|Ersan Ilyasova, PF 27 MIN | 5-8 FG | 1-2 FT | 3 REB | 1 AST | 3 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 13 PTS | +9 +/-
Ilyasova was quiet early other than his usual activity on the glass. He only came down with three rebounds, and the Bucks as a team seemed to struggle to control loose balls, especially in the first half. After closing out the first quarter, Ilyasova didn’t re-enter until the 2:47 mark of the second quarter. He immediately knocked down a three on Milwaukee’s first possession, put in a layup a minute-and-a-half later, then hit another three with two seconds remaining in the half. That cut the Philadelphia lead to just six after it stood at 14 when Ilyasova entered the game.
|Giannis Antetokounmpo, SF 34 MIN | 3-9 FG | 6-10 FT | 7 REB | 3 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 12 PTS | -3 +/-
I don’t know that “timid” is the right word, but Giannis was not in attack-mode from the start. He missed a couple of open mid-range jumpers in the first quarter, struggled to control the ball around the rim, and started 1-of-4 from the line before picking things up in the second quarter. Antetokounmpo scored seven points in the period, six of which came courtesy of dunk shots. Most notably, this dunkshot.
|Zaza Pachulia, C 19 MIN | 3-9 FG | 3-4 FT | 6 REB | 1 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 9 PTS | +2 +/-
Curiously, Pachulia only played 19 minutes, as Kidd rode Henson (21 minutes) slightly more than normal and closed out the game with Miles Plumlee (eight minutes). Pachulia seemed to struggle a bit with the Sixers’ athletic bigs, and the Bucks as a whole had trouble containing drives to the hoop. Philadelphia finished with 46 points in the paint, 18 of which came in the first quarter. The only thing about Pachulia I wrote in the chicken scratch that is my game notes is: “Zaza wtf shot?” If I remember correctly, that’s in reference to a contested, mid-range jumper he hoisted off of an offensive rebound. Other than that, not a ton to complain about in a game that was probably a little bit tough to get up for after clinching Sunday.
|Michael Carter-Williams, PG 30 MIN | 11-17 FG | 8-13 FT | 5 REB | 5 AST | 3 STL | 1 BLK | 2 TO | 30 PTS | +19 +/-
Whether Carter-Williams is a “true” point guard may still be up for debate, but he was easily the best player on the floor in his 30 minutes. He was one of only a few Bucks to play well in the first half, and he pretty much carried the team through a sluggish first quarter (14 points). He did most of his damage in the lane, showcasing his ability to get within four or five feet of the basket, gather himself and elevate over smaller defenders. He was able to exploit Ish Smith with that move on a few occasions. Carter-Williams was relentless as an attacker, drawing three and-ones and eight total shooting fouls on the night.
|Khris Middleton, SG 32 MIN | 4-11 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 3 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 9 PTS | +13 +/-
Middleton had some open looks, but he was quiet for most of the night as Carter-Williams handled more of the offensive load. For as good as Middleton is, he still has games here and there where he seemingly disappears for long stretches. He wasn’t totally off the map Monday, but it was a reminder that when his jumpshot isn’t falling, he becomes much more limited offensively. It’s worth noting that his lone three-pointer did come at a crucial time when Milwaukee made its run just before halftime.
|Miles Plumlee, C 8 MIN | 2-4 FG | 1-2 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 5 PTS | -3 +/-
After beginning the month with three straight DNP-CD’s, Plumlee has played in each of the last four games. His eight minutes were his most since Mar. 24, and it remains to be seen if he’ll have a role when the playoffs begin this weekend. Both of Plumlee’s field goals Monday came via the dunk shot. The first, off of a no-look pass from Giannis, and the second courtesy of a Tyler Ennis alley-oop with less than two minutes to play.
|John Henson, C 21 MIN | 3-3 FG | 1-2 FT | 3 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 6 BLK | 1 TO | 7 PTS | +11 +/-
Six blocks in 21 minutes. That’s a lot of blocks. And Henry Sims was on the receiving end of four of them.
|Tyler Ennis, PG 9 MIN | 1-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 2 PTS | +9 +/-
Like Plumlee, it’s tough to predict whether Ennis is going to be a part of the playoff rotation. He rarely plays more than seven or eight minutes on a given night, but he’s also not a garbage-time-only player, as Kidd routinely finds him a few minutes in competitive situations. If he can take care of the ball and knock down open shots semi-routinely, there’s no reason Kidd can’t continue to deploy him in short stints in a playoff setting.
|Jorge Gutierrez, PG 13 MIN | 1-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 2 PTS | -13 +/-
Gutierrez is a bit more versatile than Ennis, and it might come down to one or the other in the playoffs. Neither did much to further their case Monday,
|Jerryd Bayless, PG 21 MIN | 2-7 FG | 1-1 FT | 5 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 5 PTS | -2 +/-
Bayless is a great option to have off the bench, but he hasn’t been able to rediscover the shooting stroke and decision-making that made him so valuable when the Bucks were peaking around the All-Star break. He hasn’t necessarily killed Milwaukee since then, but the shooting numbers aren’t pretty. Beyond that, he seems more indecisive and mistake-prone offensively. On Monday, he committed an unnecessary shot-clock violation and a silly turnover late in the game when the Bucks simply had to take care of the ball and run out the clock. Bayless’ level of play could go a long way in determining how the first-round shakes out.
|O.J. Mayo, SG 26 MIN | 5-9 FG | 2-2 FT | 4 REB | 4 AST | 3 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 13 PTS | +8 +/-
Mayo came out firing and initially had trouble finding his stroke, but he keyed a run to begin the fourth quarter that put the Bucks up eight. Mayo hobbled through a difficult month of March, but he’s been great since the calendar turned to April, averaging 14.7 points on 52% shooting (50% 3Pt).
Four Things We Saw
- Giannis be dunk-shotting.
- You might have heard, but at halftime, the Bucks’ revealed their new logos during a presentation/party back in Milwaukee. If you haven’t seen them yet, here they are. The unveiling ceremony, which was broadcast on FS-Wisconsin during halftime, had an… interesting feel to it. Rather than simply revealing logos, the team brought in “speed painters” to paint the logos in real time on large, blank canvases. These people painted very quickly, but it still took about 10 minutes or so to complete the set. It was cool, but the decision to have two guys sing covers of Lenny Kravitz, Bruno Mars and Journey songs while this was all going on was much less cool. Nonetheless, the new logos and colors are officially here, and from what I’ve seen the feedback has been generally positive. Word on the street is Smashmouth is headlining the jersey unveiling ceremony, which will take place this summer.
- Johnny O’Bryant did not see the floor. Resting up for the playoffs.
- Things got a little chippy toward the end of this one once it was clear Milwaukee had things wrapped up. O.J. Mayo got tangled up under the basket and earned a technical for jawing with JaKarr Sampson and Henry Sims. Mayo appeared to continue talking with Sims well after the tech was called, but it looked like the two reconciled, as the TV camera showed Mayo offering Sims a quick dap during the ensuing timeout. Sampson, who was probably the most fired up, got his revenge a few minutes later with this absurd putback that knocked Jerryd Bayless’ headband out of place.