I decided on my motto for this Bucks season last night. Now I'm 100 percent sure I love it. Sometimes good medicine tastes bad.
— Steven von Horn (@StevevonHorn) November 24, 2013
Our very own Steve has accomplished the entire tone of most future recaps and maybe even a season with less than 140 characters. Tonight, the medicine left a burning sensation in our throats though, as the Bobcats separated themselves early and continued to wipe the floor with the Bucks throughout, cruising to a 96-72 victory. The loss is the eighth straight for Milwaukee, and puts them at 2-10. Yes, that is the second worst record in the NBA.
Khris Middleton literally one-upped his career high, scoring 20 points on 8-12 shooting in just over 28 minutes of play. There was much to be made about Middleton this week, so dropping a career high will cause for some more discourse. Though it is likely he won't be much more than a quality rotational piece going forward, Middleton simply has earned the right to be on the court more than his positional contemporaries right now. This may not be the case two weeks or a month from now, but when he's out there now, better things are happening for this team.
After receiving DNP-CD's the last handful of games, Giannis Antetokounmpo played clean-up during the entire fourth quarter, scoring six points on 3-7 shooting. He made some aggressive drives to the basket and was one of the few players not moving at a snail's pace, though it's hard to tell if he was doing so productively or just because he was so excited to be back on a court playing again.
Brandon Knight returned to the Bucks lineup and survived 25 minutes of play. He shot only 1-8 and turned the ball over a handful of times, but he was one of the few Bucks who tried to attack the basket on the night. Even if he could barely cash in on his attempts, at least he was trying to do point guard things, but I don't know if that's exactly cause for reward.
Caron Butler couldn't carry over the magic from last night in Philadelphia, only tallying five points on 2-8 shooting. Ersan Ilyasova also struggled to contribute, adding seven points, THE HIGH SCORER FOR THE STARTING FIVE.
9. The Bucks shot nine free throws the entire game. That means they barely went to the line once or twice a quarter. For a team that shot 35.3 percent against a surprisingly good Bobcats defense, cheap points have to come from somewhere. I guess that's why there were only 72 points put up tonight, yeah?
22. No starter played more than 22 minutes tonight, which is good because that group couldn't get a rhythm going offensively or protect the rim to save their lives. There was no energy to start after flying in from Philly last night, and that put the Bucks in a hole they just didn't know how to climb out of.
On the flip side of that number, Larry Drew--though doing so out of complete frustration--didn't hesitate to let his younger guys finish out the game. That is good because it gives them experience, and it should make fans slightly happy that Drew didn't try to salvage anything by making his starters work to get back in the game. It was game over after three quarters for the usual starters, and I can't sit here and say that upsets me at all.
Larry Drew took his post-game presser as a chance to send a message to the fans. It went as follows.
"Let me just first say that I owe the fans a big, big apology for the performance of our team tonight. Very, very disappointing. I am very very disappointed in our team. A team that I really thought that tonight, after last night's loss, would come out and play with some energy, and that they'd play with a passion. They did not do that. I told the guy's after the game that there will be changes in our starting lineup and if they're not on the same page with it, so be it. But there will be changes. But we definitely owe these fans a big apology. On behalf of this team, I want to extend that apology, because we totally, totally let this city down tonight."
THOUGHTS GOING FORWARD
I always have a hard time deciding whether I'm impressed by Josh McRoberts' hair or not. I think it's dependent on performance, really. So tonight, I am quite impressed.
If you are all about that t-word and really think about things in that scope, the Bucks just gained 2 games on the Bobcats!!
It can't get much uglier than this lackluster performance, can it? Wait, really. Can it?
Is this the year that consistent ownership strategies loosen a little. In other words, even if they wanted to try to salvage this season, can they?
If this doesn't get much better soon (which we can argue about whether that's good or bad some other time), what's this team going to look like come deadline time or sooner?
The Bucks travel to the Motor City to take on Detroit Monday before coming home to face Washington before Thanksgiving. The Pistons killed the Bucks on the glass last year and will probably boast that advantage again. Oh, and this is the first game for Brandon Jennings and Brandon Knight/Khris Middleton against their old teams. Get your narratives, ready!