Two teams, two directions: Bobcats 101 – Bucks 92
|Zaza Pachulia, C Shot Chart 38 MIN | 3-9 FG | 2-4 FT | 9 REB | 3 AST | 3 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 8 PTS | -13
With Ersan Ilyasova out, there was reason to be concerned that the Bucks would have no interior presence capable of looking terrible around the rim. Zaza filled in admirably. He tossed up an array of flips by the rim and hard hook shots fired on a near line drive that the injured Ilyasova was surely honored to watch.
|John Henson, C Shot Chart 36 MIN | 6-15 FG | 0-0 FT | 7 REB | 3 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 12 PTS | -13
Surely to the delight of Bucks fans around the globe, Henson played over 35 minutes for the first time since the All-Star break. When he made shots, they looked smooth and effortless, as he dropped in a couple of swooping scoop shots and his typical left hook. But he missed a few more shots than he made and he didn’t offer his usual presence as a defender or rebounder. He was pretty much the same guy he is on most nights … there was just more of him. I’m unclear on whether this is a good or bad thing.
|Nate Wolters, PG Shot Chart 28 MIN | 5-7 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 3 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 11 PTS | -1
Steady as ever. His month of March SCREAMS “I will take what I’m given and make the most of it.” Wolters is now shooting 56% in March and 59% on threes. He’s only averaging about seven shots and a three and a half per game, but he’s cashing in on opportunities that are available. That’s a terrific skill. If he can get better at creating more opportunities outside that structure, he’ll be on to something.
|Brandon Knight, PG Shot Chart 36 MIN | 9-21 FG | 0-0 FT | 8 REB | 7 AST | 3 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 21 PTS | -14
Despite making just three of his last 18 threes, he was not hesitant for even a moment when he got opportunities from the outside. The confidence Knight plays with doesn’t appear contagious, but it’s admirable. He knows he can get by most players on the court and get to spots he wants to get to. He still needs a better feel for where his teammates are going to be when he ends up where he wants to go though.
|Ekpe Udoh, PF Shot Chart 4 MIN | 0-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTS | +4
Those who favor Milwaukee playing poorly were surely excited by Ekpe’s arrival into the game in a non-garbage time setting. Alas, after playing shortly in the first half, he did not return.
|Jeff Adrien, PF Shot Chart 14 MIN | 4-6 FG | 4-5 FT | 4 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 12 PTS | +6
He’s scored in double figures in four straight games, which is kind of interesting, because he doesn’t seem quite as limited as the traditional tough guy rebounder. It’s fun. He hit a fadeaway jumper against Charlotte that seemed as natural as his muscley ramming of other bodies around the hoop.
|Ramon Sessions, PG Shot Chart 30 MIN | 7-14 FG | 3-5 FT | 0 REB | 6 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 18 PTS | -2
Few players on the Bucks really seem to exhibit an NBA skill every night. Middleton certainly does as a shooter. Adrien does as a rebounder. Knight as an attacker. Ilyasova as a purveyor of funny looking shot attempts. Sessions absolutely demonstrates on how to effectively use one’s body when going to the basket. He’s quick, but not rushed, when he is around the rim and plays to contact very well. He was at it again against the Bobcats. In his short second stint in Milwaukee he’s reminded me how important a solid point guard can be.
|Giannis Antetokounmpo, SG Shot Chart 22 MIN | 0-4 FG | 2-2 FT | 3 REB | 1 AST | 2 STL | 2 BLK | 2 TO | 2 PTS | +8
It’s been a while since Giannis played a full game that looked good and it’s been a while since he’s taken more than five shots. He’s attempted either four or five shots in every Bucks game since March 3, eight total games. Shooting and scoring isn’t really his thing, but maybe it should be more than it is? He doesn’t need to lead Milwaukee in attempts every night, but wouldn’t everyone rather he was attacking the rim in the half court over virtually everyone else on the Bucks? He might be tired, he might be worn down, I’m not really sure. But Milwaukee is more fun when he’s more involved and I think he has more fun when that happens too.
The post game chats have turned depressing. “Why did you guys lose?” “We didn’t play well enough for four quarters.” “Kind of a theme, huh?” “Yup. Consistency is important. Our margin for error is slim.”
I don’t know if those are direct quotes, but it sure feels like they are. What can he do? He’s just trying to learn as much as he can at this point about who is on this roster so he knows if he’ll want them to be here next season. Consistency is a huge challenge and the Bucks doesn’t really have the personnel up for it.
Two Things We Saw
- Charlotte’s defensive intensity late in the game is what finished this one. They looked possessed and were challenging every step the Bucks took. Gerald Henderson in particular was impressive and would not let Khris Middleton have an inch. He blocked a Middleton three and then forced the Bucks young wing out of bounds with the Bucks coming out of a timeout, the Bobcats up nine and a minute to play. Game over.
- The Bobcats had a purpose and reason to win this game. The Bucks didn’t really have either. That’s essentially why the Bobcats looked like the playoff team and the Bucks looked like the play out the schedule team in the last couple minutes of what was a close game before that. A sense of urgency isn’t born out of nothing. We’re all only human.