The Bucks thoroughly stomped on the Pacers Wednesday night en route to a 99-85 win. But don’t let that scoreboard deceive you — it was hardly a 14-point game.
The win improved the Bucks to 5-2 overall (2-2 at home), the fourth-best record in the NBA. Milwaukee is now sitting atop the Central Division and tied for second in the Eastern Conference with the Miami Heat.
Let that sink in for a moment.
Yes, Milwaukee is only 8.5 percent of the way through their regular season — but savor this unfamiliar feeling while it lasts.
And while we attempt to wrap our minds around this unfathomable start, let’s dish out some awards from last night’s laugher:
Samuel Dalembert — Dalembert set the tone for the Bucks on both ends of the court. Milwaukee acquired the Haitian Sensation – a historical nemesis of Andrew Bogut – to contain the likes of Andrew Bynum and Roy Hibbert, who all gave the undersized Bucks fits last season. He did that – and then some – on Wednesday. Dalembert delivered almost all of his damage in the first half – leading the Bucks with 14 points, six rebounds and two blocks. Hibbert, meanwhile, went into intermission with five points, six rebounds and two blocks. He finished the night with seven points and eight rebounds in 25 minutes of action.
Advantage, Dalembert – and if we are able to say that every time Milwaukee faces Hibbert and Bynum in the East, it will become a little easier to overlook Dalembert’s tendency to sleep through games of lesser importance.
The Rest of the Bucks’ Starters – Yes, even Ersan Ilyasova. Although single-game +/- numbers render themselves quite useless, it’s still refreshing to the see all of the starters in the green, particularly after perusing this site the last couple days.
John Henson – The rookie saw action for the first time in a week after three consecutive DNP-CDs. In the last eight minutes of the fourth quarter, Henson scored a quick 10 points on eight shots and managed to invite a couple guests to the “Block Party.”
He also hoisted up nearly every shot within seconds of touching the basketball. But, hey, what’s there to lose?
The Entire Indiana Pacers Basketball Team– Seriously, they were awful. Despite winning the rebounding battle by seven and limiting Milwaukee to 41.8 percent, Indiana never put the even slightest scare into Milwaukee. The Pacers couldn’t score, didn’t secure the ball and wouldn’t hustle. Their halfcourt offense – seemingly lost without Danny Granger – was an utter train wreck. They shot an abysmal 37.5 percent from the field, 25 percent (5-20) from beyond the arc and 64.5 percent from the free throw line. Throwing the ball away 19 times, compared to Milwaukee’s six, did little to help their cause. Overall, it was a dreadful performance by last year’s third seed in the Eastern Conference, who have already suffered losses to the Bobcats and Raptors.
Ekpe Udoh Rebounding Award:
Udoh snagged seven (!) rebounds in 19 minutes, which led (!) the Bucks. He managed to do this with an injured wrist, apparently.
Inevitable Flagrant Foul Offender During a Bucks vs. Pacers Game Award:
Tweets of the Night:
It’s very easy for fans and media to criticize a player’s performance. It’s not always so easy for an athlete to cope with their struggles. In the broadcast, Jon McGlocklin said Ilyasova “gets insecure when he’s missing shots.” Gery Woelfel provided an even more unfortunate, humanizing example:
Ersan Ilyasova’s shooting woes continue: He’s 1-6 vs. Pacers. Told me he’s been losing sleep, fretting about his slump.
— Gery Woelfel (@GeryWoelfel) November 15, 2012
On a significantly lighter note:
Send Przybilla out to power bomb to Hansborough.
— Ian Segovia (@Ian_Segovia) November 15, 2012
A game recap, in 25 words:
Here’s the lead storyline for this game: the Pacers suck, and they know it. They flat out gave up on this game. Really poor effort.
— Steven von Horn (@StevevonHorn) November 15, 2012