Bucks Sundays – 1/29/12
“Who’s gonna win it, the Bucks the Bucks!”
Ok, sorry, a bit of 2001 nostalgia there. But it was actually rocking at the Bradley Center when the star-studden Los Angeles Lakers came to town, as it is every season. Fans still remember the heart break buzzer-beater from Kobe Bryant two years ago, but this year it didn’t matter. They completely out-worked the Lakers while faced with a shorten lineup (see “Ugly” below). It was simply one of those confidence wins that any mid-level team desperately needs.
In terms of individual performances, watch for Drew Gooden to take the weekly award on Wednesday. In his two games starting for the injured Andrew Bogut, Gooden is averaging 11.5 rebounds and 23 points on 52% shooting. And he hasn’t been a complete revolving door on defense, which is always a plus with Drew Gooden. Bogut will be out for a while, so Gooden will have to maintain this level of play in order to win a few fans back on his side.
As has been the norm this season, Milwaukee got a lot of contribution off the bench against both Chicago and Los Angeles. If they want to see any future success against teams with dominant interior players (such as the Lakers) they need to have their bench big guys playing absolutely reckless. So far guys like Jon Leuer and Ersan Ilyasova seem very willing to take on that task.
Losing in your division to your nearest neighbor is never fun. The Bucks got caught too deep in a back-and-forth battle with the Chicago Bulls and couldn’t recover. While they were more than willing, both physically and mentally, to put a battle up against the Bulls, they just fell behind too far too early. A late game rally fell just a bit short.
As I’ve stated before, this Bucks group has trouble maintaining large leads, but their tendency to have prolonged mental lapses in games has gotten better. Definitely better.
Already down Bogut for the next 2-3 months, Milwaukee was without Stephen Jackson for the Lakers game after he was suspended for verbal abuse of the referees in the loss to Chicago. While the short-handed win over the Lakers was great, it wasn’t great to see Jackson miss the game. He is clearly frustrated with his level of play, his role off the bench not was he was expecting coming into this year. The Bucks continuing any sort of winning stretch this season would ideally clear that up for Jackson.
Stat of the Weekend
The Bucks are shooting 43% overall on the season; 46% in their wins and 40.9% when they lose. They have won 2 games this season when being out-shot by their opponent, and conversely have lost 3 times when having a better shooting percentage.
@ Chicago, Lost 107-100
vs. LA Lakers, Won 100-89
Monday Jan 30th, vs. Detroit