Saturday, December 11, 2010

Bucks Play Rocket Buster

I think it might be safe to say that Andrew Bogut is all the way back from his late season injury last year. Bogut had just a monster game Friday night against the Rockets as the Bucks took down the Rockets 97-91. Milwaukee got off to a good start early, which turned into them controlling the game. This is the way we saw this team play last season. They worked the ball through Bogut, and Jennings/Salmons got open looks on double downs.

Credit John Salmons for playing one of his better games so far this season. Tony Smith, who filled in for Jon McGlocklin in the broadcast booth, said it looked like Salmons finally got his game legs. Kelvin Sampson also went up to Tony Smith before the game to tell him Salmons would have a good game, a comment which Salmons sheepishly laughed at when he found out afterwards.

The Rockets on the other hand were without Yao Ming (Yao Ming Yao Ming Yao Ming!), so Milwaukee attacked the paint at will. The Bucks had 56 of their 97 points in the paint, and Milwaukee only took 8 three pointers, which is very low for them. I kind of like that plan of attack from this team, because Mbah a Moute can drive, Sanders works low, and Bogut is just a beast. So this team should stick to working the ball inside, and playing solid defense. That is how they took care of Houston Friday night.

Two parts of the game that worried me were when the Bucks built a 10 points lead in the third, but would give it up later in the quarter. They had a chance to run away with this game, but they kept turning over the ball. The second worrisome moment for me was when Bogut made a lay up with 4:16 to go in the game and the score was 90-82 good guys.  But with 57 seconds left in the game Milwaukee was still stuck on 90 points. Again they turned the ball over when they just needed one big bucket. They were still able to win the game, but mainly thanks to Ilyasova being fouled when shooting a three. That is not something you will see everyday, so we still need someone to step up and make a big shot if we're going to win more games like this.

Either way Bucks took this one 97-91, and lets check out some stats:

* Guess who's back, back again, Bogut's back, tell a friend. Huge game for him as he put up Dwight Howard type numbers finishing with 24 points, 22 rebounds, and 5 blocks. This team is his team, and will go as far as he can take them. No question here for the Bucks POTG, Bogut took this one.

* Jennings and Salmons each had good games as well. Salmons finished with 17 points, 6 rebounds, and 5 assists. BJ3  had the scoring working for him Friday night as he finished with 19 points and 3 assists. Bogut, Jennings, and Salmons accounted for 60 of the Bucks 97 points. Watch out Bosh, James, and Wade, there might be a new big three to be messing with. Well... maybe not, but I can hope some day that wish will come true.

* Sixteen turnovers for the Bucks, which is way above what they normally have. This team can be very good if they don't just give away free points to the other team. They need to trust their defense, and be safe with the ball on offense.

* Every Bucks player that went on the court scored at least two points, but every Bucks player on the court also had at least one turnover.

* Luis Scola was not able to get it going Friday. He has been the leader of this Rockets team with Yao out, but the Bucks were able to keep him in check. He finished with 10 points, 6 rebounds, and 3 assists. Not really a stat filler night for him. Good job by the Bucks to force Scola into bad shots.

So the Bucks finished with a 3-1 home stand where their only loss came to the Heat. The big test will be the next three games for them. On the road against the Mavs, then Spurs, and back home for one game against the Jazz. After that it's a trip out West for three games. If they can do some damage during this stretch we might get ourselves right back into this thing. Every game they seem to be playing just a little better, so lets hope it can continue. The only thing they can do is go out Monday against the Mavs at 7:30 central time, and win. One game at a time.

"Now that we've got our big man back, we're able to do some things we weren't in the beginning."


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