Bad fans and a good win: Bucks 96 – Mavs 95

I’m out on the current version of Squad Six.

All game long every game, these guys chant on every possession. That’s fine and I understand that they want to be an enthusiastic bunch. When the opposition goes to the free throw line they do a chant about the player being an unknown or having bad hair or something else generic. They never really get the rest of the Bradley Center involved and it feels like maybe they could avoid chanting constantly all game and focus a bit more on ways to get everyone else involved, but they have their schtick and it is what it is.

But on Friday night, they kept chanting “Zaza’s A Cheater” and “Baby Zaza” and a few other things at Milwaukee’s ex-center. Milwaukee’s ex-center who from all accounts really enjoyed the city. Milwaukee’s ex-center who played incredibly hard last year and gave that same group of clowns tons and tons to cheer for. Milwaukee’s ex-center who was traded from the team and did not leave on his own.

That’s the guy you want to target? He took it personally.

He gestured at them multiple times and dropped at least one f-bomb in their direction. So now he’s had a bad experience in Milwaukee and has justifiable reason to question the fans. Great job, Squad Six. Maybe next you can boo Kareem when he visits again or chant at Oscar Robertson that he’s no MCW.

Understand context and respect guys who played hard and were good to you and your city. Don’t be foolish.

Dallas Mavericks 95 Final
Recap | Box Score
96 Milwaukee Bucks
Jabari Parker, PF 30 MIN | 4-9 FG | 0-0 3FG | 2-2 FT | 2 REB | 3 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 10 PTS | -3 +/-

Another game, another uneven performance.

Giannis Antetokounmpo, SF 33 MIN | 2-8 FG | 0-0 3FG | 1-4 FT | 5 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 1 BLK | 3 TO | 5 PTS | -1 +/-

Disaster of a game, up until he held up well defensively on the last possession.

But here’s a synopsis of his last couple minutes. He short-armed a pass that led to a Felton fast break (fortunately for Milwaukee MCW blocked the layup). He fouled Dirk on a post-up then let Dirk blow by him after the inbound. He followed that up with a moving screen. He took two free throws and missed both.

All this came on a night where he was a non-factor throughout the game. Early in the game, Giannis caught the ball about 15-feet from the hoop with Dirk Nowitzki only lightly guarding him and gave it a good two and a half seconds of thought and one dribble before he shot a jumper. The jumper was airballed. This speaks to the kind of night he had.

Greg Monroe, C 28 MIN | 3-10 FG | 0-0 3FG | 3-5 FT | 12 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 9 PTS | -7 +/-

Same game as always, though there were a few less made shots and a few more offensive rebounds rather than defensive rebounds. He grabbed seven offensive boards and five defensive rebounds.

The Mavericks were actually not too bad of a matchup for him defensively either, given their propensity for the three point shot and Zaza’s role as a guy who stands in or near the paint while everyone else moves the ball.

Michael Carter-Williams, PG 41 MIN | 5-12 FG | 0-1 3FG | 5-8 FT | 12 REB | 8 AST | 5 STL | 1 BLK | 3 TO | 15 PTS | -2 +/-

Once again he piled up stats and made some unseemly plays … but he balanced those out with some real strong flashes. A crucial chase down block with the game tied and ninety seconds to play. A drive and lay off for a Parker dunk. A drive and LONG kick out pass to Mayo for a three.

There were moments again where he was out of control or forcing things that weren’t there. But more often than not, he gave the Bucks a chance to succeed offensively by giving the ball up and cutting around the hoop when chances presented themselves. He’s often an active player and tonight his activity led to a lot of good moments.

Khris Middleton, SG 39 MIN | 10-18 FG | 0-1 3FG | 7-9 FT | 3 REB | 5 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 27 PTS | -2 +/-

Middleton basically carried Milwaukee’s offense for the majority of the game, despite attempting only one three. He had success posting up smaller defenders that the Mavs were throwing on him and getting makeable shots throughout the game. His biggest moment of the game came at the end when he put the Bucks ahead for good with a bank shot in transition after a stop.

John Henson, PF 20 MIN | 8-9 FG | 0-0 3FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 16 PTS | +8 +/-

In addition to having a strong night of finishing around the rim, he was a late defensive sub for Monroe and it paid off in a big way. We’ve seen this before and we’ll probably see him come in for defensive purposes late in close games the rest of the season. This time he tipped away a Dirk Nowitzki pass that led to a fast break opportunity for Khris Middleton and a 96-95 Bucks lead that held up for the win.

O.J. Mayo, SG 35 MIN | 4-8 FG | 3-5 3FG | 0-1 FT | 5 REB | 6 AST | 1 STL | 1 BLK | 3 TO | 11 PTS | +10 +/-

Early on, Mayo struggled. He missed a technical free throw. He mishandled an easy pass. He missed an open layup, grabbed a rebound and missed a three. Badly. It didn’t seem like he failed for lack of effort, but he couldn’t get much going.

But in the fourth quarter, he hit two threes. Someone has to be out there to shoot threes, right!? It’s Mayo. And he did it well on Friday night. Given how rarely the Bucks attempt threes, when Mayo puts one up it’s kind of a “you had one job” scenario and he executed that job in the fourth quarter.

