Pun about space travel here: Rockets 101 – Bucks 95

 (AP Photo/Jeffrey Phelps)
(AP Photo/Jeffrey Phelps)
Houston Rockets 101 Final
Recap | Box Score
95 Milwaukee Bucks
Khris Middleton, PF Shot Chart 35 MIN | 7-13 FG | 3-3 FT | 4 REB | 8 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 20 PTS | -1

Makes. So. Many. Jump. Shots. He’s definitely the best jump shooter on the Bucks and I get the feeling that he’s the best jump shooter the team has had in quite a while. Middleton rode a collection of threes and midrange jumpers to 17 second half points and was by far the biggest reason this game was close down the stretch.

John Henson, C Shot Chart 41 MIN | 7-14 FG | 0-0 FT | 10 REB | 3 AST | 0 STL | 4 BLK | 3 TO | 14 PTS | +1

Forced into a lot of center duty that included having to matchup with Dwight Howard, who shrugged him aside with what seemed like an unfair amount of strength. Henson was fairly active inside and probably would have downright flourished had Larry Sanders not left with an injury five minutes into the game.

Larry Sanders, C Shot Chart 4 MIN | 1-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 2 PTS | -5

He took an elbow to the face from Harden and thrashed around on the ground for a bit after. Sounds like he was hit in the eye and around the eye with the elbow. Reports were that his vision was blurred and that’s what prevented his re-entry to the game. I saw Sanders walking out, holding his face, looking miserable. Andrew Gruman of Fox Sports Wisconsin said after the game that Sanders told him he would be ready Monday.

Brandon Knight, PG Shot Chart 35 MIN | 10-20 FG | 1-1 FT | 2 REB | 5 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 4 TO | 23 PTS | 0

Another solid offensive game, largely devoid of what would be referred to as “traditional” point guard play. Knight did more work outside of the paint and inside the 3-point line tonight than usual, hitting four of eight “in between” shots.

Nate Wolters, PG Shot Chart 39 MIN | 9-15 FG | 0-1 FT | 7 REB | 3 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 19 PTS | -4

19 points is a new career high for Wolters. He shot one three with serious confidence, a kick out into his hands in the corner. He very rarely attempts a three or even seems to consider shooting, but this was one he could not pass up on. It was nice to see him connect and after a 1-3 performance from behind the arc (at least one was a buzzer beater he had to hoist), he’s now 4-32 on threes this season. Outside of his shooting, he continued to succeed around the hoop and was able to penetrate Houston’s defense with more regularity than he has been able to penetrate other defenses recently.

Miroslav Raduljica, C Shot Chart 19 MIN | 1-4 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 2 AST | 1 STL | 1 BLK | 2 TO | 2 PTS | -5

Way too slow. Way too Earth bound. Way to heavy to matchup with Dwight Howard. He battled gamely and refrained from fouling out, but Howard was able to jump over and step around him with relative ease.

Zaza Pachulia, C Shot Chart 29 MIN | 5-5 FG | 2-2 FT | 10 REB | 5 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 12 PTS | 0

He picked up a technical foul for slapping at Howard after a play and generally tried to pester him all night. Other than that, it was typical Zaza ball. He passed well and tried to set up teammates, but it was hard to get anything positive happening in the paint for Milwaukee with Howard dominating so thoroughly.

Gary Neal, SG Shot Chart 12 MIN | 0-8 FG | 2-2 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 2 PTS | -6


Giannis Antetokounmpo, SG Shot Chart 25 MIN | 0-8 FG | 1-2 FT | 5 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 1 PTS | -10


Ersan Ilyasova, PF Shot Chart DNP COACH’S DECISION MIN | FG | FT | REB | AST | STL | BLK | TO | PTS |

Injured back kept him out.

Luke Ridnour, PG Shot Chart DNP COACH’S DECISION MIN | FG | FT | REB | AST | STL | BLK | TO | PTS |

Injured back kept him out.

O.J. Mayo, SG Shot Chart DNP ILLNESS MIN | FG | FT | REB | AST | STL | BLK | TO | PTS |

Working on getting his conditioning back up.

Larry Drew

With Sanders out early, he was in a tough spot, trying to mix and match guys to stop a Houston team with two legitimate stars.

Two Things We Saw

  1. Howard looked very athletic, a lot like Howard from a few years back. He shook the backboard viciously with one alley-oop in the first half and caught four or five more throughout the game. He wasn’t catching great passes every time either. The Rockets just lobbed passes in his general direction and he gobbled them up and finished.
  2. Milwaukee gamely battled Houston, but turned the ball over at crucial times on a number of occasions. They lost the turnover battle, 18-13.

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  1. good to see the bucks competing on a nightly basis lately. Larry drew seemed to have a clue tonight and ultimately seems to be good for players like knight and wolters. rough day for giannis tho

  2. In slightly more than 16 minutes in the second half, Khris scored 17 points and handed out 4 assists to account for 26 points — more than half of the team total of 50 points in the half.

  3. Khris Middleton, very valuable to our team. PLEASE DON’T TRADE KHRIS,remember he was a freebie in Jennings deal.

  4. I thought Nate and Khris looked great this game, especially Nate when he was being aggressive. He had that great take against Dwight and was knocking down those floaters around the lane. Brandon played solid but a couple of those poor turnovers/bad shots seemed to happen right when we were stuck at 6 points down which dug us into a deeper hole. The execution in the last minute was also left something to be desired. I have also really liked the attitude that Zaza has brought since he’s come back, seems to have had some positive impact on the team.

    I have to admit, I was shocked when Gary Neal came out to start the 4th quarter. Given it was just one game (in an overall really bad season for him…) but he really added absolutely zero value when he was on the floor. Couldn’t hit a jumper or finish in the lane. I’m fine with getting him out on the court just as a heat check for 5 minutes or so, but if he’s not hitting in that 5 he should be parked at the faaaaar end of the bench. Rough game from Giannis as well but as a rookie you’ll have those.

    Overall, its good to see the Bucks compete with a good contending team. A win would be nice here and there but if we keep on playing this way we’ll pick up a couple sooner rather than later.

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