Too little and late: Pacers 94 – Bucks 91

Indiana Pacers 94 Final
Recap | Box Score
91 Milwaukee Bucks
Khris Middleton, PF 31 MIN | 5-10 FG | 0-0 FT | 8 REB | 3 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 11 PTS | +2

His rebounding was a bright spot for a team that needed all of the strength up front it could get. Even though he didn’t have his typical feel from 3-point range, he still found ways to contribute and end up with a productive night, which is always good to see.

Johnny O’Bryant III, PF 13 MIN | 0-4 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 0 PTS | -6

Play six and a half minutes at the start of the game. Launch a couple of pick and pop jumpers. Exit.

Play six and a half minutes to start the second half. Launch a couple of pick and pop jumpers. Exit.

A rebound would have been nice at some point.

Zaza Pachulia, C 25 MIN | 4-10 FG | 4-4 FT | 14 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 12 PTS | +10

When he was out there, he was typically the only big out there, so he did the best he could to rebound and defend or help defend multiple Pacer bigs inside. Given all that responsibility defensively, the 12 points were even more impressive.

Brandon Knight, PG 33 MIN | 9-19 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 7 AST | 4 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 20 PTS | +4

Milwaukee’s offense didn’t look great, aside from a strong stretch via the reserves in the second quarter. It was one of those nights where either the Bucks were relying on Brandon or he was working solo to operate the offense. He had his highlights and his lowlights.

Giannis Antetokounmpo, SG 33 MIN | 2-8 FG | 2-2 FT | 4 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 4 BLK | 2 TO | 6 PTS | -2

The Pacers backed off and packed the paint whenever Giannis got a touch. The word seems to be out. Even when he was matched up with Roy Hibbert or David West, he couldn’t get enough separation from the collective defense of Indiana to get all the way to the basket for his typical highlight dunks or layups.

John Henson, C 23 MIN | 6-9 FG | 2-4 FT | 10 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 2 BLK | 2 TO | 14 PTS | -10

After a very quiet three minutes in the first quarter, in which he did not record a stat other than one foul, Henson blew up. He’s been actually making contact on his screens lately and his teammates were doing a great job finding him in pick and rolls. He’s always been a good finisher and that hasn’t changed lately.

Henson was also tasked with being Milwaukee’s entire back line defense when he was out there and he did an enviable job of attempting to find the closest Pacer big to box out when he was outnumbered at the rim trying to grab rebounds.

Kendall Marshall, PG 12 MIN | 1-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 4 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 2 PTS | -5

Marshall figured prominently into a number of Henson’s buckets and he seemed to have a good sense of how to get him the ball, as if they’re great friends and have been playing together for years. Sometimes he forces it into Henson off pick and rolls and it’s led to some turnovers, but in general, they have a nice chemistry.

Jerryd Bayless, PG 23 MIN | 3-9 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 5 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 6 PTS | +2

He played a big role in Milwaukee’s second quarter surge that pushed its lead up to seven points by halftime, but he wasn’t able to contribute much positive work in the second half. Most of the team turned in an uneven performance and he was no exception.

Jared Dudley, SG 23 MIN | 3-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 4 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 9 PTS | -3

It isn’t always apparent, but it was clear on Friday night why teams haven’t spent the last 10 years playing Jared Dudley at the power forward position. He always battles, but David West was a very difficult cover for him and Luis Scola snuck by him for an offensive rebound a time or two. Dudley answered back with some threes, but Milwaukee certainly could have used another big on the court either in his place or next to him more often.

O.J. Mayo, SG 24 MIN | 5-12 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 11 PTS | -7

He didn’t seem to be the pick and roll ball mover he’s been at times this season. That’s the Mayo that’s most fun to watch.

Jason Kidd
He relied on what’s been working lately – small lineups – even when they weren’t thriving in this game. He’s been quick to swap guys in and out based on the feel of the game, so it was surprising he didn’t attempt to counter with another big next to either Henson or Pachulia, even if that meant more time for the unproductive Johnny O’Bryant.

Two Things We Saw

  1. Milwaukee had been setting nets ablaze of late with its 3-point shooting, but made only 7-24 3FG against the Pacers. They won the points in the paint battle 46-42, which was surprising given how often the Pacers were forcing the ball inside, but at this point, Milwaukee probably needs to make a higher percentage of threes to win games.
  2. Remember those things I wrote about CJ Miles in the preview? He was fantastic, hitting his first three 3-pointers. Kidd said after the game that he warned his guys that Miles was one of the league’s hottest players from the outside and they found out he wasn’t lying real quick. Miles ended up with 22 and certainly helped swing this game in the Pacers favor.

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3 Comments

  1. The 4th quarter dry spell beat us. That’s why you have to play an authentic point guard. That’s the point guard’s job … to get things going when a team goes stagnant. Please Kidd … start playing Nate more. Knight IS NOT a point guard.

    • Nate, really? He is not long for this league and certainly won’t be playing big minutes in the 4th quarter.