 3 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 8 PTS | +2

Nate had an explosive finish to the first quarter. He stole a pass, drew a clear path foul, made the free throws, hit a layup, got another steal, drove and kicked the ball out for a three-pointer — the sum of which squeaked the Bucks ahead to a very unexpected one-point lead at the end of a mostly lousy first quarter.

He still hesitates to shoot jumpers, but his slashes to the rim are crisp, bold and useful for keeping defenses honest.

O.J. Mayo, SG Shot Chart 36 MIN | 6-21 FG | 5-6 FT | 7 REB | 4 AST | 1 STL | 2 BLK | 4 TO | 20 PTS | -4

He missed two looks at a game-tying three-pointer at the end of overtime. The second one was WIDE open. If it would have put a smile on his face, it would have been nice to see him get it.

Seven rebounds is a fine total for him, but his defense has so much ‘meh’ to it.

Two Things We Saw

  1. Brandon Knight can be a force on the boards. Of all the Bucks players, the one thing lost on TV is just how huge Knight is. He could stand in a lineup of linebackers and not look out of place. Combined with a nose for the ball and strong hands, he can be just the remedy the rebound-poor Bucks lacked in November.
  2. Henson hurt his knee late and did not finish the overtime session. That’s really the one big takeaway from this game that matters. Whether they ended the night 5-21 or 6-20 was more or less irrelevant. They need to get healthy and they need to have their future core playing and learning and growing. If this injury amounts to anything, it will be another sad day for the home team.

Categories: Recaps

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11 Comments

  1. I’m so happy that the Cavs were able to find themselves in the overtime period to win this ball game. Hope Henson is okay. The Bucks still need him to play major minutes and continue to grow. I don’t want to see that stunted. I hope Drew keeps playing the young guys as vets start returning from injury. This is a lost season and upper management must make a note of that. Continued losing is not a bad thing. No need to repeat that concept.

  2. It’s worth noting that Khris over 50 minutes in a team loss was +8; also, that because of his three-pointers, his shooting percentage was close to 50%; and finally, that he didn’t actually miss the boxout that allowed his man to force overtime because he was helping out on Kyrie Irving.
    Khris has a ways to go, but it would be nice if the staff at Bucksketball focused more on what he does than what he doesn’t do (like what is done for Giannis and Nate). As is indicated by KL in the Recap, Khris seems to be much better appreciated by, and to rate much higher with, Coach Drew. (I actually hope coach doesn’t give him too many minutes.)

    In other news, from the D-League, Kendall Marshall was called up by the Lakers, while Scott Suggs scored 28 points with 5-10 from the arc — but far be it for the Bucks to do anything creative with their roster (after all the success they’ve had for more than a decade doing it the conventional way).

    Sigh.

    • So…. Bucks FINALLY doing the youth movement, playing an oversized amazing talent at PG, drafting and playing youngest guy in the league, and acquiring enough young talent to be jealous of isn’t enough creativity? REALLY? Our young core includes Henson, Sanders, Giannis, Knight & Middleton, all of whom have high ceilings. The team has been hit by a rash of injuries this year and are finally healthy enough to try a few lineup experiments that i see you are always asking to see. So my question to you is since they are trying Giannis Henson & Miroslav starting to see what they got and Knight is finally healthy enough to show what he brings to the table, What are you really complaining about?? Despite the lack of success this season i’d personally say I have enjoyed this much more than the past 3 seasons! So if ur a real Bucks fan you’d know this is far different than anything that’s happened in recent years so sit back, remember you have zero GM experience, drink a few beers, relax and enjoy the development of our young team. Also, cut the Bucksketball staff some slack. It’s not easy covering a young struggling team

      • Your’re right, Josh, I have been asking to see the young guys; also, like you, I’m excited about much of what’s happening with the Bucks. Not only do our young guys show a lot of talent and potential, but they seem like genuinely good guys. This season could actually be a lot of fun.
        However, I have to wonder how much of this would be happening if it wasn’t for the many, many injuries. Do you really think Giannis and Khris would have been given this kind of an opportunity to show their stuff? How much was even John Henson playing earlier in the season? Mirsoslav was finally given a chance against the Mavs in garbage time and had a nice game; but then against the Knicks he was rewarded with a DNP despite two overtimes; and probably only because John was injured did he get some decent minutes to have another nice game against the Sixers.
        I’m a big fan of Brandon, but as I’ve said, he looks suspiciously like a shooting guard. I’ve also said repeatedly that I’m good with giving him a chance to develop as a point guard, but to me it seems like a really good idea to bring in another point guard to go along with Brandon — why put our entire future at that position on one guy. (I like Nate and hope he develops as a very good player with the Bucks, but I don’t think he’s ready for anything more than 15-20 minutes per game, if that). Why not bring in another point who is more of a natural at the position right now and give him a try, too, and see if he can help get the offense moving on a more consistent basis for the benefit of all of our guys?
        I know I may be way wrong on all of this, but I’m hoping that the staff at Bucksketball — and I compliment them fairly often in my comments — likes respectful differences of opinion, even if it becomes heated debate. I try to be careful with what I say, and sincere, and to be constructive even when critical, without any personal attacks. If I have crossed any lines in any ways, I am really and truly sorry. I’ll try listen to what others say about my comments, and try always to improve my game. I do mean well to all the staff and fans, and actually wish and pray the best for everyone.

