Recap | Pacers 104, Bucks 102: Copeland's game-winner gives starter-less Indy surprise victory

Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sport

The Pacers didn't let their entire starting lineup to play in Milwaukee, but that didn't stop them from winning or the Bucks from derping.

Box Score

I don't consider myself a basketball savant by any stretch, but let me kick this scenario around and let me know if I'm on to something here.

Pick a basketball team that is successful. Have you chosen one? Good! Now, take their starting lineup and sit them down on the bench for a game. Not just their best player, their entire starting lineup. Now that you have done that, replace those five vacant spots with five players from your bench. After you have done this, you have probably reached the dregs of your active roster. Awesome. Bump them up to your first responding unit on the bench. They will now be your backups.

Now, if a team were to do this, wouldn't you agree that their chances of winning that basketball game would be pretty slim?

Well if you thought like me, you were WRONG. SO WRONG. Wednesday's JV game between the Bucks and Pacers game came down to the last few seconds, but Chris Copeland caught Ramon Sessions on a switch and took him off the dribble into the paint, where he was able to get off a decent enough shot. It dropped, everyone groaned very loudly, and then--with the Bucks having exhausted all of their timeouts--Jeff Adrien somehow got a last shot opportunity from about 50 feet. He did not get it off in time (it didn't go in anyway), and the Bucks lost to the Pacers' reserves 104-102.

Luis Scola (24p/9r) and Evan Turner (23p/7r/9a) kept Indiana's offense going, with Turner having success getting into the paint by just..kind of..pushing his way through. From there it was really up to him whether the shot went in, as the Bucks didn't really offer a ton in terms of rim protection or shot contesting. Turner ended up finishing with a 9-18 shooting line, but his ability to get into the paint allowed him to make whatever play necessary. Scola, when the paint did collapse, would pop out in a similar fashion to David West and knock down the midrange jumper.

When either of those two weren't making plays, Chris Copeland stepped up and would bury a three. It wasn't just your ordinary three, either. Imagine you said to yourself, "Gee, I really don't want Copeland to hit a three right here. That would hurt my feelings." Well, Chris Copeland clearly doesn't care about your feelings, because the four he hit (out of five attempts) all felt like that. Thanks, Chris. Ya jerk.

The "iron eight" Bucks were again led in scoring by the backcourt of Brandon Knight (25p/10a/4r) and Ramon Sessions (20p/4), but the best performance probably came from Jeff Adrien, who had 13 points and a career-high 17 rebounds. The starters were the only players in double figures for the Bucks, which isn't terribly surprising considering that none of them saw less than 30 minutes of action. John Henson, coming off a pretty solid performance on Saturday, saw only 20 minutes on the court, and Giannis got 21 minutes of ineffctive burn. I won't raise a stink about this tonight, because nobody really played well enough to deserve an advantage in playing time. Also consider that nothing about this game made sense. I'm still not sure it even really happened, and I was there.

Observations/Stats:
  • This fella is sure jumping the gun on purchasing this jersey, or maybe he knows something we don't. Thoughts?

  • The Bucks shot 4-16 from beyond the arc, which comes out to 25 percent. My memory isn't very strong right now, but I can't remember a recent game where the Bucks took more than 10 attempts from three and made more than three or four. I guess that will happen more often than not when two of your top three triple threats are also your two primary ball handlers. I can't imagine you get many open attempts that way.
  • This, basically:
  • With this loss coupled with a Sixers loss, the Bucks maintain their three-game advantage over Philly for the best lottery odds. With only four games remaining, the only way the Bucks would completely lose at least a share of the worst record would be to go 4-0 against Cleveland, Toronto, Washington, and Atlanta while Philly loses the rest of their games. The Bucks still technically have a chance to run the table, but if those teams happen to rest their starters in any of those games, the Bucks will surely be in trouble.
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