Forget the fact the the Bucks nearly iced this game in regulation on an exclamation point alley-oop from Brandon Jennings to Larry Sanders then promptly let the Celtics erase a seven-point deficit in the final 42 seconds.
Forget the fact that Jennings was the prime culprit of the collapse with two missed free throws and an errant pass turnover.
Forget that Larry Sanders had 17 points and 20 rebounds.
Forget the fact that Paul Pierce sliced the Bucks up for 35 points, or that the player guarding him for much of the night, scored 20 (twenty?) or his own.
As a numbers-happy strategy geek, here’s what I would take away from this game: the Jennings-Mike Dunleavy-Luc Mbah a Moute-Ekpe Udoh-Sanders lineup is really, really, really good. More please.
Mbah a Moute was hurt to start the season, and when he returned Dunleavy was out. But now they’re both healthy at the same time, and when paired with the best defensive pairing inside plus the best Bucks’ point guard, they are a potent lineup.
The Bucks started the fourth quarter behind by eight points. They ran this lineup for eight minutes and ended up with a five-point lead. The Celtics shot 2-13 from the field.
Using Dunleavy as a guard won’t always work defensively, but this trend bears a whole heck of a lot of further examination.
Also, the Bucks are generally playing average basketball and they’re now 14-11. Viva la East.