See, I knew I had to get that "we're in first place" post out of the way while I could. The Bucks parlayed all their recent good vibrations into an abysmal 114-99 home blowout loss to the lowly Sixers, who shot 52%. Knee-jerk reactions:
- Look at the +/- numbers and you'll get a good feel for how the game went. The starters were again flat and fell behind by double-digits, reacting poorly to full court pressure and appearing disorganized defensively. Redd was a staggering minus-31 and Bogut not much better at -25.
- The bench erased a 34-20 lead in the second by going on a 19-4 run. Charlie Villaneuva was the offensive catalyst with Bobby Simmons out due to personal reasons. CV scored 12 on 5/6 fg in the second, though the microscopic backcourt of Mo, Ivey and Bell also worked hard to pressure defensively and get open looks offensively. Mo was the only starter to contribute at all, scoring 14 along with nine assists, though he was most productive with the second unit. Gadzuric also delivered nice energy, but that same group wasn't able to do anything when LK went to them again in the late third/early fourth. The starters lost the game in the third quarter.
- Despite their bomb squad run, the Bucks then couldn't get a lead going into halftime and the starters again dug a hole in the third. It seemed like the Bucks continually expected they would just be able to outclass the Sixers by showing up, but the Sixers came out ready and caught the Bucks flat-footed. Coming back from the big deficit gave the Bucks a second chance, but they then couldn't take it any further in the middle-quarters. Probably the most telling sequence was in the third when Charlie Bell came away with a steal only to have his fast break pass picked off as he looked for Mike Redd in the frontcourt. The Sixers immediately went the other way and Korver buried an open three. It seemed like the minimal amount of energy in the BC disappeared for good on that play.
- The starters especially seemed confused on defense, leaving guys open all over the court. They frequently resorted to a zone, and Jim/Jon a couple times found themselves trying to sort out if it was a matchup zone or if guys were simply not on the same page as to how they were defending.
- Iguodala was a load all night with 20 points, 11 assists and 4 rebounds, and in general the Bucks got caught too many times with bigs guarding him. Iggy did a great job taking advantage, burying shots when he was open or driving when the Bucks played him tight. More often than not he finished those drives with either dunks or assists. He also blanketed Redd pretty well, preventing the Bucks leading scorer from ever getting into the game. Redd finished with 17 points and took just 10 shots.
- Dalembert was the biggest beneficiary of Iguodala's big night, scoring on a ton of easy dunks down low and finishing with 22/8. Whenever the Bucks made a run it was when the Iggy/Dalembert combo was off the court, and not surprisingly they were +25 and +24, respectively. He owned Bogut, who was never in the game and finished with only 6/8.
- Likely looking ahead to tomorrow's game in Atlanta, LK went for the white flag/statement of putting in Jake Voskuhl with over six minutes left in the fourth. Awvee Storey even made an appearance, his first as a Buck.