Hawks 115 Bucks 96: Recap

The Bucks started fast in Atlanta, scoring 37 points in the first quarter aided by strong passing and a hot-shooting Michael Redd. However, they quickly lost steam from there, scoring 23, 22, and 14 points in the final three quarters en route to their seventh straight road loss, 115-96.

Three Bucks

  • Andrew Bogut. The first half Bogut buffet gave us a little bit of everything, leaving a good taste going into the break. Included in his 23 points was an and-one off an offensive rebound which he coralled following his own free throw miss. There was also a pretty and-one alleyoop layup that followed a more conventional slam dunk alleyoop by big bad Solomon Jones on the other end. Surely the top highlight of all though was his amusing self-congratulation following a made free throw, in which he pretended to receive "fives" from his teammates, who didn't reciprocate the interest.
  • Michael Redd. Redd poured in 19 first-quarter points and then watched for almost five minutes from the bench as the Bucks turned a five point lead into a four point deficit to start the second quarter. He only scored a single free throw in the final three quarters however, as opposing sweet-shooting guard Joe Johnson caught and passed him in scoring, with 28 points.
  • Charlie Villanueva. Redd was great in the first quarter and Bogut perhaps even better in the second, but other than that no Buck overly impressed. Villanueva gets the nod here after scoring 10 points along with six rebounds and two steals in a quiet, decent performance.

Three Numbers

  • 69.6 %. Bucks' free throw percentage tonight. This marked the eighth straight game the Bucks have shut under 74.0 % from the free throw line.
  • 18. The Bucks pulled down 18 offensive rebounds compared to eight for the Hawks, but when you allow an opponent to shoot 57.3 % from the field not even all those extra chances are enough.
  • 20. The Bucks committed 20 turnovers, with all 11 players who saw court time turning the ball over at least once.

Three Good

  • Inside-Outside. Michael Redd and Andrew Bogut traded superhero efforts in the first two quarters of the game, a rare but pleasant co-starring performance from the team's top two players. Bogut and Redd aren't close to the NBA's premier inside-outside duo, but at this point in the year we apparently have no choice but to happily accept them acting like it for 24 minutes against the Hawks. Redd gunned for 19 in the first quarter before ceding to Bogut, who delivered a healthy game's production in the first half with 23 points, seven rebounds, and three blocks. The two combined to shoot 15-24 for 42 points in the opening two quarters, five more than the Bucks scored in the first half in their previous game against the Heat.
  • The Smith. Josh Smith absolutely killed the Bucks in the first three meetings, averaging 22.3 points, 8.0 rebounds, 3.3 assists, 1.7 steals, and 5.0 blocks. Tonight he scored seven points and seven rebounds with "only" three blocks. We're baby steppin'.
  • Return of some O. And we're not just talking about Oscar Robertson coming to the Bradley Center for the 40th Anniversary Team and jersey re-dedication on Friday. The Bucks equaled the 73 points they scored against the Heat in under 30 minutes tonight, good news for those who were fearing the Bucks were trying to become the NBA's poorest offensive team in addition to being the league's worst defensively. Then again, despite the respectable 96 points, the Bucks were pretty slow to score in the final three quarters, and the defense was just plain bad.

Three Bad

  • 36. This game was the second straight that the Bucks scored 36 second half points. Scoring 36 for the third consecutive time would not be a charming way to kick-start 40th Anniversary Night against the Magic on Friday.
  • Bench. Is it safe to say the Bucks have the worst bench in the NBA? The Hawks thoroughly dominated in the battle of the backups, which is par for the course. Bobby Simmons was out with food poisoning, but forgive us for not allowing that as an excuse, especially given all his recent DNP's. The Bucks simply don't have anyone close to a solid contributor outside the starting five. In contrast, the Hawks are truly living the life of luxury with a player like Josh Childress off the bench. With 20 points, Childress single-handedly outscored the Bucks' bench, and his +26 differential led everyone. Final bench point tally: 41-16 Hawks.
  • Rookie Non-Showcase. Yi Jianlian and Al Horford, a couple top-six rookie draft picks with opportunities to play, hardly earned their limited court time tonight. Yi scored just two points in the first half and Horford was held scoreless. Horford picked up the pace a little bit in the second half, but didn't exactly make a strong case for Rookie of the Year, finishing with seven points and one rebound. Meanwhile, it's been months since Yi's name has been even whispered in the ROY race, and tonight only provided more confirmation why, as he totalled six points and four rebounds in 24 minutes. Rookie Acie Law however did score 10 points on 4-4 shooting while Ramon Sessions scored just a point in seven minutes.
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