To say that watching this Bucks team game in and game out is a roller-coaster ride would be a huge understatement. From the opening night game against Boston, I knew that this would be a different team and I can still see that as we’re now a month into the season. Just the feeling you get while watching this team would make people think you’re bipolar because of the scattered emotions you experience in those 48 minutes.
This game was really the prime example of the craziness: the Bucks started the game out absolutely miserably, allowing the Rajon Rondo-less Celtics to break out to a 17-0 lead in the opening minutes of the game. They had me thinking about how I would recap this game without throwing out a flurry of F-bombs like my father when he stubs his toe. After an Ersan Ilyasova mid-range shot killed that drought, Milwaukee entered the second quarter down 27-11, but that lead vanished before everybody’s eyes thanks to Boston going ice-cold from the field. They shot 33% from the field in the second after shooting 50% in that lop-sided opening quarter. Ilyasova and Brandon Jennings took over the game early in the quarter, but Larry Sanders dominating Jeff Green pulled the Bucks back even with Boston.
After the Bucks went into halftime trailing 48-47, they went into a Ali vs. Frazier style heavyweight match trading blows until Brandon Jennings drilled a 26-foot three pointer with just 24 seconds left in the game. It put the Bucks up 90-88 and the shot ended up being Milwaukee’s haymaker knockout punch at the Celtics. I know that this was nowhere near a boxing match, but it had that epic feel to it that only the buzz of a title bout can give.
Even though Jennings hit that three that ended up killing the Celtics, the real star of this show had to be Larry Sanders — who followed friday’s triple double record-breaking performance with 18 points, 16 boards and five blocks. It was just a joy to watch. Sanders has made a believer out of me and I was chanting his name along with the BMO Harris Bradley Center faithful at the end of the game. Every time Larry steps on the court he adds so much energy and enthusiasm to this team that the other four Bucks players just feed off of him. He’s that blue-collar minded player that the hard-working Wisconsin people can get behind and has the potential to be their “favorite son” even if he’s a Florida boy.
It wasn’t just the Larry Sanders show (shout outs to Garry Shandling) tonight but an overall team performance that featured the return of Luc Richard Mbah a Moute who was productive with eight points and six boards in only 14 minutes of play. Ersan Ilyasova looked extremely solid after a rough first-quarter, posting 15 points on 5-11 shooting. You can see that this could be a good sign of things to come — he’s had a few productive games after getting taken out of the starting lineup.
The backcourt of Ellis and Jennings combined for 40 points, but it was really an unproductive outing for the duo besides that clutch shot by Jennings. To be kind, you could say that Ellis was subpar in his 17-point, seven-assist performance because he shot 6-20 from the field and was one the reasons why the Bucks got off to that awful start. Ellis was just awful making both bad passes and bad shots all during that quarter.
This will be a game that Bucks fans will remember fondly because it was just a blast and an entertaining game from the 2nd quarter on. Even though we’re only 8-7, I still see some potential in this young team despite the fact that they make you want to rip your hair out at times. What can you really expect as a Bucks fan? This is going to be a long roller coaster ride and I’m ready to be along with the ride.