Milwaukee Bucks Mid-Week Report:

What We Have Seen :

We have seen another tough loss with another poor 4th quarter performance. After the rough 1-3 record in the last wee, the Bucks took some energy and urgency into the road game vs. Denver. A solid start left them with a halftime lead, but another 4th quarter let-down, and 3rd quarter as well, it leaves fans wondering why the Bucks cannot close out games. It’s not that they can’t. It’s not that they won’t. The exact ‘contraction’ for finishing that sentence is not known.

What We Have Not Seen :

We have not (or did not) see the meat of the Orlando Magic lineup. 4 players missed the game due to a nasty stomach virus, including starters Dwight Howard and Jameer Nelson. Games always go easier when the opponent is missing the 2x defending Defensive Player of the Year. Howard is the best in the league at all the things Bogut is improving at: Howard nails 58% of his shot attempts while collecting 12 points and 2.5 blocks each game. He is such a massive part of the Magic team and was clearly missed.

What We Wish We Would Have Seen :

While we wish we would have seen that Howard/Bogut matchup, let’s just settle for the results we got. Is it possible that the Bucks would still win this game if all the sick Magic players were active? Who cares? It’s a needed win over a quality team and snaps a losing streak for Milwaukee. In Howard’s absence, Bogut was able to shoot a terrific 65% and picked up 31 points, 18 rebounds, and 2 blocks.

What We Wish We Would Have Not Seen :

We are certainly fed up with watching Milwaukee shoot free throws. It was clear that Orlando had no defensive answer for Andrew Bogut, Brandon Jennings attacked the basket well and drew some fouls, and 6 other players all got to the charity stripe. 43 free throw attempts in all, and the Bucks only made 23 of them. That is 20 missed free throws, a dismal 53.5%. A lot more people are talking about the “Hack-a-Bogut” style of defense after Orlando coach Stan Van Gundy actually used it. And why not? According to an AP report, Van Gundy’s logic:

“Even if he makes one, they’re not coming down and taking 12, 14, 16 seconds off the clock. We’re adding possessions to the game. We were down. To me, it was you had a guy shooting less than 50 percent at the line and we needed possessions. It was a no-brainer to me.”

What We Wish We Could See But It Has Not Happened Yet So Therefore We Cannot See It :

We still have yet to see a full, complete performance by this basketball team. Sure, the win over Orlando was close, but how can you call it a “complete game” when the other team is missing so many players? Monday night against the Miami Heat will be a much better measure of what Milwaukee has learned. A loss to the Heat, and people will say “Miami is just that good.” A win over Miami could be a turning point.

Milwaukee Brian’s Bucks Report runs from Wednesday-Tuesday and covers all the highlights, all the highs and lows of the 2010-11 Milwaukee Bucks season. Topics can be found at Pocket Doppler – The Wisconsin Sports Blog and  Milwaukee Brian Sports

 

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