There has been a common theme throughout this early season for the (8-3) Milwaukee Bucks, and it was never more evident than in the Bucks 103-98 victory over the host Memphis Grizzlies (4-9) on Saturday night. The games founder had team basketball in mind when he first nailed that ole peach basket on the side of a bulilding. He would be proud of how the Bucks play under Head Coach Scott Skiles.
The Bucks have been playing unselfish to say the least. Take last nights game for example. Milwaukee’s rookie sensation Brandon Jennings led all scorers with 26 points, including 12 each in the third and fourth quarters as the game was hanging in the balance.
Yet there were four other Bucks who deserved the Player Of The Game honor more so than he, and Jennings would be the first one to tell you that.
Kurt Thomas (in the absence of Andrew Bogut) played a solid 31 minutes, scoring 8 points and grabbing 10 rebounds and helping solidify the middle against the Grizzlies imposing front line.
Charlie Bell played 40 minutes of hell defense, knocked down five huge three’s in route to a 19 point night.
Then there was Luke Ridnour, being a second ball handler to Jennings, moving the team fast and with precision. In 33 minutes he had 12 assist with no turnovers. to go along with 13 points.
But none of them is my POG. That honor goes to Ersan Ilyasova, who is more and more reminding me of a poor man’s Kevin McKale. He uses his length to maximum advantage; he can rebound or keep a ball alive.
He has more range than McKale, but doesn’t have McKales post up game. I see similarities. Ersan finished with 18 points and 12 rebounds, an 3 assist, and played hard and physical defense all night long on whoever he was guarding.
He is getting more and more comfortable all of the time. He knocked down two more 3’s, forcing teams to come out and guard him.
On the flip side, Bucks fans take note; Hakim Warrick is a cross between Dan Gadzuric and Tim Thomas. He isn’t a smart player, his hands are suspect, and he just makes too many mistakes, all the while having everyone drooling over his athleticism.
It’s fools gold and I am not buying, nor should you. Yes he will have a game here or there, but you can’t count on it.
BTW, the “never count on Danny G” rule still applies. He had an opportunity to really contribute and help his team, but here he is with 4 fouls in 9 minutes.
But Jennings and company put on a complete team showing last night, and it’s been common all through out the season. That’s why I say “These are not your Daddy’s Milwaukee Bucks”.
Next up is San Antonio on Monday.