Sleight of hand was not enough to help the Bucks slow Ty Lawson and the Nuggets (AP Photo/Morry Gash)

Trading Antlers for Goat Horns: A Story of Milwaukee Bucks Whiplash

The Nuggets won tonight’s game over the Bucks in the first half, as they parlayed a breathtaking 17 fast break points into a 19-point halftime lead. The worst part came in the second quarter when the Nuggets outscored Milwaukee in transition by a 12-0 margin.

Here’s a look at the fast break plays that had the Bucks’ heads swiveling, as well as the player whose sloppy play caused the failure.  Amazingly, the screwups are well-distributed.  Everyone had a hand in the breakdowns.

1st Quarter

6:31 — Stephen Jackson misses a 17-footer while guarded by Gallinari. Gallinari takes off past Jackson, who watches the result of his shot and jogs back. Lawson flips out a gorgeous outlet pass and Gallinari gets an easy 2. Bogut had a chance to get back, too, and didn’t.  Goats: Jackson/Bogut

3:20 – Lawson gets Jennings to bite hard on a crossover; he then heads to the hoop.  Gooden rotates (and leaves Nene) to stop him, but Lawson sends a smart little bounce pass to Nene for a dunk. These weren’t transition points, but they were easy. Goat: Jennings

0:37 – Delfino makes a three-pointer. Tobias Harris and Corey Brewer jostle for rebounding position on the baseline as the shot goes through. Brewer sprints 94 feet and catches a long pass for the dunk. Beno Udrih also had a chance to get back, but didn’t. Goat: Harris

2nd Quarter

11:25 — After a made basket, Corey Brewer takes off (Shaun Livingston actually had a 15-foot cushion to start this footrace and still lost).  Andre Miller catches the inbounds and drops in a 70-foot pass over Livingston that would make an NFL quarterback proud.  Brewer misses the bunny but gets bailed out by the refs. While it was a great pass and a bad whistle, it’s still amazing how quickly Brewer gets past Shaun. Goat: N/A

10:00 – Gallinari intercepts a bad Beno Udrih pass. Gooden is the one man back, but he goes to guard Andre Miller as Brewer sweeps in on the other side for the dunk. Goat: Udrih

4:01 — Corey Brewer pushes the ball on the break, but the Nuggets don’t have any particular advantage in numbers or position.  But each Buck goes with his own man, leaving Delfino under the basket to defend Brewer alone. Carlos tries to draw a charge, Brewer sails around him for an easy layup. Goat: Delfino

3:31 — Jennings drives and hits a contested reverse layup. Nene tosses a quick inbounds to Lawson, who finds a streaking Afflalo for a layup.  Delfino tries to contest, but he had two people to guard. Meanwhile, Stephen Jackson slow steps all the way from his own baseline (when the shot went in) to midcourt. This play is probably the one that pissed Skiles off enough to bench Jackson. Egregious goat: Jackson

2:50 – Jennings makes a bad bounce pass to Leuer in transition and Nene steals it. The Bucks’ odd-man break quickly reverses into a 4-2 Nuggets break.  Jackson fouls Lawson, who goes on to hit his free throws. Goat: Jennings

0:28 – While Lawson guards Jennings near the top of the key and Miller covers Delfino in the corner, Harris drives and misses.  As Delfino watches the miss, Miller and Lawson take off.  Nene rebounds, hits Miller with an outlet pass, and Miller zips it over Jennings to Lawson for a layup. While Jennings was caught trying to guard two men, it was the quick hockey assist from Nene to Miller that should have been slowed by the presence of Delfino. Goat: Delfino

While the Bucks have had bad games this season, the easy Nuggets points — and the benching of Jackson in the second half — indicate a level of frustration in Scott Skiles that hasn’t yet arisen this season.  It’s here now, though.

It’s here for sure.

(End note: Jake is bringing a full recap tomorrow, but the first half failures were egregious enough to merit this calling of names.)

Tags: Brandon Jennings Denver Nuggets Fast Break Milwaukee Bucks Stephen Jackson Stephen Jackson Benched Transition

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