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Bucks 104, Pacers 92: Recap

Mo Williams was back in the starting lineup for the Bucks, but it was Mike Redd's 37 that helped spark the Bucks to a 102-94 win against fellow playoff wannabes Indiana at the BC (recap / video).

Three Bucks

  • Mike Redd. Redd's offensive explosions have been limited to first halves of late, but tonight he followed up his big 22 point first half with 15 second half points while also adding five rebounds and five assists. Though he missed 16 of his 29 shots, he connected on five triples in addition to 6/6 from the line and zero turnovers.
  • Andrew Bogut. Given his January hot streak, we're no longer very impressed by a 17/7 night, but Bogut was again the Bucks anchor, contributing three blocks and a couple charges in addition to his tidy 7/11 shooting night.
  • Bobby Simmons. Simmons appears to be moving much better than at the start of the season and has found some confidence in his shot, too. Tonight he racked up 16 points along with eight boards, three assists and three steals. He might not be a bargain, but Simmons' contributions of late and his general unselfishness on the court shouldn't go unnoticed.

Three Numbers

  • 3.33:1. The Bucks' assist to turnover ratio for the night. It's pretty rare that the Bucks rack up 30 assists in one night, but to complement it with only nine turnovers makes it extra impressive. Overall the Bucks showed great unselfishness in the first half, driving, kicking and consistently making the extra pass for great looks from the perimeter. They didn't always go in, but everyone was involved and the tone was set. In the second half we even saw a rare alley oop pass from from Mo Williams, with Bogut on the receiving end.
  • 12. The Bucks' three point field goals. The Bucks worked the ball around nicely all night, providing plenty of good looks from deep. They missed a fair share of them (12/31) but it's always nice to see Redd, Simmons and Bell doing some damage from distance.
  • Five. Offensive rebounds by Michael Ruffin. With Yi and Bogut on the bench in foul trouble in the first half, Ruffin got extended minutes (16) and collected a season-high seven rebounds, providing the Bucks' valuable extra possessions with his work on the offensive glass. In typical lunch pail fashion, he didn't attempt a single shot but added a steal and a block.

Three Good

  • The fourth quarter. All too often of late I've been listing the first half as a bright spot, so it's nice to report that the Bucks finished strong for a change, outscoring the Pacers 30-19 in the decisive quarter. Redd had 10, Bell seven and Bogut six to lead the way.
  • Small ball. With the Pacers starting Mike Dunleavy at PF, the Bucks went to a smaller lineup for much of the night. Charlie Bell was the first guy off the bench to replace Yi Jianlian in the first quarter and finished a team-leading +18 for the game. The smaller lineup kept up fine with the Pacers' up-tempo style, and the Bucks' clean ball movement led to a lovely 30 assist, nine turnover night. Dunleavy still led the way with 22 points, but the Bucks showed they could run-and-gun when they needed to.
  • Beating the competition. The next week or so will go a long way towards telling us if the Bucks have any shot at a playoff spot, and beating the team currently in the eight spot is a very good start.  

Three Bad

  • Yi. He just doesn't look comfortable out there at the moment. He started the game off by missing a dunk (in fairness it was contested), and after scoring four points went to the bench with two fouls. In the third Dunleavy used his mobility to score eight straight on Yi, condemning the rookie to the pine for the rest of the game. Yi was also the only Bucks player with a negative differential, finishing -9.
  • Not enough easy wins. Somewhat amazingly, the Bucks have now beaten opponents by double-digits only three times all year. That's not a negative about this game in particular, but it underscores the difficulty the Bucks have had in getting contributions from more than a couple guys as well as their frustrating tendency to let teams hang around until the end of games. For at least one night the Bucks can feel good about winning a game without having to sweat it out in the dying moments, but it's been an all-too-rare event this year.
  • (pass). Sorry, this wasn't the most comprehensive win ever, but a twelve point win is way too rare these days. I'm not coming up with any more complaints.