Bucks lose, Mayo ejected: Pelicans 112, Bucks 104
|Khris Middleton, PF Shot Chart 38 MIN | 10-17 FG | 2-2 FT | 3 REB | 4 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 2 TO | 25 PTS | -6
The Bucks did not make a three-pointer in seven tries in the first half, but Middleton came out firing in the second half, scoring 15 points on 6/8 shooting (3/4 3FG). A nice offensive showing, but his 25 overall points were matched down to the point (on fewer shot attempts) by Tyreke Evans.
|Zaza Pachulia, C Shot Chart 30 MIN | 3-8 FG | 0-1 FT | 7 REB | 4 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 6 PTS | -11
Pachulia has reached the stage in his career where if he has the ball in the restricted area and there’s a defender between him and the rim, he needs to kick the ball back out. His shots from there are simply too easy to defend. On the other hand, he’s always a good passer and his defense was better in this game than it had been in a while.
|John Henson, C Shot Chart 23 MIN | 6-9 FG | 0-0 FT | 6 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 2 BLK | 3 TO | 12 PTS | -3
Foul trouble limited Henson in the first half, but after the intermission, the Bucks fed Henson in the low post. It started badly with couple of ugly misses, but soon after Henson got into a terrific rhythm.
Henson’s success seems to vary proportionately with how close to the hoop he is when he gets the ball. If he’s six feet away, he maneuvers and scores. If he’s ten feet away, he makes a perfectly legitimate post move and misses the shot. If he’s 17 feet away, he gets antsy to get rid of the ball and throws a shaky pass that has a 25% chance of getting picked off.
|Brandon Knight, PG Shot Chart 41 MIN | 5-17 FG | 3-4 FT | 3 REB | 5 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 15 PTS | -6
He missed a lot of shots. Apart from that, I like that when he double-teamed the post on one occasion tonight, he actually went all the way to the ball and got a hand on it instead of getting beaten on a pass that got behind him.
|Nate Wolters, PG Shot Chart 19 MIN | 4-9 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 8 PTS | +2
Wolters keeps losing minutes to Ramon Sessions without really ever doing anything wrong. I suppose that’s a good problem to have. Also: he led the Bucks’ starters in +/- rating again. That happens often.
|Jeff Adrien, PF Shot Chart 30 MIN | 5-8 FG | 10-11 FT | 10 REB | 2 AST | 1 STL | 3 BLK | 0 TO | 20 PTS | +1
A career-high 20 points! Another double double! His best defensive performance as a Buck! How is this happening? I mean, I thought he’d be a nice fit and that he’d have plenty of motivation given his pending free agency, but he set a career-high in points in consecutive games.
|Miroslav Raduljica, C Shot Chart 8 MIN | 0-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTS | +5
His performance begs for the chicken-and-egg question: Was Miroslav awful because he hasn’t played in so long, or has Miroslav not played in so long because he’s awful? I tend to lean toward the former, but regardless, Raduljica ended up on an Anthony Davis posterization of the worst possible variety. Davis nearly rode him bareback after the dunk.
|Ramon Sessions, PG Shot Chart 28 MIN | 6-10 FG | 4-7 FT | 4 REB | 2 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 16 PTS | -6
The Bucks were at their best in this game in the second quarter when Adrien became a stone wall on defense, and he translated that into outlet passes to Sessions. The Bucks held an 18-8 edge on the Pelicans in fast break points in large part because Sessions looks to push the ball.
|Giannis Antetokounmpo, SG Shot Chart 20 MIN | 1-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 3 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 2 PTS | -13
Charles F. Gardner tweeted that Larry Drew said Giannis had been taking too may threes lately. This game won’t help his case any. For the second straight game, though, Giannis dropped off a nice feed while slicing through the lane off the dribble. I’m certain that’s what Drew hopes to see more of.
|O.J. Mayo, SG Shot Chart 3 MIN | 0-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTS | -3
He tried to fight through a Greg Stiemsma pick and Stiemsma caught his arm, then moved that arm up and behind Mayo’s back. O.J. took offense and snapped back with a full-force blow to the neck of Stiemsma. After a video review, Mayo got tossed. I wouldn’t be shocked if he missed a game or two more.
Three Things We Saw
- The Bucks gave the wrong players space. All game long, they played up close on Tyreke Evans (25 points, 9/13 FG) as if he were a deadly shooter. (Bonjour, Monsieur Middleton. Je ne comprends pas.)
- All the while, the Bucks left actual competent NBA shooters open for three-point tries. Anthony Morrow scored 12 fourth quarter points on jumpers (including a four-point play).
- In the last 10 or so games, the Bucks still have more blowout wins than they do blowout losses. They are a competitive NBA team, for better or worse, with Adrien and Sessions added to a hard-working group of young players. Their offense is way ahead of where it was four months ago.
- Anthony Davis was the best player in this game and it wasn’t close. He’s so good.