If Golden State had played Milwaukee back in November, and one backcourt hit 10/16 and 10/19 field goals while the other made 7/17 and 7/18, it would have been a near-lock that the Warriors won with the better shooting, no?
In March, though, Monta Ellis and Brandon Jennings, though, have finally found a way to play together to their strengths. Last night, the pair combined for 57 points on 57% shooting from the field to knock of the Warriors on the road, 103-93.
Jennings, in particular, played the type of game he should have been playing for all of 2012-13: more three-point attempts (11), more passing (10 assists), and fewer forays into the painted area (2/2 FG). He made six of his 11 three-point attempts against the Warriors. He even scored on the Steve Nash floater that we haven’t seen in a while. This style is the one that suits Jennings best and also the one that will make him the most marketable.
Ellis played inversely to Jennings, taking more shots on drives and exploiting the breathtaking speed advantage that he has over nearly every NBA shooting guard. Ellis took seven shots in the paint compared to Jennings’ two. For what it’s worth, Ellis started his 360-degree layup move twice, but wisely bailed out with spinning passes.
It’s a correlation, but is it an Aussie causation?
For the season, the Warriors are now 27-21 when Andrew Bogut doesn’t play, and 8-8 when he does. Bogut finished the game with nine rebounds, four assists and a block in close to 30 minutes of action. He was particularly ineffective in the game’s final six minutes, when he returned after a long rest with sluggish legs and he picked up a pair of crucial fouls.
Ish Smith saw his first action as a Buck: two minutes bridging the end of the third quarter and the start of the fourth. On the play ending the third, Smith caught a rebound and sprinted 90 feet with the ball in three seconds, but his floater came about 0.2 seconds after the horn. His best play was a stymied dribble-drive that he regathered and parlayed into an assist on a jump shot.
After three quarters of not doing much, Redick exploded with eight points in the deciding fourth quarter. He still gets in trouble when he dribbles and picks up that dribble too soon. He did finish a bank shot over Bogut in the fourth quarter, then nailed a pair of three-pointers. On the second of those, he landed on foot, sprained his ankle and left the game for a brief period.
On a related note, the Bucks haven’t had the chance to exploit the advantages of a Dunleavy-Redick lineup much since the trade. Dunleavy has slumped in March, hitting just 10-of-30 field goals. If/when they get hot at the same time…
The Bucks were fortunate to catch the Warriors on the second night of a back-to-back. Golden State lost to Houston Friday. Now it’s the Bucks turn to try and stay fresh. They play in Sacramento tonight, the second game of four in five nights. They will also play home Tuesday against the Mavericks, then head to the nation’s capital for a game against the Wizards.