The Milwaukee Bucks came into tonight’s game with the Detroit Pistons with a golden chance to climb back to .500. Instead, they go home with a puzzling pile of questions.
The Bucks shot 35% from the field for the game and played a vastly different game than the team that submitted five consecutive 100+ point performances.
MVP: Shaun Livingston
Choosing an MVP for this game is like giving out gold stars to the best students in detention. No one really deserves it.
Livingston gets it for providing a reliable offensive option in the second half. He gave sparks during a couple of rallies that got the Bucks within single digits, and he did a decent job on defense. He had a bad 4th quarter turnover, though, that led to a Piston fast break and set back the Bucks’ comeback efforts.
LVP: Drew Gooden (or Vanilla Ice)
Vanilla Ice played the halftime show. In 2012, no less.
Drew Gooden his his first show and he followed that up with 20 more minutes of awkward basketball: weird-looking, off-balance shots, tumbles to the hardwood, etc… The typical Drew stuff. He missed his last seven shots and finished with 4 points and 4 rebounds.
This should delight you…: Tobias Harris will be an NBA player
Harris has a big, active NBA body and a knack for scoring — two things the Bucks lack on a nightly basis. Once he gets things figured out, especially defense, Scott Skiles will trust him and the playing time will flow thereafter.
Tonight, Harris netted 8 points and 5 rebounds in 10:30 of playing time.
With Bogut out, it would be nice for Harris to figure it out soon while there are minutes to be had.
…And this should concern you: Missed jump shots
The Bucks put together a disjointed 11-0 run that spanned parts of the third and fourth quarters. It wasn’t pretty, save for a long rebound to Larry Sanders that led to Sanders leading a fast break and feeding Tobias Harris for a dunk.
(I know you don’t believe me, but this play existed and it was spectacular.)
In any case, the run cut a 15-point Piston lead down to four points. The Bucks just needed to hit a few open jumpers to make a game of it… and they never did.
The Bucks shot 1-for-10 outside the paint in the fourth quarter. They looked nothing like the team that caught fire against Miami late. Jennings, who put together a solid first-half of offense, shot 2-for-13 in the second half.
Also, Jennings played nearly the entire half, sitting out only the final 18 seconds once the game was out of reach. If Skiles won’t give Brandon a breather to recover his jump-shot legs, perhaps he could give him one to find his defensive feet? (Brandon Knight scored a career-high 26 points.) Plus, he overused Jennings headed into a game against Derrick Rose tomorrow night. Blech.
Final verdict: An Awful Loss to Add to a Pile of Awful Losses
One-third of the way into the season, the Bucks have wins over the Spurs, Lakers, Heat (twice), and Rockets. They also have losses to the Bobcats, Kings, and Pistons.
Which team is the real Bucks team? Does anyone really know?