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More Post-Game Thoughts

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Check out Frank's recap here.

The Bucks won for the third time in as many tries at home in a 102-99 win over the Grizzlies. It wasn't always pretty, but in the end this one was the most exciting game of the year so far.

Three Bucks:

  1. Andrew Bogut. That's more like the Bogut we've been so excited to see.
  1. Michael Redd. The bombs were falling. Scoring binge in third quarter kept the Bucks in game when the Grizzlies were charging.
  1. Mo Williams. Took a long while to score, but was very clutch in the fourth quarter with the defensive stop on Lowry and subsequent cool free throws. Also distributed well for the most part.

Three Numbers:

  1. Yi Jianlian offensive rebounds.
  1. Yi Jianlian fouls in 33 minutes.
  1. Andrew Bogut blocks.

Three Good:

  1. After being routinely outshot and outscored by opponents from beyond the arc, the Bucks finally found their outside stroke. In particular, Redd caught fire, hitting 5-7 while fellow Team USA sharpshooter Mike Miller made just 1-7. Even Charlie Villanueva, whom I cautioned might be better off cutting down on the three point heaves, hit 2-4. The Bucks aren't a group of poor outside shooters, so this was due to happen eventually. The fact the Bucks didn't get too three point happy is what kept the percentage up as well. Despite four fewer attempts, the Bucks made two more three pointers than the Grizzlies.
  1. Coming off a couple tough losses, a fast start was key. Yet the Grizzlies jumped on the Bucks, scoring on their first four possessions, and blocking a couple of shots. And Redd didn't put the team on his back. This usually would spell disaster. Instead, the Bucks kept pace by taking care of the ball and finding offense in alternative places. The Bucks turned the ball over just once in the first quarter and Bogut exceeded his scoring average coming into the game with nine quick points. That wasn't the only reason for success, or only thing that bucked early season trends. The Grizzlies were in the penalty, sending the Bucks to the free throw line, before they attempted a free throw of their own. Bogut's big first quarter was enabled most basically by the fact he was able to stay on the court and out of early foul trouble. Rather than sending  others to the line for easy baskets, Bogut himself got four first quarter free throw attempts.
  1. As an extension of the above point, Bogut had a huge effect on the game overall. Staying out of foul trouble allowed him to log 41 minutes, and the Bucks needed every one. His quick offensive rebound and dunk seemed to energize him on his way to his big first quarter. More importantly, he played more than just one effective quarter, even outscoring Paul Gasol 23-16 in the game.

Three Not-So-Good:

  1. There was some spotty transition defense and the Bucks were lost on switches more than a couple times in the first half. The Grizzlies weren't by any means on fire shooting early on, but they converted on a lot of easy, open looks. Also somewhat troubling is that the Bucks were slow to start in the first and third quarters, indicating that whatever Coach Larry Krystkowiak said in the locker room, it didn't quite get through.
  1. Surely Charlie Villanueva could have been worked into the game more than 14 minutes. He was hot from outside, and scored a ridiculous 13 points in a seven-minute stretch in the second quarter. He didn't even turn the ball over. How often is that Villanueva going to show up? Maybe he didn't need to split minutes with Yi, but he should have been out there a little more. Yet Coach Krystkowiak, with new help from his assistants, instead strangely decided to match Villanueva's season-low number for minutes.
  1. Bobby Simmons made little impact again. It's good to see Desmond Mason playing so well, and great to see him hitting game-winning shots. But hopefully Simmons will come around too.