March Bucksness: Trail Blazers 120 – Bucks 115

Milwaukee Bucks 115 FinalRecap | Box Score 120 Portland Trail Blazers
Ersan Ilyasova, PF Shot Chart 23 MIN | 6-10 FG | 0-0 FT | 9 REB | 2 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 12 PTS | +2

Removed from this season’s context, this game was really enjoyable to watch. It was close all the way through. There were multiple lead changes. The game had a good flow. The Bucks didn’t win, but the ending was good. This is the only way to enjoy any Bucks games this season – removed from context. Because once you actually start thinking about this team’s situation, finding a reason to care about their games becomes a suffocating burden. So enjoy the good games as they come along because they have been few and far between this season. Kind of like good Ilyasova games.

Khris Middleton, PF Shot Chart 40 MIN | 7-17 FG | 0-0 FT | 6 REB | 5 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 18 PTS | +5

After a miserable first half, Middleton followed it up with a hot second half. Then he caught fire in overtime to keep the Bucks close. But even with his overtime contributions, the Bucks couldn’t keep up.

Zaza Pachulia, C Shot Chart 37 MIN | 7-14 FG | 3-3 FT | 13 REB | 3 AST | 4 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 17 PTS | +4

Solid. His best performance since his hot start to the season. Pachulia keeping up with Robin Lopez was a bigger factor in keeping this game close than the offensive production from the guards.

Brandon Knight, PG Shot Chart 37 MIN | 8-20 FG | 5-7 FT | 8 REB | 4 AST | 2 STL | 1 BLK | 4 TO | 24 PTS | -2

I don’t get to see the Blazers very often because of time zone differences. But I do have a friend that lives there that has yelled at me about how good they are. I am not as bullish on their playoff chances. Knight and Ramon Sessions put up a lot of points against the Blazers, but with how easily they got into the paint, I’m sure most adequate guards could have put up 20 on the Blazers last night.

Ramon Sessions, PG Shot Chart 35 MIN | 8-16 FG | 6-9 FT | 5 REB | 5 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 23 PTS | -13

Sessions had it all in the fourth quarter. Except for two of his last four free throws that would have forced Portland to go for more than a layup in the final seconds of the game.

O.J. Mayo, SG Shot Chart DNP COACH’S DECISION MIN | FG | FT | REB | AST | STL | BLK | TO | PTS |

Not to beat a dead horse, because OJ Mayo certainly couldn’t. Haha, BOOM. Bucksketball, we got mean-spirited jokes!

Larry Drew

The Bucks were close, but I will never be a fan of random-game-where-Henson-plays-less-than-20-minutes. Boo this man.

Three Things We Saw

    1. Important question:



  • Giannis didn’t do much of anything tonight, except for this:
  • Middleton’s hot streak comes with the caveat that he got swatted the hell out of the building by Thomas Robinson. After that, he never really went near the bucket again. Be brave, young man!


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  1. One thing that can be said in favor of the Hammond/Kohl regime is that they’ve made some nice draft picks in the middle of the first round: Tobias, Larry, John, Giannis.
    However, Tobias has been traded for a handful of magic beans, and now John Henson is being underappreciated and disrespected. What was it, 16 minutes last night? When was the last time John was played down the stretch in the fourth quarter of a game? It’s pathetic player development, and personal treatment!
    I do appreciate Ian’s lodging a protest above against Larry Drew — although I have to wonder if the coaching strings are being pulled from upstairs. (Even so, Drew should have the nerve to play Henson, anyway; why would he want to coach a team if it is being manipulated from the front office, plus he gets paid even if he’s fired, right?)
    Fans on this site have complained about me bringing up the loss of Tobias too much, and perhaps with some justification, as I do tend to get carried away with things I’m passionate about; however, besides my genuine sadness at losing Tobias as a player and a person, one of my reasons for at times bringing back the issue of Tobias was the lack of remorse and accountability from Bucks’ management, and the lack of outrage from the staff at Bucksketball. To what extent has the mistake been acknowledged, and the lesson learned?
    Now, Bucks management is mistreating another promising second-year player, and Bucksketball has been standing by again without protest — with the exception of Ian duly noted. John has been given erratic minutes all season, and put in mismatches on the court. If there was ever a textbook case on how to put a player in a position to fail, as well as to discourage and alienate him, this might be it.
    Please Bucksketball guys — to whom I’ve given a good measure of praise — take a stand with the players who are getting jerked around by the management of the Bucks. Please fans, stick up for the guys you like on our team, and don’t assume the so-called basketball experts know what they’re doing half the time — brilliant minds can be completely clueless when it comes to people skills and common sense. Remember the record for the Bucks, not just this year, but going back a decade, and even a quarter-century. Why is their so much impatience with young players, and seemingly so much patience with management? If we’re not loyal to our players, and don’t show a genuine concern for them and their well-being on and off the court, why should they be loyal to us? At least us fans can step up and show our guys on the Bucks first-class treatment and heartfelt support.

    • my main rebuttal to your point is that it’s not like the Bucks aren’t playing young players or anything haha, brandon knight and khris middleton are pretty much the main scorers on this team at this point, should tell you all you need to know about what the front office wants. if the front office doesn’t want henson to play huge minutes, its either because they don’t believe hes conditioned well or hes not as talented as a lot of people believe he is. personally i think over the course of the season i overrated what i thought he was last season. now at the same time i dont think hes a bad player and he obviously hasnt reached his peak, but i think the front office or drew still probably sees a ceiling for him in the near future (next couple years) and probably not much after that, not sure though

      • Not quite sure the first part of your post makes sense. Brandon Knight and Khris Middleton are both younger than Henson, so what does that tell me about the Bucks Front Office? also, if OJ is going to be on the team the next two years wouldn’t we want him out there developing chemistry with our young core? And if we plan on moving him this summer shouldn’t we have him out there at least trying to improve his trade value? (Im sure its nothing because who wants to pay 8 million a year for a shooting guard who does not get playing time for the the team with the worst record in the league)

      • First: Why do you trust the management of the Bucks so much to evaluate John Henson when the team’s track record is so utterly abysmal?
        Second: Why do you give up so easily on such a young player, especially when that young player has not really had a chance to play a consistent role with consistent minutes, and has to play amidst the general chaos and overall catastrophe of this season?
        Is there not one person to stand up for John Henson on this site of Bucksketball? Anyone? As I said, if we fans aren’t loyal to the players, why should they be loyal to us?

    • The bottom line is that the NBA is a league of stars. If you don’t have one, you probably aren’t going to win a title. The last time a team did it was the Pistons when they had 5 solid players awhile ago and that was an anomaly. And neither Henson, nor Tobias Harris are anywhere near taking our team to the next level. My point, I guess, is that crying over the same players day in and day out is utterly pointless. As Bucks fans, we can only hope that the draft goes well.

      • I feel like the Pacers can be put in that conversation as a title contender with out a star. Paul George is more of a hype star than an actual star. (See shooting %, APG, RPG)