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NBA Atlanta Hawks

Golden opportunity lost in Golden State

Credit: Milwaukee Journal-Star

Well the Bucks blew a golden opportunity in Golden State and went 0-3 on this west coast trip.

If you had a chance to watch the game last night you would have seen it was winnable with what we had and would have been a certain win with Andrew Bogut in the lineup or a healthy Brandon Jennings, who consequently had an underwhelming performance.

Two players I want to focus on from last night are Ersan Ilyasova and Luc Richard Mbah a Moute. For one man, Ilyasova, he capped off a wonderful three-game stretch. Mbah a Moute, while posting 19 rebounds including 11 on the offensive glass, failed to fill his role because he was understandably busy picking up the slack of Bogut’s absence.

Ilyasova was red hot in the first quarter, leading the Bucks to a 22-18 lead. He ended the game with 23 points and 13 rebounds and continued to be the unsung hero on this team. Ilyasova got very little coverage in the loss to the Clippers, and while Blake Griffin went off like usual, Ilyasova slowed him down as about as well as anyone else on this team could have. Again last night he showed that despite starting at center, he can be a big-time factor on both ends of the floor. He rose to the occasion and gets my vote for player of the game.

Now Mbah a Moute. I hate to pick on The Prince, because he had a tremendous night on the boards, but his role has always been defensive juggernaut and he just couldn’t get it done last night. His first shot at guarding David Lee pretty much summed it up as Lee easily backed him down, spun off him and finished with a right hook shot in the paint. I consider it just a bump in the road for the team’s best defender, but if you’re going to take four fouls, make them aggressive. He was backpedaling all night and getting sloppy reaching calls, highly unusual for an otherwise tremendous defensive player.

It certainly wasn’t a terrible effort from the Bucks and credit should be given to the Warriors offense, which remained fast pace and fluid the whole game. They even pulled off one of the best alley-oops of the year as they did their best Flint Tropics impression:

 The Flint Tropics would be proud

The Bucks NEED to get a win with a pretty manageable six-game set coming up. The critical six-pack begins with Detroit tomorrow where I expect Jennings to notch 25 minutes and 10 shot attempts. The Bucks won’t win with him putting up 2 points in 19 minutes like last night. Also, he needs to test his foot and take it to the rim. He is a decent shooter, but he has not attacked the basket with the speed and regularity since coming back. If he wants more minutes again, he is going to have to take some risks.

Afterthoughts

So the Bucks announced they are going to wear the 1971 NBA Championship jerseys for every February home game. Why? Apparently they want to rub salt in the wound that has been this season by reminding us all of the glory days. But hey, maybe it will give them some winning swagger … Kevin Love was a pretty big All-Star game snub, but I’m not convinced Tim Duncan hasn’t played good ball, he has just had limited minutes. Who do you all think got snubbed?