Short of a Texas Hat Trick – Bucks
The Bucks came up 2 points short of a mid-season quest to beat all 3 Texas teams in a 3 game stretch. Milwaukee faced Houston at home and was able to fend off a rally to hold on to a 97-91 victory at the Bradley Center. The next trip was to Dallas to take on the Mavericks, winners of 12 consecutive victories. Milwaukee was the one with the furious rally, finding themselves down by 20 points in the 2nd quarter, only to storm back and take a 9 point lead late in the game. The Bucks left Dallas with a 103-99 win, and swung on over to San Antonio, owners of the top record in the NBA. San Antonio showed why they sit on a 20-3 record by owning the Bucks on both sides of the court from the start. Another large deficit for Milwaukee turned into a gradual recovery as they came within 10 points, then 5, and then to a tie at 87-87. 90-90 was the next tie which carried down to the final 2 possessions. Milwaukee had the ball in the final 30 seconds, but Brandon Jennings was swarmed by the defense and passed the ball to Luc Mbah a Moute, who’s shot was short. The Spurs got a timeout with less than 10 seconds, and Manu Ginobili sunk a spinning jumpshot at the buzzer for the win.
2-1 in that 3 game stretch of the Texas teams is downright impressive, especially with the fact that the Bucks had started the season out in a slump. The Bucks team that showed up in big road games against two of the league’s top teams, Dallas and San Antonio, is a team that is finally getting healthy and accustomed to playing together. Jennings and Andrew Bogut are clearly the stars of the team. The players around them fill their defensive roles well and can contribute on the offensive side when needed. Chris Douglas-Roberts, Ersan Ilyasova and Keyon Dooling have all scored big points during the Texas stretch. There are still some issues, starting with turnovers. But if these solid performances can carry over through the rest of the season, success will soon follow.