Thursday, December 3, 2009

Big Losses Come in Small Packages

He's had a career that's taken him from New Jersey, Cleveland, Orlando, Los Angeles, Golden State, Denver, Charlotte, Italy, and even Milwaukee. But on Wednesday Earl Boykins' career found him in Washington, where he was the catalyst in the Wizards 104-102 win against the Bucks.

After Brandon Jennings had tied the game at 102 with seconds left to play, Boykins was able to get Jennings to foul him at the other end and nail the two free throws to give Washington the victory. But Boykins did much more than that, as he either scored or set up the final eight points for the Wizards, inspiring the Wizards crowd to chant "M-V-P" in honor their unlikely 5'5'' hero. Obviously, the Hunter of the Night.

It was the ending to a game that was back and forth throughout, one that looked like the Bucks might have been able to pull out. But after starting 8-3, the Bucks lost their fifth game in six tries, and it looks like this team might be leveling out a bit. I was guilty of running up and down the streets screaming 'Playoffs!' immediately after Jennings rattled off 55 that one night, and I still think that will be in the cards for the Bucks, but it's probably could we take a step back and realize that there's still some work to do (that being said, had the Bucks won last night I would have probably crowned them NBA champions).

The Bucks did get a good night out of Luke Ridnour, he had 20 points and six assists, but he's out of the running for Player of the Game thanks to that last second shot of his that almost had us wishing for the days of Mo Williams. Jennings did his usual, but the POTG is headed to Hakim Warrick and his 20 points. Also Warrick was able to get to the line eight times in a game where the Bucks had just 12 free throw opportunities. Conversely, the Wizards got to the line 34 times, a stat interestingly still happened after Scott Skiles was ejected for arguing a foul. Odd.

Kind of a disappointing loss, but you'll have those during an 82-game season. I think if the Bucks can keep up what they've been doing with Jennings and Bogut, and continue to have the role players step up, you could easily find this team as a lower seeded Eastern Conference Playoff team. It's going to be tough though during the next couple of games to get back on track - the Bucks next three games are at Detroit, against Cleveland, and then at Boston.

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