Saturday, November 6, 2010

Bucks Fight Back to Win

Andrew Bogut didn't play in Friday's game because of a migraine, so who would be the one to step it up for the Bucks? Surprisingly, it was none other than Luc Richard Mbah a Moute himself. He made the most of his appearance in the starting lineup and put up a nice double double to help the Bucks just get by the Pacers. This was a much needed win for Milwaukee as they head home to face the undefeated Hornets, who took down the Heat Friday night. Milwaukee will be looking for their first winning streak of the season Saturday night at the Bradley Center.

This was a game where again Milwaukee was able to play solid defense, I guess except for the second quarter when they gave up 40 points. I was shocked that we would give up that many points in a quarter to any team, much less the lowly Indiana Pacers. Thankfully, Milwaukee was able to hold them to 50 points total across the other three quarters. The Bucks have not given up 100 points in regulation yet and that streak continued on Friday, as the only time they've given up over the century mark this season was against the Celtics in an overtime battle. So the defense is no doubt there, but we are still in search for a consistent offense. That's highlighted by the fact that the Bucks haven't scored more than 100 in regulation yet either.

One guy that did find the offense en route to his highest point total of the season on Friday was John Salmons. He finished the game with 22 points, 5 rebounds, and 5 assists. This really was his first solid performance of the season. Glad to see him finally step up his game, now if Drew Gooden could get it going as well this team could start winning games.

The Bucks kept it close all game until about a minute left in the third when they fell behind by nine points. Because of how games have gone this season, at this point we were all thinking, "Here we go again." Not Friday night however, as the Bucks scored the final three points of the quarter, and then started the fourth off on a 7-0 run. The rest of the quarter was back and forth, and Mbah a Moute made a jumper to make it 92-86 with 1:29 to go. I would have thought it was over in favor of Milwaukee, but the Bucks managed to foul the Pacers and give up a breakaway lay up to cut the lead to 92-90 with one minute left. Four points in 29 seconds is not good when you have a six point lead. Milwaukee should have been better at controlling the ball.

The Bucks were able to run down the shot clock, but then couldn't make a hoop. The Pacers had a chance to tie or take the lead, but Granger missed a jumper. This is when things got interesting, because there was only a two second difference in the shot clock, but the Pacers tried to play defense for a stop. With the way Indiana was defending, I thought it would have made the most sense to throw up a shot with one second left on the shot clock, and if it hit the rim then time should run out. Well Salmons felt the need to drive to hole and go for a lay-up instead. Lucky for him the Pacers were calling with a blocking foul, even though Salmons clearly could have been called for a charge. It was a huge break for the Bucks, because Salmons would knock down both throws for a Bucks win.

Lets check out some highlights from the much needed 94-90 Bucks win.

* Luc Richard Mbah a Moute didn't know until Friday night he was going to start, and boy did he play a huge role. The reason he is getting the Bucks POTG for Friday is because of his 15 rebounds, six of which were on the offensive glass. Having him work hard on the boards was a huge replacement for Bogut being out. As mentioned, those 15 boards combined with his 10 points gave him the double double. I really think he should start for Gooden, and we should bring Gooden off the bench as our big guy with the second team. Just a thought.

* Maggette, Ilyasova, and Dooling combined for 28 points, 10 rebounds, and 4 assists off the bench for the Bucks. It's always nice when you are down a starter and the bench to give a little help.

* Milwaukee was 22-30 from the free throw on Friday night. This shouldn't be that low of a percentage when you worst free throw shooter is out of the game. You have to make free throws if you want to win close games, thankfully the Bucks started making them more when the game got down to the stretch.

* Roy Hibbert had a nice game for the Pacers with a double double. He finished with 14 points, 12 rebounds, and 6 blocks. Good game for the big guy that has been a little of a surprise this season. I didn't think he would make this big of an impact in the NBA.

Again, this was a much needed win for the Bucks, and now Saturday night Milwaukee will try to put an end to the Hornets undefeated season. They will have to find a way to slow down CP3 and David West. Both seem to be back into form from when the Hornets made a good playoff push a few years back. Saturday night you can bet the Bradley Center will be rocking for this game that could produce the third Bucks win of this young season.


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