On the heels of their first preseason win in Guangzhou, the Bucks couldn't eek out another win against the Warriors in Bejing, but who cares--Beijing fans saw an entertaining 109-108 "thriller," while the Bucks left China without any more injuries and looked much more like an NBA basketball team than in their first four preseason games. The teams went back and forth for 48 minutes before the immortal Matt Freije buried a tough 17-footer with 1.1 seconds left to give the Bucks a 108-106 lead. Evidently he left too much on the clock, though, as Warrior big Rob Kurz capped his 11 point night with a straightaway triple at the horn. The officials didn't have the review system available to them in the arena, but they appeared to get the call right.
Scorers scoring. Charlie Villanueva had his shot working again, draining 11/18 fg for a game-high 26 and eight boards in just 26 minutes, while Mike Redd also got it going to the tune of 23 points (8/14 fg) in just 28 minutes. Matched up much of the night with rookie Anthony Randolph, Villanueva didn't have to do too much defensively.
- Rookies. Joe Alexander once again got involved offensively with 14 points on 7/13 fg in 23 minutes, throwing down a couple dunks and also showing off his first step with a couple aggressive drives for scores. But he still isn't rebounding a lick--he's now registered only six rebounds in 70 minutes of preseason action, which doesn't bode well if the Bucks want to give him time as a PF. On a positive note, he also has just two turnovers in four games, so you can't accuse him of trying to do too much. Luc Richard Mbah a Moute played 22 minutes but didn't really stand out one way or the other.
- Bogut's quiet night. After pushing around Kurz and Ronny Turiaf on Wednesday, Bogut had to cope with Andris Biedrins (13 pts, 11 boards) on Friday and never got anything going. He scored just four points on 2/8 fg--both on tip-ins--along with nine boards and a couple blocks.
- Missing the point. None of the point guards particularly distinguished themselves, despite the Warriors' being incredibly thin at the PG spot following the departure of Baron Davis. Ridnour's trigger finger looked a bit itchy (3/10 fg in 31 minutes) and Mo Williams-esque, though he continues to push early offense in a way that Williams never seemed interested in doing. As long as that early offense doesn't involve him jacking up 22 foot jumpers, I'm happy with it. Tyronn Lue somehow picked up four fouls and 1/5 fg in 12 minutes, as he continues to make a poor case for the backup PG spot. In contrast, Ramon Sessions filled up the box score with eight points and three assists in nine minutes, but somehow also racked up five turnovers in that span. Whoops. A number of those came out of pushing the tempo a bit aggressively--he and Ridnour forced a couple turnovers together in the second but invariably seemed to give the ball away on the break.
The trouble with ESPN. Matt Winer and Doris Burke were forced to call the game from Bristol, so they didn't have the easiest time of it, especially at the end of the game when Kurz's game-winner looked like it came after the buzzer. Winer immediately thought the shot came late, but the audio had been slightly ahead of the video all game (ie you'd hear a swish a split second before the ball would go in). As for Burke, I generally think she's pretty good, but hopefully she learns that it's "lackadaisical," not "laxadaisical." Seems like they just teach that at announcer school or something. As a Bucks fan it was also kind of annoying that they spent the entire game comparing Brandan Wright and Anthony Randolph, while ignoring that Alexander had a couple nice moments as well. Don't get me wrong, Randolph's blocks were impressive, but he also had four turnovers and made only 2/8 shots. I thought Wright looked much better, though both guys seem preoccupied with needlessly handling the ball in the backcourt the past couple games. It will be interesting to watch how they match up against teams with bigger PFs--Villanueva and company really don't provide the sort of physical presence that many other teams have at the 4.
- More: Ty's winscore analysis / JS Recap / Paschketball Video