It feels like ages since the Bucks dominated a team so completely in the first half that the spirit was just sucked out of their opponent. Tonight, they met an opponent that looked totally content to roll over in the face of adversity.
The result was a blowout Milwaukee hasn't seen in some time. The Bucks took advantage of a thoroughly disorganized Indiana offense in the first half to build a 26-point halftime lead and never looked back, rolling the Pacers 99-85. The Bucks led by 32 points at one point in the second half, only ceding that massive lead in garbage time, which was basically the entire fourth quarter.
The Pacers are missing their leader in Danny Granger, out with a knee injury for another few months, and they don't appear to know what to do without him. Credit the Bucks for using their quickness on both ends of the court, blowing past defenders for layups and disrupting passing lanes on defense. But Indiana alternated between incapable and disinterested for most of the game.
Milwaukee torched the Pacers in the first quarter to the tune of a 141-72 efficiency differential, and it would have been even better if not for a couple close misses by Ersan Ilyasova, who will evidently need at least one more game to break out of his slump. But just about everything else was working, including the interior scoring of Samuel Dalembert (14 points, 5-7 FG, 3 blocks) and Tobias Harris (11 points, 4-5 FG). It seemed like every other Indiana possession led to a Milwaukee run out, and the Bucks executed their transition attack very well (24 points off 20 Pacer TOs).
Surprisingly, no single player really stood out for Milwaukee. They played solid team basketball and kept their mistakes to an absolute minimum, finishing with a microscopic 6.4 turnover rate.
Also Larry Sanders whacked Tyler Hansbrough in the head and got a Flagrant 1. The more things change...