Another contender for worst game ever: Hawks 112 – Bucks 87

It’s pretty much unbearably cold outside. Last night, as I walked home from the Bradley Center, when I checked the weather, it “felt like” -4, thanks to a wind that hit me over and over like a trained boxer. It was miserable.

People couldn’t wait to get back into that weather last night and out of the Bradley Center though. Near the end of the third quarter, the masses started pouring out, having had enough of yet another truly embarrassing performance from the Milwaukee Bucks.

A lot of times when prospects have the physical talent of a Giannis Antetokounmpo or the apparent ability at a young age of a Lebron James, analysts remark about how they don’t want to put a ceiling on that guy. They don’t want to say what he could or couldn’t be, because he could blow away everyone that came before him. That’s kind of how I feel about the Bucks at this point.

I don’t want to put a basement on this group. Every time we think we’ve seen their worst, they come out and surprise us yet again with even worse effort, even worse execution and even worse basketball than we’ve ever seen before. This is the worst Bucks team that I’ve ever watched in my lifetime and I’m not sure it’s all that close. Earlier this season there was a lot of talk about how these guys were more fun than last year’s team, and I still would rather have this team than that team, because at least they are moving in a more logical direction now, but make no mistake, nothing about this team is fun to watch.

If every player on this roster, sans potentially three or four, isn’t shopped as aggressively as possible over the next month it would be a huge disappointment.

OJ Mayo trying to steal the ball, probably after turning it over. (AP Photo/Jeffrey Phelps)
OJ Mayo trying to steal the ball, probably after turning it over. (AP Photo/Jeffrey Phelps)
Atlanta Hawks 112 Final
Recap | Box Score
87 Milwaukee Bucks
Ersan Ilyasova, PF Shot Chart 21 MIN | 5-15 FG | 1-1 FT | 13 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 11 PTS | -23

Terrific at missing the softest attempts at the rim and then corralling the rebound to miss again.

Larry Sanders, C Shot Chart 21 MIN | 0-5 FG | 1-2 FT | 4 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 1 PTS | -17

Unclear if he was aware basketball was happening.

Luke Ridnour, PG Shot Chart 15 MIN | 1-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 3 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 2 PTS | -10

Shouldn’t be playing.

Brandon Knight, PG Shot Chart 36 MIN | 11-15 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 5 AST | 1 STL | 1 BLK | 4 TO | 27 PTS | -25

Is the only player on this team capable of contributing mostly every night on offense. Doesn’t play the right position.

Giannis Antetokounmpo, SG Shot Chart 25 MIN | 2-6 FG | 1-2 FT | 2 REB | 2 AST | 1 STL | 1 BLK | 4 TO | 5 PTS | +3

Hobbled around with an injured back. Fouled everyone, turned it over often. Looked bad.

Khris Middleton, PF Shot Chart 31 MIN | 5-9 FG | 1-2 FT | 1 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 11 PTS | -24

Makes shots. Does nothing else. Didn’t make that many.

Caron Butler, SF Shot Chart 15 MIN | 5-9 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 10 PTS | -5

Veteran lead this team into another pathetic outing.

Miroslav Raduljica, C Shot Chart 11 MIN | 0-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTS | +4

Couldn’t get off the bench early and contributed nothing when he did.

John Henson, C Shot Chart 28 MIN | 5-8 FG | 0-2 FT | 10 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 2 BLK | 1 TO | 10 PTS | -19

Can’t find consistent minutes because colossal contract mistake Ersan Ilyasova is blocking his way. Is incapable of getting shots without guards creating for him or feeding him in the post and plays on a team without much of a point guard.

Nate Wolters, PG Shot Chart 16 MIN | 3-5 FG | 2-4 FT | 1 REB | 5 AST | 1 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 8 PTS | +7

Looked good.

O.J. Mayo, SG Shot Chart 21 MIN | 1-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 3 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 2 PTS | -16

When he’s not jogging around, he’s throwing lazy passes that get picked off. That happened again tonight and he responded by heading down to the other end and fouling the guy who stole his pass to set up a four point play.

Gary Neal, SG Shot Chart DNP COACH’S DECISION MIN | FG | FT | REB | AST | STL | BLK | TO | PTS |

Luckiest man on the team.

Larry Drew

No strategy is ever apparent. The team has no energy. He’s declared on at least three occasions that he was going to play the guys who played hard, yet he’s tried everyone on the roster in the rotation and keeps getting these outings. He’s lost. They are lost. Everyone is lost. Every game is lost.

Three Things We Saw

  1. Should be changed to the Bucks.

  2. Drew talked to his team for 20 minutes after the game, presumably about effort and pride and things like that. Maybe they will score 90 points in a 20 point loss next game and we’ll see that progress. When a coach apologizes to a city after three or four home games, he doesn’t really give himself much wiggle room. How soon can this season end?
  3. Odds are now that we’ve been watching the worst Bucks team in the organization’s history. Injuries are not to blame for that. It’s a complete failure on the players, coaching and organization in general at this point.

