Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Bucks Scoring In Triple Digits Before Losing Three In A Row

Bucks 2012-13
If there was any doubt that the Bucks could sustain an offensive streak as-of-late, it has been abolished. Coming off of a two game continuance of last season's above-average scoring, the Bucks finished off the Hornets on November 17, putting up a whopping 117 points. The win was the third consecutive for the team, and that put them atop the division with a six-and-two record. That game also marked the fourth time this season that the Bucks broke the triple-digit mark, as well as the fourth win with over 100 points.  Since that time, the team has lost three in a row. They got things back together and defeated the Bulls at Chicago on Monday night.

Beyond breaking 100 in half their games (up until 11/19,) not too mention winning each of those, Milwaukee had not scored any less than ninety points in any game in 2012. Losing to just Memphis and Boston, with scores of ninety and ninety-two, respectively, Milwaukee has also kept five of eight opponents from scoring 100 points, including the Celtics, who could only manage ninety-six. Behind the offensive numbers are team leaders Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis. The pair of guards have combined for 302 points so far this season, including five games with team-high points.

The production in 2011 of the duo had skeptics worried during the off-season, but the early success has head coach Scott Skiles saying I-told-you-so. But, regardless of the coach's confidence, the pair's performance so far is a reason to wipe the sweat from his brow. Mike Dunleavy, Tyler Hansbrough, and Anthony Davis are the other players to achieve team-high points this year. Each has just one, however, and Hansbrough managed the deed with just nineteen points in the team's win against Indiana.

Skiles may have called it a "told-you-so" moment, but lucky moment could be just as justifiable a term. If the Ellis-Jennings connection ever decides to stop service, few players have shown the ability to take up the slack.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Jennings Wins Player of the Week Honors

Jennings Player of the Week
To top-off the Bucks pair of wins to open the season, star point-guard Brandon Jennings won Eastern Conference Player of the Week honors. It is just the second time in his career that Jennings has won the title, the first coming after hitting fifty-five points in a blowout against Golden State during his rookie year.

For his most recent honor, Jennings put up a league leading thirteen assists and four steals per game during the team's first two match-ups of the 2012 season. He scored thirteen points in the Bucks opener in Boston last Friday, and followed-up that performance with twenty-one in the team's win against Cleveland on Saturday. He also beat the buzzer in that game, hitting a last second three-pointer to put Milwaukee up 105-103.

Both head coach Scott Skiles and Jennings took notice of the point-guard's early success, though Jennings remains humble, attributing most of the credit to his offensive counterparts. He told reporters following Saturday's win that he feels more open to pass and wait for the right opportunity now that he has some solid help from the new forwards.

Skiles, meanwhile, told media that he is extremely happy to see Jennings continue to grow and mold into a more dynamic player, adding that sometimes it is hard to tell that he has only been in the league for just three years now.
For all the thanks Jennings dolled out to his teammates, league officials were likely impressed by the player's handling of the tough competition through the first two games of the season. Not only were both the Celtics and the Cavaliers two of the most offensively productive team's last season, each boast a talented guard pool, including all-star Rajon Rondo and 2011 Rookie of the Year Kyle Irving

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Milwaukee Bucks Preseason Game Recap

Milwaukee Bucks 2012 Preseason
The Milwaukee Bucks suffered their first loss of the 2012 preseason at the hands of the Bulls on Monday at the United Center. Previously two-and-zero, the Bucks entered their toughest contest to date having won games against both Cleveland and Detroit by near twenty-point margins. Their southern-rivals, however, put a stop to the hopeful beginning, earning a 100-94 win by the end of the night.
The Bulls dominated nearly every facet of Monday's match-up, not once falling behind to the Bucks, who allowed Chicago's high-powered offense ample opportunity for easy points. The defense also failed to force many turnovers, managing just fourteen all game. And, despite the just six-point deficit at the end of play, the Bucks offense, which scored 108 against Detroit just days earlier, was lackluster for three quarters of the game.

Skiles Not Happy With Performance

Scott Skiles spared no harsh words in his post-game conference with the media, admitting that he was unhappy with his team's play all-around. The coach was not completely dismissive, however, complimenting the efforts by five reserve players in the fourth quarter to bring the Bucks back within one possession with just under three minutes left. Beno Udrih, Drew Gooden, Marquis Daniels, Samuel Dalembert, and Mike Dunleavy were all part of that group, Dalembert putting up his first double-double of the year, and Dunleavy a co-team-high thirteen points.

Starts rose from the bench for both teams during the night, as Bulls backup point guard Nate Robinson led his team with twenty-four points and thirteen assists. He and fellow guard Richard Hamilton combined for forty-seven points on the night, with Joakim Noah dolling out another sixteen for Chicago. 

While the loss is a set back for a Bucks team that has high hopes to make the playoffs this year, the performance of the five reserves in the fourth is a good sign that the team's recent injury troubles may not be too dire. 
Rookie second-round pick Doron Lamb went out with a torn ligament before camp this off season, joining starting forward Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, who is still recovering from tendon surgery. Epke Udoh, one the team's most productive starters last season, is also out for an extended period.