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Recap: Clips 101, Bucks 92

The Bucks as a team seem to have adopted Charlie Villanueva's every-other-game approach to showing up.  By allowing the Clips to snap their 12 game losing streak, the Bucks kept up their own trend of alternating wins and losses.  Given their defense has been Kryskowiak-esque over the past couple weeks, I'm guessing they won't keep their streak alive with a win in Portland on Monday.

While the Clips were missing Baron Davis and Chris Kaman, their ragtag lineup was aggressive and took it at a very meek-looking Bucks outfit that looked content to take their win last night in Sacramento and concede the final two of their West Coast trip.  Marcus Camby (18 pts, 9/13 fg, 11 boards) embarrassed Dan Gadzuric for three-plus quarters before leaving with a badly sprained left ankle, while former Buck Brian Skinner (18 pts, 8/12 fg, eight rebs, four blocks) abused Charlie Villanueva for most of the night.

Three Bucks

  • Richard Jefferson.  Jefferson's taken his share of heat the past couple games, but he at least had an efficient scoring night (7/13 fg, 26 pts) in his hometown.  
  • Michael Redd.  As usual, Redd had a hot start (11 pts in the first) that he couldn't maintain in the end (10 points in the final three).   He made half his shots (9/18) but strangely didn't get to the line for a single free thrpw.  Rookie Eric Gordon did a pretty nice job hanging with the vet, though it also seemed as though Gordon had a better scoring night than he did (4/13 fg, 14 pts).  He also established a season-high with one block.
  • Ramon Sessions.  No one else really deserves mention, but Sessions at least provided a small spark with six points, four boards, four dimes and two steals.

Three Numbers

  • .545.  For a while there it was weird whenever the Bucks would allow their opponents to make more than half their shots, but it's now happened five times in the last eight games, and not one of those teams has had a winning record.
  • +18.  The Clippers simply owned the Bucks on the glass, grabbing 48 boards to the Bucks' measly 30.  I'm not a big of those "they just wanted it more!" types of analysis, but that pretty much summed it up.  The Bucks just looked too small and passive.
  • 14.  The Bucks have now alternated wins and losses for the past 14 games. I know, it's weird, but look it up.  For a team that would be happy to win 40 games that woud seem acceptable, but the recent ease of their schedule means they need to be playing above .500 this month if they're going to be around that mark when all is said and done.

Three Good

  • RJ bounces back.  Given the Bucks' tax issues next year, Jefferson's recent struggles have made the possibility of dumping him for expiring contracts a an increasingly attractive option.  So it's nice to report that Jefferson can still fill it up at times.
  • Alexander's second quarter.  Joe Alexander has been playing and, dare I say, impressing at times.  He scored eight quick points in the second quarter, hitting a face up jumper, a wing three, and a driving banker-and-one.  He looked more out of control in his brief second half burn, but at this point baby steps are OK, too.
  • Andrew Bogut will eventually be back.  And you know, maybe that will help put a stop to the defensive bleeding.  Maybe.

Three Bad

  • Defenseless.  As Alex noted in the pregame, the Clips' offense sucks.  Like, worst-in-the-league sucks.  But the Bucks brought out their vintage defense and conceded a scorching 55% shooting, proving that even bad offense can beat bad defense.
  • Treading water.  The Bucks still remain rooted to the 8th spot in the East, percentage points ahead of the Nets, who are similarly three games below .500 but have played two fewer contests.  Philly has now moved 1.5 games ahead ot the Bucks for seventh, as the Bucks' inability to beat bad teams has seen them squander a number of chances to gain ground in the playoff hunt..  
  • Skinned.  Brian Skinner has twice had serviceable stints in Milwaukee, and it sure would have been nice if he wasn't on the other side tonight.  Villanueva was too weak to keep the bigger Skinner from establishing good position, and he seemed to casually drop about a half dozen baby hooks in CV's grill.  Oh by the way, that's also the first time all season Skinner's scored more than 11 points.