  3. I haven’t read this site since the summer, but I met Jeremy Schmidt at the Knicks vs Bucks game Wednesday and he told me about your gradings from each game. I like this format for a post-game evaluation. Middleton has many good qualities and I am very happy with our young players. I know Knight looks like a linebacker and also can hit a jump shot, but am I the only one that finds him difficult to like? He just looks awkward, like he isn’t a natural basketball player. He will blow by someone and then dribble off his hip. His passes seem slightly behind or off the mark. Even his shots that go in, usually feel like bad shots. I just don’t like his tempo – he slows down when others are running. I don’t see him as PG long-term. Maybe more of a off-ball, bench guy. Thoughts?

    • Definitely agree with you he does not look like a point guard right now, although it is easy to see why he was taken so highly and why the bucks and the pistons want him to be a point guard. He possesses all of the physical tools(fast, strong, good stroke)to be a great point guard(but possibly too small to be a starting sg), if he could run an offense. The problem is he can’t run an offense; he cannot be relied on to get others good shots. Maybe that can be learned, but as of right now he is not good at it and that is why the offense looks a lot better with Wolters imo.

    • Hi to Chris, and also Socks and rowe49. Earlier this month, I asked one of the Bucksketball guys to do a feature on possible point guards for the Bucks to acquire to go along with and complement Brandon, not necessarily to replace him. My request was met with a resolute refusal.
      The writers at Bucksketball seem determined to go with Brandon at point guard for the entire season, without even trying an outside player at the same position to give the team another option. Brandon seems to have a lot of skills, and a good attitude, and could even be a star in the NBA — but he doesn’t necessarily have the creativity and intuition and tempo of a top point guard.
      At Bucksketball, they seem happy with Nate and Luke to go along with Brandon this season; I think we should try someone else. While I’m good with Brandon getting an opportunity to learn on the job as a point guard, I don’t like relying on him as much as the team currently does. I wanted the Bucks to at least consider Kendall Marshall, for example, who set the ACC record for assists in a season; who played with John Henson at UNC; and who was taken one place ahead of John in the 2012 draft.
      At any rate, even though I might be way wrong in all of this, what strikes me is that Bucksketball has been so totally unwilling to even consider my point of view. It would just be nice to know who’s out there, on the benches of NBA teams, or in the D-League, who could possibly be worth a try at the point. Another option would be to trade a couple of our veterans (definitely not John, Larry, Giannis, or Khris) for a more proven point guard.
      The key for me is to find a guy who is at least somewhat more tuned into passing than shooting, and who has a knack for directing a team and distributing the ball. I think all of the players on the Bucks are currently suffering for lack of this kind of player, and so are the fans.
      I like and respect the staff at Bucksketball, but this has been rather frustrating — and no, I don’t like being a lone wolf (as one fan has insinuated in the past), and would actually appreciate the company if anyone happened to agree with me in whole or in part.

      • It sounds like you are a little upset at the writers here about this – which is fine, but I’m glad you didn’t leave the community here and are still sharing your thoughts. Of course, I agree with you, but I’m also not disappointed that Knight is on this team. He allowed us to get Kris Middleton! I also like that his style is so different from Wolters because it gives the organization the chance to see both and then determine how to proceed. I hope Knight plays well and if our staff doesn’t think he can improve his instincts – I would be happy to see him traded for other pieces and then draft a point guard. I truly think we have found our back-up PG in Wolters for the next 4-5 years.

        • Thanks, Chris, for the nice words. I’m glad we have Brandon, too, and think that if the point guard thing doesn’t work out, he could still be really good at shooting guard. I acually think he could possibly be a star in the NBA, possibly at the one, more likely at the two. He seems to have a really good attitude to go along with really good skills. I’m not saying I know a lot about Brandon, but from my impressions of him, I’d be very reluctant to let him go.

  4. In the NBA it’s not all that hard to score 17 points if you shoot 20 times. How many games will it take for the Bucks to call off the “Brandon Knight point guard” experiment?