What was a little surprising was how completely unremarkable the entire game was for both sides. The Heat--the only team in the league shooting better than 50% as a team for the season--shot 43.2 percent, and finished nine percentage points better than the Bucks. The Heat shot 30.8 percent from three, and finished two percentage points higher than the Bucks. The leading scorer in the game was Ramon Sessions, who used a strong garbage time push to get to his 15 points. I'm not trying to sound harsh, but the Bucks averaged just under 17 points a quarter. The Wisconsin Badgers, historically known for their incredibly slow and methodical offense, scored 64 points in their victory tonight.
I could write a normal recap, detailing stats and observations and the good and bad of the game, but that would probably bore you to tears. The bad section would take up about 2,000 words that your eyes didn't need to register. I will spare you those precious minutes tonight. The game was almost entirely sloppy, but there were a few pleasant moments. We'll go through those tonight and hope that there is something more juicy to write about come Monday.
GOOD THINGS THAT MAKE YOU FEEL NOT BAD
John Henson played almost 30 minutes tonight, collecting 12p/10r on 6-11 shooting. Even better, Henson's minutes came close to doubling Zaza Pachulia's minutes, in no small part due to Zaza's foul trouble. Henson was active in crashing to the rim offensively tonight, and it allowed for him to be in the right spot at the right time for some easy dump-off opportunities. He's obviously not nearly as sharp as he was in December, but Henson has played more consistently of late. He may still look like he's more prepared for the season to be over than anything else, but it's nice to see him not completely fade down the stretch.
D.J. Stephens saw his first NBA action tonight, and finished with five points on 2-5 shooting including a breakaway dunk for his first NBA bucket. He didn't really go anywhere but the baseline while on offense, but didn't look terribly lost out there either. It's also already "must-watch TV" whenever he's in, because he's always looking for a chance to put that record-breaking vertical leap to good use. There were a few times when he and Ramon Sessions would bust out in transition, and it already had me leaning forward on my seat. Unfortunately, Sessions chose to take the layup instead of throwing up the lob. Oh well, maybe next time?
The Sixers won, which gives the Bucks a two game advantage in the race to the bottom. Philly smacked around a completely disinterested Pistons team, 123-98. While the celebration rages on in Milwaukee, the Bucks will travel to Detroit to face the Pistons on Monday. While you'd expect Brandon Jennings and company to want to bounce back after an embarrassing defeat, there are no guarantees with that ball club. Sheesh.
Giannis Antetokounmpo played despite the ankle injury that knocked him out of Thursday's win over the Lakers, so it's nice to report that he's doing better. Less nice to report: a measly one point and an 0/5 shooting night in which he just didn't look quite right outside of a nice block and a couple quality passes.
Finally, there was a cool moment before the game that I figured would be worth bringing your attention to. The story begins with this article. Ebony Nettles-Bey is a 16 year-old junior from Verona, Wisconsin battling cancer. What makes her story so unique is that through the endless rounds of chemo and the constant battle with her body, Nettles-Bey continues to play ball. She hopes to someday go pro, but her more immediate goal would be to meet her hero, LeBron James.
The story is great, but tonight was extra special, as Nettles-Bey finally got to meet James before the game.
I mean...I can't really put into words how great that is. Kudos to the Bucks and Heat for making that happen.