Officially not good: Kings 116 – Bucks 102
|Ersan Ilyasova, PF Shot Chart 30 MIN | 3-8 FG | 3-4 FT | 5 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 9 PTS | -15
NOMENTUM. Looks like Ersan’s 31 point game on Monday was just a 31 point game on Monday and not a tipping point in his season that led to bigger and better things. Who EVER could have seen that coming!?
|Khris Middleton, PF Shot Chart 29 MIN | 4-14 FG | 1-2 FT | 4 REB | 1 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 11 PTS | -22
He had a fair share of struggles attempting to guard the larger, quicker, stronger and faster Rudy Gay, who posted him up a few times and was able to make some long jumpers other times. Gay has become a more difficult cover since arriving in Sacramento and starting to play good basketball, so it’s tough to heap too much blame on Middleton for having issues. Unfortunately he couldn’t do much on the other end to make up for any deficiencies on defense.
|Zaza Pachulia, C Shot Chart 16 MIN | 2-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 3 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 4 PTS | -15
Zaza doesn’t do ALL of the little things in the world. He does his share, but he doesn’t do all of them. Unfortunately, his share doesn’t really make up for the general suckfest he’s been putting up regularly since the All-Star break let out. He picked up two defensive three second violations on one possession that spurred a round of “JOEY CRAWFORD IS REFFING” tweets. That’s fair, but ultimately players are responsible for where they are on the court. Refs are not out to get everyone.
|Brandon Knight, PG Shot Chart 33 MIN | 7-13 FG | 9-10 FT | 5 REB | 6 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 25 PTS | -11
His combination of body strength, control and a willingness to put himself in harms way for the sake of getting to the basket is worthy of envy. On a few different occasions he took pretty hard fouls after drives to the hoop into guys like DeMarcus Cousins and Reggie Evans. He paid for them physically, then they paid off, at the free throw line. Seems like he’s been more willing to take these lumps and finish as the year has gone on. Good for him. Fun to watch.
|Nate Wolters, PG Shot Chart 24 MIN | 4-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 8 PTS | -4
I’m unclear on exactly what “Nateing” is, but I’m pretty sure he did it at some point. He DEFINITELY did it if “it” is making a floater. He did it a couple times then.
|Jeff Adrien, PF Shot Chart 22 MIN | 6-9 FG | 3-3 FT | 5 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 15 PTS | +2
This was not a classic Jeff Adrien game. He and Reggie Evans seemed to cancel each other out, both finishing with only five rebounds. Milwaukee called on Adrien to attempt to slow Cousins at one point, but he wasn’t much more effective than John Henson, who was very ineffective. But Adrien hit a couple of jump shots and was able to toss in a few garbage baskets late to set a new career high with 15 points. Huzzah!
|Tony Mitchell, F Shot Chart 3 MIN | 1-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 2 PTS | +6
Never again will anyone be able to say to Tony Mitchell that he hasn’t scored a basket in the NBA. He posted up, rose over Ray McCallum and finished a bank shot late in the fourth quarter. That’s a cool thing to happen in a guy’s life.
|Miroslav Raduljica, C Shot Chart 4 MIN | 0-0 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTS | +6
|John Henson, C Shot Chart 24 MIN | 2-6 FG | 2-4 FT | 7 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 6 PTS | -6
It’s been a while since Henson played well. He told reporters after the game about his sophomore slump, but he hasn’t really needed to say that for a while – it’s been evident. The bigger problem to me is just that he doesn’t seem to have much of a feel for the game. Are we sure he’s improved at all since his first day in Milwaukee? I know his numbers are fine, but he doesn’t seem to be any more aware of cutters or any better at screening in March of 2014 than he was in November 2012.
|Ramon Sessions, PG Shot Chart 17 MIN | 2-5 FG | 4-4 FT | 3 REB | 3 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 9 PTS | -11
Free throws and such.
Four Things We Saw
- The Kings seemed to isolate and post-up a lot, which doesn’t exactly sound like the recipe for an effective offense, but it worked wonders against a much less physically talented Milwaukee team. Cousins, Gay and Isaiah Thomas (who wasn’t posting up so much) combined for 68 points while all shooting 50% or better and making at least four free throws.
- Reporters were almost at a loss for words after the game. There were only two questions for Larry Drew. I had none. What can even be said? The team played poorly. We can dance around and talk about energy, effort or matchups, but ultimately, the Bucks are a team full of mediocre players. You know how I know that? Mediocre players are the kinds of players who can’t be relied on every night. Consistency is what separates out really good players. Milwaukee has a roster full of players who lack consistency.
- We dared dream too big here at Bucksketball. The elusive two game Bucks winning streak remains elusive as ever.
- There was a lot of debate about what the exact score was throughout the fourth quarter and after the game. I was handed an “unofficial” box score after the game with the word unofficial circled for emphasis. Some people cared a great deal about this, which is what their job is to do. I did not care so much about it, because we could all agree that the Bucks were terrible, regardless of what the exact numbers were.