I watch the Milwaukee Bucks often and write about what I see…

11 Comments

  1. Sat right behind the bench last night and noticed a few things… Neal during the 2nd or 3rd quarter was very animated and really going at it after Knight made a bad play and Middleton took a bad foul. He looked very irritated.

    Also, during the second quarter Schroeder came into the game, but exited quickly… The Bucks were complaining he had the wrong shorts on and were asking for a technical foul. Don’t know if this was visible from TV or anything, but I think him coming out of the game may have had to do with a uniform issue.

  2. I also sat right behind the bench last night, but I was in my living room on the couch. I got ejected from my OWN HOUSE for unruly behavior and tossing my slippers at the team.

    Ok now Jeremy…I have to agree with you,this is WORST BUCKS team in franchise history. Been loyal fan since 1st trip to Mecca Arena in early 80s with grade school boys club….even joined boys club basketball team because of BUCKS. Now, unfortunately..is the winter of our discontent!

    My deepest hopes an dreams are the removal of our coach,who clearly cannot get his troops ready for battle. How many times have we heard this post game comment of energy,EFFORT,professional performance etc.. the players don’t respond. This team NEEDS something positive out of the last 39 games of season, something to build on going into off season and draft. Please remove Coach Drew

  3. Finally, Jeremy has taken off the gloves and given some honest grades.

    A 25 point loss at home to a team with 1 starter playing? Are you kidding me?

    The next obvous step after the trade deadline is to fire everyone in the front office meaning Hammond, Drew etc …. and start playing only the young guys that have a chance to be part of the team in the future.

    The play Luke Ridnour strategy for major minutes is showing no obvious benefits. Neither is the playing Ersan Illyasova stategy helping much at all.

  4. Jeremy, I am very happy that the only player you did not give an F to was Wolters. If only Drew could see that too. The only times we have looked like a competent team are when Wolters plays. We are starting Luke @#!#$#$ Ridnour, but he can’t get the balls to start a player that probably has our best plus minus numbers(not exactly sure maybe slav does) just because he is a 2nd rounder? I don’t get the hesitation.

  5. Right on, Jeremy! So many turnovers! So much lethargy!

    I will say that Brandon and Khris and John were bright spots amidst the unhealthy haze, and that these are three of the guys we should be extremely reluctant to trade. Despite a dismal season, I’d put Larry in that category, too, although I sincerely think he might be in need of some serious counseling. Giannis is perhaps the only untradeable.
    I understand, though, in the trauma of last night’s fiasco, with the climate so brutal inside and outside of the arena, that it’s difficult to be anything but bleak. The atmosphere around the Bucks is so miasmic, and resulting malaise so pervasive, that it’s hard to fairly evaluate any of our guys.
    One place to start is to determine if any of our veterans can be part of the solution of team play, rather than part of the problem of individualistic excess. The non-participating and nonchalant should be dealt for whatever can be salvaged: 3rd-round draft picks, used sneakers, sports drink, loose change… whatever.

    I don’t know if there are any major changes available in the short term — at least ones that would not be panicky and counterproductive — but I hope the Bucks are at least willing to consider some minor ones. For example, I’m not so sure that Coach Drew really follows through on his words to reward the guys who play hard with the bulk of the minutes. That’s a good place to start.

    I’ll keep any other proposals to myself for now; in dark times like this, it’s probably better to not get into too much detail for the time being. I will say that I still prefer this season to last; at least now the superficial and tacky appearances of respectability are being unmasked, and hitting bottom might be the only way to a more authentically attractive future.

    Coincidentally, I also left the game near the end of the third quarter, by turning off my TV.

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  8. How’s this for a draft/starting line-up? Embiid, LaVine and Aaron Craft. I’m pretty sure we could make that happen without even trading for much because we have so many picks (don’t get me wrong I’d love to see just about all of them traded).

    Starting line-up in a couple years doesn’t look so crazy now… with an average age of like 22.

    PG Craft, Wolters, Knight
    SG LaVine, Knight
    SF GA, Middleton
    PF Henson, Ersan
    C Embiid, Sanders

  9. What a disgrace.

    John Hammond reiterated last week he built this roster to be a playoff team.

    John Hammond hired Larry Drew.

    John Hammond has thus proactively and thoughtfully constructed the single worst team in the Bucks’ 46 year history. He’s basically had a clean slate from last season’s trade deadline…a roster of his own making, a salary cap situation of his own creation….and this 8-37 team is the outcome?

    And he had the audacity to blame the result on injuries to Delfino, Zaza and Sanders?

    Wow. Just. WOW. Does anyone else wonder what it feels like to make millions of dollars and be so catastrophically, categorically, unequivocally and publicly bad at your job? To funnel so much BS to the fans on top of it?