Trend of competitive losses continues: Nets 107 – Bucks 98

Andrei Kirilenko and his glorious mane were part of Milwaukee's problem on Saturday. (AP Photo/Jeffrey Phelps)
Andrei Kirilenko and his glorious mane were part of Milwaukee’s problem on Saturday. (AP Photo/Jeffrey Phelps)
Brooklyn Nets 107 Final
Recap | Box Score
98 Milwaukee Bucks
Ersan Ilyasova, PF Shot Chart 22 MIN | 3-9 FG | 4-5 FT | 11 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 11 PTS | -13

Ilyasova started strong and faded as the game went on. He had six first quarter rebounds and looked like a high energy player. But it’s striking to see how much more productively physical Jeff Adrien is when he’s taking minutes from Ersan. He can’t step out and shoot a three, but he is a people mover around the hoop.

Khris Middleton, PF Shot Chart 36 MIN | 8-12 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 3 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 16 PTS | -7

He’s so well established as a shooter that teams are running out on him harder and harder. He caught a pass in the corner at one point Saturday night and drove past an oncoming defender on his way to a strong dunk at the rim. We don’t see that very often from him, so it was very fun to watch. His jump shot was as strong as ever and he seemed very confident throughout the game.

Zaza Pachulia, C Shot Chart 15 MIN | 1-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 5 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 3 TO | 2 PTS | -5

Over his past five games, he’s now 5 for 26 from the field. The Nets were conceding open jumpers to him throughout the game, at least when they weren’t stealing the ball from him. He didn’t exactly cover for his offensive missteps with strong interior defense either, as Brooklyn strolled into the paint and finished at the rim on repeat.

Nate Wolters, PG Shot Chart 19 MIN | 3-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 7 PTS | -6

Of Wolters six shots, only one was in the paint. Over his past two games, he hasn’t been getting into the paint or all the way to the rim as often as he was doing previously. It’s unclear if his ankle is slowing him or if something else is altering his game a touch. But he hit another three, so that was fun.

Brandon Knight, PG Shot Chart 32 MIN | 6-13 FG | 1-1 FT | 1 REB | 5 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 4 TO | 14 PTS | -10

With Ramon Sessions commanding so much attention on the court, this felt like a much less noticeable game for Knight. He still had a few very impressive drives and finishes, but it felt like he was a little less involved throughout the game. And he still had 14 points. He is the heartbeat of Milwaukee’s offense, even when he isn’t really. But the Brooklyn guards were able to get into the paint far too often. It’s not just on the big men to defend the rim, it’s on the guards to keep them out.

Jeff Adrien, PF Shot Chart 16 MIN | 2-5 FG | 1-2 FT | 10 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 1 BLK | 2 TO | 5 PTS | +3

Adrien’s awareness of who is where around the hoop is always evident and always impressive. He knows where his man is and where his fellow defender’s men are too. That’s what helps him grab so many boards. That and his tenacious attitude with regard to all missed shots. It’s interesting to watch him keep track of big men around the hoop while a guy like Henson is watching the ball, waiting to try and block a shot.

John Henson, C Shot Chart 26 MIN | 2-5 FG | 2-2 FT | 4 REB | 3 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 2 TO | 6 PTS | -3Against a depleted Nets frontline, Henson wasn’t particularly impressive. He had one fantastic post move full of spins and counters in the first half that led to (what else) a lefty hook that it seemed Andray Blatche wasn’t ready for (he must not have read the scouting report). But he didn’t provide much on defense and couldn’t find a way to be a factor around the hoop on offense. His two made free throws were a pleasant surprise.

Ramon Sessions, PG Shot Chart 23 MIN | 2-5 FG | 11-11 FT | 3 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 16 PTS | -5

16 points on five shots is pretty good. He is the best Buck in quite a while at finding open space in the half court and really aggressively attacking them. He also does a good job of finding the contact and getting off shots while he’s absorbing blows. The three was a shock. As with Knight, he provided little challenge defensively and struggled to double team the post and then get back to his man.

Giannis Antetokounmpo, SG Shot Chart 28 MIN | 3-7 FG | 5-9 FT | 3 REB | 3 AST | 3 STL | 1 BLK | 2 TO | 12 PTS | -1

He had a few fun Giannis plays, but the one play I remember most from this game came with the Bucks down 100-91. Coming out of a timeout, the Bucks ran a play to get Khris MIddleton a 3-point look. Giannis got into his spot, caught a pass and immediately began looking towards Middleton. I’m not sure what would have stopped him from making the pass he made, he knew what he was supposed to do and he was following through. But he telegraphed the whole thing so bad that Blatche picked off the pass. It seemed like a teachable moment and a rookie mistake. Run the play, but be flexible and don’t make your intention so clear.

O.J. Mayo, SG Shot Chart 23 MIN | 4-7 FG | 1-1 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 9 PTS | +2

Drew said before the game that he’s still getting his wind back. He didn’t look bad and had one very crafty finish. But on a night where Milwaukee’s guards were doubling the post quite a bit, he wasn’t really great at moving around and rotating defensively. Shaun Livingston enjoyed his time against Mayo.

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1 Comment

  1. In case this Bucks’ alumni report is not that popular, I’ll put it here in a relatively obscure place; then again, some fans might be interested to know how three of our recent players are doing elsewhere, and the possible significance of it all.

    (1)Ish Smith, traded for the just-departed Caron Butler, is playing really well of late with the opportunity of increased minutes. In the last 6 games, he’s shooting better than 50% and averaging more than 5 assists. Also, I was interested to read that he is possibly the fastest player in the NBA. For the entire month of February, he shot 50%.
    (2)Tobias Harris, traded for three players no longer with the Bucks (including Ish), had 31 points and 8 rebounds Sunday against the 76ers, and over the last five games is averaging 20 points on 53% shooting.
    (3)Scott Suggs, from our summer league team, is coming off a 26-point and 10-rebound game. For the season, he’s shooting 49% from the field, including 41% from behind the arc.

    (1)Cherish the young guys we still have, including Brandon and Khris, who are playing really well of late; but also the guys who are struggling more or less, including John and Larry. I wonder if these guys are getting the coaching and encouragement from the team to truly develop as players and persons; at the very least, we fans can stand by them in tough times and give them a lot of support.
    (2)Be suspicious of Bucks management in talent evaluation and talent development. Also, don’t overlook less flashy and even less talented players who nonetheless can make an important contribution to the success of a team if they have some good skills and a good attitude. It’d be great to get a Wiggins/Parker/Randle, but let’s not wait around idly for a possible home run when we might be able to get a couple of steals in the meantime.
    (3)Maybe Scott Suggs would be overwhelmed in the NBA. However, given the records of Gary Neal, Caron Butler, and O.J. Mayo with the Bucks, I’d rather take my chances with Suggsy (as I call him, since we’re such good buddies). If we now have a roster spot, let’s maybe take a chance on a D-Leaguer for the rest of the season, quite possibly Scott.

    Okay, if anyone reads this, let me have it with how crazy I am; I’ll try not to be too sensitive, but please be a little gentle to the basketball-impaired.