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Nets 120 Bucks 106: Recap

After missing a month on the court and being traded from a title contender to a playoff contender, former Wauwatosa East and Wisconsin Badger star Devin Harris burned the Bucks for 16 first-half points, carrying the Nets to a 120-106 win.

Three Bucks

  • Michael Redd. With their three pointers falling, the Nets weren't going to relinquish their fourth quarter lead. Redd did his part on the offensive end though, scoring the bulk of the Bucks' points in the final period. Aside from his obvious outside shooting edge, Redd remains a far superior offensive player to even an in-form Bogut due to his ability to get to the line. Redd made 9-12 free throws while Bogut didn't even attempt one.  
  • Andrew Bogut. The Nets threw a lot of big bodies at the Bucks, including Josh Boone, Nenad Krstic, Desagana Diop, Stromile Swift, and Sean Williams. Bogut was clearly the best of the bigs tonight, though he scored just six of his 22 points after halftime.
  • Mo Williams. Williams chipped in 24 points, seven assists, maintaining his hot offensive streak. Devin Harris gave him problems defensively however.

Three Numbers

  • 50.6 %. Both teams shot 50.6 % from the field, but the Nets attempted six more shots and made three more.
  • 49. The Nets got a huge boost from Net debutante Devin Harris, who scored 21 points off the bench. They also received important contributions from Bostjan Nachbar, who scored 11 points in the fourth alone. In all, the Nets' bench scored an absurd 49 points, more than six times as many as the Bucks' bench.
  • 11. As noted, both teams shot the same percentage from the field, and both teams were under 70.0 % from the free throw line, but the Nets hit 11-23 from beyond the arc, compared to just 4-12 for the Bucks. Devin Harris made a few early, and Bostjan Nachbar made a few late, pushing the Nets' lead out of the Bucks' reach on both occasions. Charlie Villanueva did make his first three pointer in over a month.

Three Good

  • Bogut. After failing to eclipse 12 points in any of his past six games, Andrew Bogut did his best to make up for the missing production, going for 16 points and six rebounds by halftime. His production decreased as the game progressed, but he definitely got a little bit of his groove back tonight, finishing with 22 points, 15 rebounds, and two blocks.
  • 100+. The Bucks scored in triple digits for the sixth straight time tonight. The flipside of course is that they've allowed at least 98 points in each of these games. The Bucks also fell to 3-3 in this span. Still, this run follows seven games in which they scored 100 just once, and went 1-6. Michael Redd again led the offensive charge, as he has five of the past six games.
  • Big Three. Michael Redd, Andrew Bogut, and Mo Williams combined to score 75 % (79 of 106) of the Bucks' points. The big three shouldn't be blamed for holding the ball captive either; they combined for 74 % (13 of 19) of the team's assists.

Three Bad

  • Benched. If they weren't already, we'd call for the bench to be benched. The minute distribution indicates Larry Krystkowiak pretty much agrees. The Bucks' bench was outscored 26-3 in the first half and it didn't get much better from there. The starters are playing quite well of late, but they need help. Michael Ruffin grabbed six offensive rebounds in just 15 minutes, but he's a limited player and shouldn't be team's sixth man. The bench totaled just eight combined points in 50 minutes. The Bucks don't play nearly enough defense to make up for that lack of offensive production.
  • Dealing with Devin. The Nets weren't going to last beyond the first round with or without Jason Kidd this year. Long overdue for a makeover, they have the fresh look of a near-future contender with 25 year-old Devin Harris in the fold. Contrasting Kidd's slow start with the Mavericks, Harris energized the Nets despite not starting, turning a back-and-forth game into a 17-point Net-lead midway through the second quarter. Harris scored 14 points in his first six minutes as a Net, four more points than Kidd scored in his first two games as a Maverick. Now in the East, Harris' jitterbugging drives are going to be a worryingly familiar sight for the Bucks. Plus, his brilliance stings a little extra knowing he's homegrown talent.
  • Finishing. With five seconds to go in the first half, the Bucks attempted a long out-of-bounds pass from their own baseline. The pass was intercepted by Trenton Hassell, whose three-point attempt was blocked by Mo Williams. The ball somehow ended up in Stromile Swift's hands, which he used to improbably swish a fadeaway at the buzzer. It's fair to call the play unfortunate, flukey, or perfectly appropriate on a night that seemed scripted for Harris and the Nets, but that doesn't take away the underlying point that the Bucks sloppily gave away the ball and two points to close the half. They didn't finish the second half any better, lazily and awkwardly dribbling out the clock before missing a layup.