Rashad Vaughn, SG 14 MIN | 1-6 FG | 1-2 3FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 3 PTS | +2 +/-

Devin Harris – old, backup NBA guard – was able to blow by him a number of times for layups or fouls that led to free throws. Vaughn responded with a three once, but outside of that, his impact was again nonexistent.

Three Things We Saw

  1. 44 threes. The Mavs attempted 44 3-pointers. The most in the NBA this season. No question, plenty of Dallas’s 30 misses were open too. It seemed like they had five or six wide-open looks following offensive rebounds alone. But they struggled to make shots. When a team that’s been as good as Dallas has been this season shoots only 31% in a half – as they did in the first half – the defense only has so much to do with it. On some possessions, Milwaukee flashed some good close out and help ability, but they were inconsistent there. They did just enough defensively, though, especially outside of a tough stretch to start the second half.
  2. Points off turnovers were a big difference maker for Milwaukee. It didn’t seem like anyone on the Bucks outside Middleton was having an exceptional game early on, but the Bucks held a double-digit lead for the better part of the first half thanks to eight Dallas turnovers that led to 10 Milwaukee points.
  3. Late in the first quarter, the ball went out of bounds off the Bucks. It was initially ruled Bucks ball and the Mavericks bench exploded. Immediately a ref on the other side of the court aggressively gave a few whistle blows, which seems to be the official NBA ref signal for WHOA GUYS LET ME BAIL YOU OUT. The ref that first made the call threw his hands towards the Mavs, as if to hold them back or quiet them down. This happens about once a game and I always get a kick out of it. The call was quickly reversed and peace was restored.

Categories: Recaps

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12 Comments

  1. He was good, we had fun, he got paid, he remains paid, he’s on a better team, he’s having a career year in a better situation, he’s getting All Star votes, fans pay money and devote time to what’s essentially a billionaire play thing, there was zero visibility in town all day and a weekend snow covering is on the horizon, our team blows in a very disappointing way and this was a solid W against a good team at home…

    And you do understand you compared Zaza to Kareem and Oscar, right? Get over yourself. There are worse tragedies. Excellent work basically ignoring a good win over a tough opponent by the home team.

  2. Couple things that annoyed me with this recap:

    -You often say “the same game” with Monroe when you do recaps, but you make it sound like a bad thing… he’s consistently a big positive factor in Bucks games, and consistency has been the biggest issue with this team. At least you also consistently grade him at least a B!

    -If you want to give Vaughn grief for poor defense, that’s fine. But don’t make it seem like Harris is just so old worn out scrub lol. He’s been a big factor for the Mavs off the bench all season and he can still play extremely well. Carlisle probably likes him coming in for the second unit, otherwise I think he’s more than justified a potential starting spot on this team rather than Deron Williams or Barea.

    But other than that, I enjoyed the recap! Just REALLY wish the Bucks could win more than 2-3 games comfortably throughout the season instead of having it come down to last second buckets. Entertaining as that can be, I’m going to have a heart attack one of these nights!

  3. Jeremy-

    I was unaware you are the president of the Za Za Pachulia fan club. If the fans were able to rile up a visiting (and losing) opponent good for them. To often over the years the Bradley center has been like a tomb with no energy. Nice to see some fire.

    I won’t even dignify the Kareem, Oscar comment.

    Boy, some people sure do love their Za Za Pachulia.

    • I have to disagree. Jeremy is right; squad six were clowns for those heckles. Zaza was a classy player who always put the team first. Those same idiots were cheering him on last season, but because he gets traded it means he should be harassed? It’s one thing if it’s Brandon Jennings or Monta Ellis – two, selfish guys who had no interest in Milwaukee and bailed first chance they had. That’s not how Zaza was.

  4. I don’t know if it’s the underachieving Bucks or the lack of recaps lately, but the comments have been very hostile towards the Bucksketball staff. I just want to say I appreciate your coverage of the Bucks.

    On this game: The Bucks have to stop crashing down with the help defense. I rather have Deron Williams shooting a contested 10 footer than Wesley Matthews or Dirk shooting a wide open 3. Also, I feel like that would help (not solve) their rebounding woes. Missed 3’s result in long rebounds and when all the Bucks players are crashing the paint, there’s no one there to pick them up.

    • It’s not meant to be hostile, at least on my part, but likely on the parts of the other posters as well. I doubt Jeremy, or any other writer on this site, is expecting everyone to agree with every one of their views and opinions.

      I respect the heck out of the writers on here, and I wouldn’t have complained in the past about the lack of recaps recently if I didn’t care what they had to say. One of my favorite things is going on this site after a game and reading what they thought of the players and team as a whole. But I don’t agree with everything, and you know what? That’s cool! I’m sure they enjoy seeing the different perspectives of Bucks fans.

      • That’s not at all what I meant by my comment, but I totally understand how you got that from what I said. I fully expect there to be disagreements. This comment was aimed at some of the comments over the last couple of weeks, not necessarily this article. Sorry for the confusion.

  5. Amithe only fan who thinks Jabari is stillgoing to be a superstar? The only thing I believe that Giannis does better is play defense