Bucks’ marketing department had us feeling so 2000, Ramon Sessions had us feeling so 2008, and this Milwaukee Bucks team had us feeling so… oh yeah… 2014.
Serving as a reality check for Bucks’ fans, the Bucks fell 110-100 to the Indiana Pacers on “Y2K Night” at the Bradley Center. In a nostalgia-fueled Saturday night, the 17,165 fans in attendance (Even Indiana’s “Area 55” super fan section made the trip over) were treated to a dosage of former Buck Glen Robinson as well as the popular 90’s rapper Coolio. Despite all of the pleasant reminiscing that the game brought us, “Y2K Night” ultimately resulted in the same thing Y2K was supposed to, doom (for the Bucks, not America).
The Pacers never trailed in Saturday’s game despite a valiant comeback effort the Bucks players put together that closed a 2nd quarter 44-22 Pacer lead to just 51-39 at the half. They kept the momentum going out of halftime in a stretch that saw them bring the deficit to only two, when an Ersan Ilyasova three-point attempt found net with 6:09 remaining in the third. Indiana had an answer for each Bucks’ run, however, negating what was arguably the highest level of play the Bucks have demonstrated this season.
Milwaukee (10-45) had the odds stacked against them coming into the matchup against the East’s best Indiana Pacers (42-13) and their defense was constantly tested and exposed by the likes of Paul George, David West, and Lance Stephenson. George did his part Saturday as he rained down momentum-killing threes and finished with an efficient 32 points. West proved to be the X-Factor in the Pacer’s win, scoring a surprising 30 points while displaying a throwback big man’s repertoire of post moves. Stephenson chipped in 24 points and flirted with what he is becoming known for as a player, a triple-double.
Bucks fans also got their first chance to evaluate this year’s trade deadline pickups in Ramon Sessions and Jeff Adrien. The swap of Gary Neal and Luke Ridnour for Sessions and Adrien provided a noticeable spark to the team’s energy levels and group chemistry at least for Saturday’s game. The main scoring option for the Bucks tonight was once again Brandon Knight. He came out with something prove and started off hot, scoring 20 points in the first half alone. Although Knight shouldered most of the scoring burden, there was a balanced effort from his teammates with eight players scoring between six and 12 points each.
Saturday’s game was part one of this week’s matchups against the Pacers as the Bucks will travel to Indiana for Thursday’s game. Wedged between is a road trip to Philadelphia where the Bucks will take on their greatest threat to the number one pick in June’s draft, the Sixers (15-41).
The Newest Bucks
Ramon Sessions – Seven points, three rebounds, one assist. Sessions returned to Milwaukee and demonstrated the skill that appealed Bucks GM John Hammond when he traded for him this past Thursday. That skill of course is getting to the free throw line. Despite just shooting 1-5, he got to the line six times and made five of those. Even though he has had very limited practice hours in Larry Drew’s system, Sessions looked very comfortable out there and will be a productive player for the team going forward.
Jeff Adrien – Six points, 11 rebounds, three assists. Adrien opened eyes early in his debut with a stretch of an offensive rebound put back, a made midrange jump shot, and a lobbed pass to Giannis Antetokounmpo for the alley-oop. He is a hustle player and he will almost certainly be a fan favorite due to his high motor. Guys that can impact games without having plays drawn up for them are always useful and the Bucks have found a guy that can fill that role.
Points: George (32), Knight (30)
Rebounds: Stephenson (9), Adrien (11)
Assists: Stephenson (8), Knight (8)
Blocks: Hibbert (3), Henson (2)