Charlotte’s Gerald Henderson scored 17 points to propel Charlotte past the lowly Bucks.
One night after blowing a ten-point fourth quarter lead to the Sixers, Milwaukee got off to yet another slow start and fell to the Charlotte Bobcats 96-72 at the BMO Harris Bradley Center on Saturday. It’s the eighth consecutive loss for Milwaukee. That’s a lot.
While the Bobcats’ starting lineup of Josh McRoberts, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Al Jefferson, Kemba Walker and Gerald Henderson combined for 66 points, Milwaukee got just 18 points from it’s starting five. O.J. Mayo struggled for the second straight night, scoring just four points on 2-of-7 shooting after netting just nine Friday in Philadelphia. It was his third consecutive game scoring fewer than ten points.
Friday’s hero (I guess? Kind of?) Caron Butler, added five points in 20 minutes and Ersan Ilyasova chipped in seven points and two boards. Khris Middleton led all scorers with 20 points off the bench in a team-high 28 minutes. John Henson also contributed 10 points, nine rebounds and four assists.
Charlotte’s had five players in double-figures, and was led by offseason acquisition Al Jefferson’s 19 points and seven rebounds. Gerald Henderson added 17 points while former-Buck Ramon Sessions scored 13 off the bench.
A double-digit loss at home to the Bobcats means it’s officially time to panic in Milwaukee (well, depending on, you know…), and here are some items of note from Saturday’s game:
Numbers On The Boards: Entering Saturday, Milwaukee was the league’s second-worst rebounding team (39.3 per game) and ranked dead last in rebounding differential (-6.8, nearly double the 29th-place Knicks). Well, both of those numbers will sink even lower, as the Bucks were outrebounded 52-36. For anyone scoring at home, that’s a -16 differential. However, if there’s a silver lining in all of this, the Bucks tied their opponent in the offensive rebounding category for the second night in a row. So there’s that.
Back In Action: Brandon Knight returned to the court after a five-game absence but struggled mightily, scoring just three points (1-8 FG) and committing four turnovers. On the bright side, he did hand out seven assists and emerged from the game unscathed. Luke Ridnour started at point guard, but it’s likely only a matter of time before Knight reclaims his starting spot.
Deep Rotation: Though the game got out of hand after Charlotte outscored Milwaukee 28-12 in the third, the deficit was only seven at halftime. Still, 11 Bucks saw double-digit minutes, with no one playing more than 28 minutes. Only Khris Middleton found any semblance of offensive consistency, and perhaps the fluid rotation was a contributing factor to Milwaukee’s putrid 35.3 percent shooting performance. Also of note, Nate Wolters played just nine minutes, topping only Miroslav Raduljica’s six.
Giannis Sighting: After picking up two DNP-CDs on Wednesday and Friday, Giannis made his triumphant return to the hardwood, scoring six points (3-7 FG) and grabbing three boards in an encouraging 12 minutes. Given Milwaukee’s standing as the second-worst team in the league, it will be interesting to note whether Larry Drew is more willing to give the rookie some more run in meaningful situations.
Strong Words: In his post-game presser, Larry Drew apologized to the Milwaukee fans and had some strong words regarding the team’s performance (see below). Drew also indicated there would “definitely” be changes to the starting lineup for Monday’s game against the Pistons.
In Case You Were Wondering: The Bucks eight-game losing streak is the franchise’s longest since the 2007-08 campaign. That team featured household names Jake Voskuhl, Awvee Storey, Michael Ruffin, Yi Jianlian and, of course, Bobby Simmons. They finished with a 26-56 record – somehow only the seventh-worst that season. Saturday also marked the fourth time in five games Milwaukee was held under 82 points.
Thankfully, Milwaukee has Sunday off before regrouping and traveling to Detroit to face Brandon Jennings and the Pistons on Monday night.