Whether it's by virtue of a big winning streak followed by a big losing streak, or simply trading wins and losses consecutively, it's looking increasingly like the Bucks are destined to hang around .500. The Warriors clobbered the Bucks 120-90, pushing the Bucks back to 8-9. And so the Bucks leave California having played only one good half of basketball, but with a split of two games. The Bucks head to the Pacific Northwest for a pair of games against the Sonics and Trail Blazers before concluding the West Coast road trip back in California against the Kings.
- Michael Redd. The rest of the team is simply too reliant on him. Familiar story?
- Andrew Bogut. Unfortunately, he got lost in the hectic pace of the game, but was effective when involved.
- Yi Jianlian. The rookie was active on both ends of the court. His dunk might be the only highlight.
- Warriors' three pointers, on 15 attempts, accounting for 30 points. The Bucks made one three pointer, resulting in three points. The three point discrepancy accounted for 27 of the 30-point difference in the game.
- Bucks' turnovers. They had 18 assists.
- Bucks' second quarter points. We'll get back to this.
- He plays like a rookie sometimes, but more often than not Yi looks as experienced and natural on the court as anyone on the Bucks not named Redd, Williams, or Bogut. Tonight, he led everyone in offensive and total rebounds, and generally had a pulse. You can tell he really wants to finish at the rim, and he's so close, but needs a little more strength.
- Some credit to the Bucks for putting 29 points on the board in the fourth quarter to avoid a potentially national headline-grabbing ugly loss.
- The Warriors blitzed the Bucks in the first quarter. They created turnovers, and got into transition and down the court in the blink of an eye. They were hitting threes with 18 seconds left on the shot clock. They nailed five in a row from outside at one point and hit 6-8 in the quarter. The Bucks made none. They made most of their shots from the field. Davis spun around Redd a couple times. Jackson swished a couple from downtown. They had more assists and fewer turnovers than the Bucks. And the crowd, wow. If it were possible for a crowd to match the fervent energy of the Warriors’ players, that crowd does it. And yet, the Bucks went into the second quarter down just five. How’s that? Well, they got to the free throw line plenty, unlike the Warriors. And they did some other boring, effective stuff too, like dominate on the glass. The Warriors (not the Lakers) are Hollywood and Showtime. But while they dazzled, the Bucks grinded, and kept pace. Then the second quarter happened...
- Ah, the return of the 11-point quarter. You might be familiar with this classic Bucks’ quarter from mishits of the past such as the fourth quarter meltdown at the Garden. You might also be familiar with its partner-in-crime, the 14-point quarter, which made appearances in draining losses against the Spurs and Hawks. These are the types of quarters that make the other three irrelevant ultimately. It’s hard to understand how everything can so wrong... for twelve minutes in a row. It’s not like this is a boxing match. There should be some strength in numbers, right? Individuals can collapse, but not teams. The Bucks tried 11 different players by my count, and none of them did much to prevent the return of the 11-point quarter.
- Bogut made a pretty hook shot over Biedrins to give the Bucks a 5-4 lead. Yes, the Bucks had a lead in this game. In fact, Bogut gave the Bucks a 7-6 minutes later on a layup that followed an offensive rebound. That was the last time the Bucks had a lead. It was also the last time Bogut attempted a shot until more than two minutes had elapsed in the third quarter. Suffice to say, the return of the 11-point quarter had something to do with Bogut not attempting a single shot from the field. When your big man comes off a dynamite game against a premier center, and then hits his first two shots, there must be a way to get him the ball in a position to score within the next 18 minutes. Or Bogut must demand the ball. Unfortunately, the Warriors won this battle by effectively taking away opportunities with double teams and steals.
- The writer of the pregame notes, who shall remain nameless, just had to bring up how well Bell played against the Warriors last year, and how Villanueva’s style could jive nicely in an up-tempo game. On cue, neither player scored until the fourth quarter, when the Bucks were contemplating whether to lose by 25 or 30 points. Unfortunately, when a player has a particularly impressive line against a team from a previous year, it is more likely that player is going to regress to the mean than continue to play out of his mind. Speaking of mean regression, when is Bell’s shooting percentage going to rise above Bill Hall-batting average territory?