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Sixers 114 Bucks 99: More Post-Game Thoughts

Read Frank's recap here. The Bucks sure came thudding back to earth in a 114-99 blowout loss to the Sixers.

Three Bucks:

  1. Charlie Villanueva. Showed some liveliness on a mostly lethargic night for the Bucks.
  1. Michael Redd. An okay all-around game, but definitely nowhere nearly as strong as we've seen over the last couple weeks.
  1. Mo Williams. Settled down after first quarter but had a rough start and was outplayed by Andre Miller.

Three Numbers:

  1. Field goals Kyle Korver made off the bench in his return from injury, more than any Buck.

+10. Dan Gadzuric's +/- score, leading the team for the second game in a row.

  1. Number of turnovers committed by the Sixers' starting backcourt of Andre Miller and Willie Green. Redd and Williams combined for seven.

Three Good:

  1. Free-throw accuracy was excellent as the Bucks hit all seven first-half attempts and finished 21-23 (.913).
  1. The Bucks were actually very effective from inside the arc altogether. Consider how these four Bucks shot on two-point attempts: Redd 6-7, Villanueva 6-6, Yi Jianlian 4-5, and Charlie Bell 3-4.
  1. Even without the services of Bobby Simmons, who didn’t dress for the game due to personal reasons, the bench did its job. Charlie Villanueva chipped in 12 first-half points, igniting the second-quarter run which kept the Bucks in the game. After getting 20 minutes just once in the first six games, he’s played 20 minutes in five of the last six games.  Although he did little to prevent the Sixers from scoring 114 points, he was fluid and effective offensively. And Royal Ivey continued his impressive early-season play. He played solid defensively as usual and even nailed a nice three in the big second quarter. With Williams, Ivey, and Sessions in the fold, the Bucks appear comfortably set at point guard for a while. Even Voskuhl got into the game and managed nine points in seven minutes.

Three Not-So-Good:

  1. How else to start other than the requisite first quarter problems? Sure, the Sixers came into the game as one of four teams in the NBA averaging under 90 points, but that didn’t stop them from lighting up the Bucks for 32 in the first quarter. The minus 14 point differential is the worst of bad Bucks' first quarters.  And it provides a good illustration of the lack of game-to-game momentum in the NBA  The Bucks were coming off a sizzling fourth quarter which propelled them to a win over the Mavericks while the Sixers were recovering from blowing a lead and losing in overtime at home against the Warriors.  Yet the Sixers were the ones with a jump in their step. Among the lowlights were Dalembert blocking three shots in the first eight minutes and Mo Williams turning the ball over three times before scoring. The Bucks made matters worse by starting the third quarter similarly lifeless. Perhaps Coach Krystkowiak needs to offer some inspiring words in the locker room because the Bucks can't afford to come out with such little energy.
  1. The Bucks had a lot of problems guarding the Sixers on the perimeter. Granted, the Sixers were hitting shots, but there simply wasn't much pressure applied, particulary to guards Willie Green and Andre Miller, who tore the Bucks apart. Also, like Jason Terry did a game earlier, Kyle Korver burned the Bucks from outside, converting on 4-5 from downtown.
  1. The Sixers deserve praise as much as the Bucks deserve criticism to some extent. When you think of the Sixers you think of their slashing scorer, game-managing point guard, low-post shotblocker, and devastating outside shooter.  What you don’t think is that all of those things will come together in the same game.  But that’s what happened, and then some.  Iguodala scored efficiently, including a couple dazzling dunks. Miller directed the offense, dishing out nine assists with just one turnover. Samuel Dalembert was a defensive force down low immediately. And Korver didn’t miss a beat, returning from injury with the same sweet stroke he’s always had.