Something in reserve: Pacers 104 – Bucks 102

Copeland, after his game winner. (AP Photo/Tom Lynn)
Copeland, after his game winner. (AP Photo/Tom Lynn)
Indiana Pacers 104 Final
Recap | Box Score
102 Milwaukee Bucks
Jeff Adrien, PF 37 MIN | 6-14 FG | 1-2 FT | 17 REB | 1 AST | 2 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 13 PTS | +5

Time and again Adrien snatched up offensive rebounds. Time and again, he failed to turn them into points. That’s how one ends up with six offensive rebounds and a sub-50% field goal percentage. He finished two of his five offensive rebound chances. But he hit the defensive glass as well and was, as always, quite physical.

Khris Middleton, PF 36 MIN | 6-14 FG | 3-3 FT | 7 REB | 2 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 16 PTS | +2

This was one of his finer games that I’ve seen of late. He had a nice backdoor cut that he finished with a dunk. There was a fast break where he spaced himself exceptionally well and caught a Giannis pass for a clean 3-point look (though he missed). He recognized his mismatch late in the game and got Ian Mahinmi up in the air, leading to a foul and three free throws to tie the game. From a “smarts” standpoint, Middleton was complete. He was subbed out in an offense/defense situation with Chris Wright thanks to his five fouls, if anyone was wondering why Wright was guarding Evan Turner late.

Zaza Pachulia, C 33 MIN | 6-10 FG | 3-4 FT | 9 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 15 PTS | +10

Combined with Adrien to give Milwaukee a strong presence inside, though neither of them did a very good job sticking with stretch four Chris Copeland, who got loose for 18 points in 17 minutes.

Ramon Sessions, PG 38 MIN | 6-15 FG | 6-7 FT | 2 REB | 4 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 20 PTS | +1

Sessions just keeps making threes. He’s made 18-46 (39.1%) of his 3FG with the Bucks. He just a 31.1% career 3-point shooter, so this is a pretty nice extended run for him. We could theorize as to what’s helped him out, but it could just be a prolonged hot stretch, which wouldn’t be completely out of the ordinary for him. It’s certainly helped make him a fairly dangerous offensive player though.

Brandon Knight, PG 39 MIN | 8-21 FG | 8-12 FT | 4 REB | 10 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 25 PTS | -3

Another above average game for Knight, though this one could have really been something had he been able to stick a few more threes. He’s dealing with a legit slump from three actually: He made just 29% in March and has made just 5-of-24 in April.

Chris Wright, SF 15 MIN | 2-4 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 2 STL | 2 BLK | 2 TO | 4 PTS | -6

He caught a nice alley-oop and finished it, as he is wont to do, but provided little else. He subbed in late in the game for Middleton thanks to the forward’s aforementioned foul trouble and struggled to stick with a quicker Evan Turner. Wright doesn’t seem to have the lateral ability to be much of a lockdown perimeter defender, despite his leaping ability.

John Henson, C 20 MIN | 3-5 FG | 1-1 FT | 4 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 7 PTS | -9

Coming off a very strong game, Henson struggled for minutes yet again. I asked Larry Drew about this in his postgame presser and will have more on the matter in the next day or so. Basically, Drew wants to see Henson be more physical on the defensive end, the way Adrien and Pachulia often are. PUT SOMEONE DOWN, JOHN.

Giannis Antetokounmpo, SG 21 MIN | 1-4 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 2 PTS | -10

Wasn’t real noticeable. It’s a long season and that doesn’t seem to be playing into his hands.


Started serving his suspension. For more, check out this piece from Tom Ziller clarifying his suspension situation.

Three Things We Saw

  1. Milwaukee did a fair job of executing down the stretch on offense, but were fortunate to be in the game, thanks to Indiana missing three free throws in the last 20 seconds. Defensively, the Bucks broke down time and again, allowing offensive rebounds and clean looks in the paint and at the rim. Same old, same old.
  2. Yes, the Pacers beat the Bucks without playing any of their starters. But to be fair, Milwaukee’s a mishmash of reserves, a 10-day guy, a rookie and a couple of impending free agents. Let’s not act like this is the lineup the Bucks totally want to be putting out there every day.
  3. Four more.

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  1. Gery Woelfel may be contacting you re: Wright’s grade. He tweeted the following last night:

    “Chris Wright, yes, Chris Wright taking charge for Bucks”

  2. Hey, Jeremy, did notice and appreciate the good words about Khris. Also, I liked the way Khris seemed to aggressively go to get the ball on that play at the end where he drew the foul for three free throws. Making three free throws in a row in the clutch was pretty sweet, too.

    Sincerely looking forward to your piece on John Henson. Probably all the players on the Bucks have significant weaknesses to their games, so I would be putting John out on the court for about 30 minutes per game regardless of his deficiencies. I really hope all of our guys work hard to improve their games, but especially with the young guys (as is evident from my past comments), I think it’s really important to emphasize the positive.
    With John coming off such a nice game against the Raptors, please just put him out there on the floor, especially down the stretch, and don’t quibble too much about what he can’t do. This is so exasperating for me!
    (Jeremy, I know that you expressed at least somewhat the same thoughts recently, so I’m not directing this at you, but at the front office, and mainly the coach. I hope you might consider doing a story on how our front office for the Bucks [Kohl/Hammond/Drew] was ranked 29th out of 30 NBA teams by an ESPN panel that apparently included Ian Segovia.)

    • Yeah, I saw the results of the panel. And Ian is on it, unsure if he voted though.

      But those are largely people (smart people) who are reacting to the same things we’re all reacting to. Some of them have a bit more information, but the idea is that they just crowd source opinions to get better results. So those people see the Bucks are bad when they weren’t supposed to be and have been mediocre for years and then voted them as having a bad front office. It’s almost that simple.

      I won’t do a piece on it, not because I disagree or am opposed to how it was constructed, but because I don’t quite feel like it’s news. Hopefully that makes sense.

  3. Watched about 2 plays worth of this game, in the late-going. Saw that the Bucks were close but down by 2. At the outset of Adrien’s career as a Buck I was a huge fan, as he is the type of player I thought I would be if I were tall and an NBA player, but I’ve been waning on him over the past few weeks. He just doesn’t defend — at all. The one Indiana play I saw before turning the channel involved Scola getting a pass in the corner, making a half-hearted ball fake that Adrien bit on and that made him stay completely still at the block, while Scola put the ball on the floor and drove baseline RIGHT PAST ADRIEN for an uncontested baseline layup. C’mon, dude, I could put up more of an effort against Scola and I’m 6’1″.