Short-handed without the services of Carlos Delfino and Ersan Ilyasova, the Bucks looked like a completely different team than the one that went stagnant before going completely out against the New York Knicks on Monday night.
The game looked to be going in a positive direction soon enough, as Monta Ellis went to work with 10 points in the first quarter (en route to 33 points and 8 assists). He was joined by fellow guard Brandon Jennings (18 points, 6-13 FG) in rejuvenating the backcourt that had struggled mightily just one day before. At one point, the two towers of Ekpe Udoh and Larry Sanders rose up to reject a Marvin Williams attempt at the rim, and the two made for an interesting defensive combo. Though the Bucks would race out to a 17 point lead, the Hawks would--obviously--come roaring back, and Josh Smith (30 points, 18 rebounds) certainly did his part. Monta Ellis' 17 fourth quarter points, however, would shut the door on the possibility of a Hawks triumph. It was certainly a satisfying win over an above-average team, something the Bucks had been searching for.
Notes: FS: Ellis finally shows off shooting touch for Bucks / NBA.com: Monta Finally Being Monta For Bucks / JS: Ellis gives Bucks a real shot at playoffs / CNN: Luc Mbah a Moute: From African prince to king of NBA