Sixers 112, Bucks 69: Recap

Every week or two the Bucks seem to come out determined to have their worst game of the year, and without Mike Redd and on the second night of a back-to-back they did it again, getting dominated in Philadelphia in every possible way, 112-69.

Three Bucks

  • Royal Ivey. Ivey must feel pretty lonely right now, because he's the only guy who seemed to be aware that the Bucks had games the past two nights. Unfortunately for the Bucks, a great night from Royal Ivey means 17 points and 6 rebounds, which is never going to carry a team to anything. He also provided the comic relief of the night, when he launched a one-handed pass from midcourt that nearly took out the shot clock, pounding off the backboard for another Bucks turnover. By the way, the Bucks' best player tonight had 5 turnovers and finished the game a -39.
  • Emo Bogut. We've all seen Emo Bogut before: he misses chippies and then loses interest in scoring altogether. Unlike last night when New Jersey did a great job of fronting Bogut and denying him touches, Bogut got the ball plenty tonight but his normally reliable hooks weren't dropping despite getting plenty of decent looks. He finished just 2/8 from the field and didn't look for his shot at all in the third quarter. He had more turnovers (5) than rebounds  (4). His only solace was in violently blocking Jason Smith a couple times.
  • Dan Gadzuric. It was so bad out there that Dan Gadzuric was dusted off, reanimated and thrown in the fray five minutes into the fourth quarter, and he responded by scoring seven points on 2/2 fg and 3/4 ft.

Three Numbers

  • 54.3%. Despite making only 2/11 from deep, the Sixers shot 54% and faced almost no resistance from the Bucks anywhere on the court. The Bucks' perimeter defense was porous and the interior defense non-existent. I'm kind of surprised this number isn't even higher, except it's probably worth remembering that Philly isn't even a good team. From a hypothetical (and slightly masochistic) standpoint I would have loved to see how badly the Bucks might have fared playing in Detroit (where they lost by 45 a month ago) or Boston tonight.
  • 13. The Bucks' best defense tonight was Reggie Evans shooting uncontested shots from 15 feet away, as he made just three of his 13 free throws. But even those numbers underscore how much more aggressive the Sixers were than the Bucks. Evans hadn't made a shot in two games, but he consistently outworked the Bucks' big men to make 5/6 shots and get those 13 freebies in addition to nine rebounds. In case you're wondering, Andrew Bogut has never once attempted 10 free throws in a game in his entire career. And the Bucks on the night got to the line as a team the same number of times as Evans by himself (in 17 minutes!).
  • 3.63 Against Washington the Bucks managed a startling 30 assists against just nine turnovers, and tonight the Sixers did them slightly better in assist/turnover terms, recording 29 assists and just eight turnovers. Unable to create turnovers or force missed shots, the Bucks resorted to a slow, methodical pace that saw them consistently taking too long to get into their sets and often resorting to difficult shots with the clock running down. That's not surprising given the Bucks' lack of offensive weapons, so you wonder why the Bucks didn't show a little bit more urgency. No such problem for Philadelphia, which forced 19 turnovers and scored at will in the paint.

Three Good

  • Jim, Jon and Scott. The FSN Wisconsin crew probably burned more calories than the Bucks tonight. I'm not sure how they tolerated sitting through this game, so let's acknowledge them for that.
  • Two days off. The Bucks are guaranteed not to lose any games Thursday or Friday since they'll be off ahead of Saturday's home game against Yao and the Rockets. I refuse to believe there's a good excuse for losing any game in Philly by 43 points, but the Bucks have played seven games in ten days, so yes, a rest should do them good. More importantly, both Michael Redd and Desmond Mason are due to return.
  • Nothing else. I'm surprised I even came up with two "good" things after a game like this.

Three Bad

  • Uh, Everything. The Bucks were pathetic in pretty much every way. While in Jersey they worked hard defensively and just didn't have the offensive juice to pull one out, tonight they again couldn't shoot (38%), but this time they appeared to pretty much give up midway through the second quarter after starting lethargically. They might have been tired, but these are the Sixers, so I don't how anyone can honestly just chalk this up to "one of those games."  Scott Williams implied in the third quarter that Larry Krystkowiak didn't even both trying to rip into his players at halftime, as they just didn't have "it" tonight. OK, sometimes you just can't match the energy of the other team, but how do professionals pass off something like this as acceptable? The Sixers came into the game 8-13 at home by the way. Normally a game like this would make you question whether the team has just quit altogether, but the Bucks get blown out so regularly that they seem to roll with it pretty well.
  • Nice mindset. The Bucks talked the other day about how the East's weakness gives almost everyone a chance at the 8th spot, and tonight they looked like a group that assumed they would stay in the thick of the race regardless of their effort. But even in the East complacency is a pretty terrible trait to have at the moment, as too many teams are competing with the Bucks for the last playoff spot. Two of those teams? Philly and New Jersey.
  • No margin for error. I mention this stat a lot, but the Bucks have won only three games all season by double-digits, a stat that seems to reinforce how consistently mediocre the team has played. On paper there's a fair amount of talent here, but they've almost never gotten it going all at the same time. Part of that has to be poor coaching (ironically, the Bucks biggest win of the season, the 112-85 drubbing of the Raptors in November, came in Larry Krystkowiak's absence), but you also wonder how so many of these players can be so consistently poor offensively--after all, bad defense we're used to, but offense hasn't typically been much of a problem this decade. With Redd out the lack of scoring options becomes more apparent, and on a night where everyone is standing around on both ends the results were typically disastrous.
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