Bucks Sundays – 2/5/12
So after a wildly-entertaining end to the month of January, the Milwaukee Bucks fall into some traditional habits, losing back to back division matchups. They had a chance to reach a .500 record for the first time this season, but couldn’t take the win on the road facing the Detroit Pistons. The Chicago Bulls plainly overwhelmed the Bucks, putting them at a 10-13 record as they get to rest a few days at home in their own beds. They’ll be eager to sleep off these few games.
The Bucks seem to be forming a budding rivalry with the Miami Heat. The first 7 years of LeBron James’ career were in Milwaukee’s division with Cleveland, so that familiarity carries on, amplified in these high-energy Bucks/Heat games. Milwaukee will always roll out the red carpet for Dwayne Wade, but he also gets his fair share of boos during game time.
The effort they put together to rally back against Miami was impressive, and while it didn’t provide much short-term inspiration, hopefully they can trust their ability to put up a good fight.
Unfortunately, the Bucks have been living and dying by their offensive efficiency. Milwaukee suffers from a slight personality disorder. On some occasions, the offense spreads out, plays with lightning speed and reaction, and scores with consistency. Other nights, it becomes the “Brandon Jennings Show”, only because he can be the only Buck that can hit a jump shot. And while Jennings is improving as a shooter, it’s not enough to continually carry his teammates, night after night.
Speaking of teammates, the loss to Detroit snapped a 14-game streak of at least one double digit scorer off the bench. In those 14 games, the Bucks were 8-6. They also broke a short stretch of games over 100 points. Bad nights happen, but the players know they have it in them. Confidence and consistency was a big problem with this team last season.
Chicago fans will attempt to turn Milwaukee into a home game through the end of time. Cubs and Bulls fans both have provided solid fan support in Milwaukee the last number of years. While the Brewers’ recent success has bumped the number of seats available to the border rivals, it’s still something fans usually comment (or complain) about when Chicago is in town.
Milwaukee faced a terrible first quarter against Miami, but clamped down on defense the rest of the way. It was impressive how Milwaukee battled back to take the victory. Against Chicago, there was very little defense to be had. The Bulls played on a far superior level than the Bucks and there was no chance of slowing them down. Hopefully that won’t be a common occurrence.
Stat of the Weekend
The Bucks are -40 in turnovers compared to their opponents in their 10 wins this season, and still have a net turnover advantage in their 13 losses, but only a slim -2. The passing game can open up the interior to allow players to attack the basket and draw fouls. It worked very well against Miami. In the losses? Not so much. Too many mistakes that need to be cleaned up.
Tuesday Feb 7th, vs. Phoenix