One thing that hadn't happened in nearly a month: a Bucks road win. Not exactly a dominant performance against a Heat team missing three starters including Shaq, but don't expect the Bucks to complain about their 103-98 win in Miami, improving the Bucks to 3-15 away from the Bradley Center. It was absolutely painful to watch towards the end, but that's the way it is right now.
- After missing the Bucks' debacle in Detroit, Mo Williams returned and was the obvious player of the game, finishing with 25 points (9/14 fg) and nine assists. While he scored just five along with six assists in the first half, he took over in the second half, scoring 20 as the Bucks built their lead and then held on. Meanwhile, Mike Redd was glued to the bench during the Bucks' big run in the fourth quarter and finished with only eight points on 3/10 fg. Interesting. Of the Bucks' top seven guys, Redd was the only one who didn't get into double figures. When's the next time we say that?
- Charlie Bell (12 points) and Bobby Simmons (11) each scored in double figures. Not a big deal, right? Considering Simmons averaged 13.4 ppg and Bell 13.5 in their last full seasons, that should be happening all the time. Well, 31 games into the season this marks the first time those two guys have scored in double figures in the same game. Maybe Charlie got the memo that he's having the worst season in NBA history. Simmons meanwhile showed some rhythm for the first time since leaving the team for his personal absence. After a difficult start to the season on many levels, let's hope we see more of the real Bobby from here on out.
- The bigs did their part too, with Andrew Bogut chipping in 13/12 and the two-headed monster of Yi Jianlian and Charlie Villanueva combining for 25 points (9/16) and 12 rebounds. Villanueva scored 11 in the first half before Yi got it going a bit with eight points in the third quarter and beginning of the fourth. The Heat effectively cut off his open looks from the outside, forcing Yi to drive and mix it up a bit down low.
- The Bucks used a 41-28 rebounding edge, 54% shooting, and a +6 free throw edge to offset 20 agonizing turnovers and 50% shooting (9/17 3fg) from the Heat.
- How bad are the Heat's injury problems? Luke Jackson played...in the first quarter. The period was all about runs, as the Heat had two 9-0 runs and the Bucks one 8-0 run. Bogut had six early points but Ricky Davis and Chris Quinn combined for 13. Turnovers were again a major issue for the Bucks, as they turned it over seven times compared to the Heat's two. Mo Williams had three, including one where he dribbled the ball off his foot out of bounds off an inbound. Maybe it's just all the losing getting to me, but the Bucks seem to turn the ball over in the most asinine ways. 26-22, Heat.
- Charlie V got it going in the second, keying an 8-0 run with six quick points to go up two. True to form, the Bucks then reacted by allowing Miami a 10-0 run, but the Bucks got back in it thanks to a 20-13 rebounding edge and 22-7 edge on the bench. Wait, a 15 point edge from our bench? Whoa. Still, Miami shot 55% compared to the Bucks' 50%.47-45, Heat.
- In the first half the Bucks defended no one except Dwyane Wade, who had only four points and two shots. In the third the Bucks guarded everyone but Wade, as the Heat's only legit starter scored 12 on 5/7. Curiously, Wade seemed to get on track after getting one of the friendliest bounces you can get. Fading away on the left baseline, his shot bounced off the top of the backboard before falling gently through the net. The Bucks meanwhile had a balanced attack, getting eight from Williams, seven from (a resurgent?) Bobby Simmons and six from Yi. The Bucks went to a zone near the end of the quarter, forcing the ball out of Wade's hands a bit. Not surprisingly that worked well for the Bucks. 71-67, Bucks.
- It was all Bucks to start the fourth, as Charlie Villanueva's open triple with nine minutes remaining capped a 12-0 run that made it 80-67. To make matters worse for the Heat, Wade left the game with a shoulder injury though he later returned. The Bucks should have known it was their night, however, when a Daequan Cook three was answered by Charlie Bell's 26-foot bomb. Still, these are the Bucks. In the closing minutes the Heat started making triples and pressing full court, and the Bucks looked like a team that didn't know what to do with their double-digit lead. Poor timeout management left the Bucks with no ability to stop the clock inside two minutes, and the Bucks needed multiple close calls on hail mary inbounds tosses to beat the Miami press. Still, disaster averted.
- Check out what Heat play-by-play man and Quagmire sound-alike Eric Reid said in the third quarter while discussing Mo Williams' decision to re-sign with the Bucks rather than take a paycut to play in Miami:
"Mo said before the game tonight, had the money been even, he was leaving Milwaukee for Miami."
Now, do I not believe that? No, that seems perfectly reasonable for Mo to have felt that way. I might love Milwaukee, but I'm not stupid. Still, is Mo Williams really dumb enough to go around saying he only re-signed with the Bucks because of the money, or is Eric Reid creatively quoting some more innocuous comments? You'd have to ask Eric Reid or Mo Williams.
- Not surprisingly, Reid seemed to take some solace by pointing out a number of times how much Williams and Bell wanted to leave Milwaukee for South Beach. In case you're wondering, I am very much enjoying the decline of the Miami Heat.
- Luke Jackson is awful. After watching what Bell and Ivey in particular did in Detroit, it was really nice watching the other team have a guy who seemed incapable of being productive on the court. His mouthpiece, shorter hair and odd features also make him make him look a bit like Patrick Swayze in Point Break. Not regular Patrick Swayze in Point Break, but Richard Nixon-mask wearing Patrick Swayze in Point Break. There's a bit of Colin Hanks in there too.
- Vintage Ricky Davis game: 23 points on 9/15 fg, but a team-worst -13 point differential.