Game 31 Live Blog: Washington Wizards @ Milwaukee Bucks
Everyone is talking about the story written by Michael Hunt in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
From top to bottom, the Bucks continue to stumble along without the kind of leadership necessary to be a successful and innovative big-league enterprise. They talk a big game every year about things changing, about things getting better, but they never do. If anything, they stay in the same mind-numbingly predictable state of soft and dispassionate play, infuriating those who care and alienating those who would give the Bucks one more chance to clear up their stale act.
Herb Kohl has surrounded himself for years with the same inner circle, and the results speak for themselves. They regularly fail to place the right people in positions to make winning decisions, squeezing the potential right out of this once viable and proud organization.
Ouch. That surrounding himself with an inner circle thing about Herb Kohl sounds familiar.
Andray Blatche and Yi Jianlian and the Toyota “One’s to Watch” tonight – and I’m really searching for AB to step it up on a consistent level.
And most everyone knows that Michael Redd will be out tonight.
I believe that the last time the Wizards were in Milwaukee, Tuff Juice had a great game, but hurt his hand at the end. Yup, Caron Butler had 19 points and 5 rebounds in 24 minutes before breaking his hand, April 1 of last year.
10:00 – Butler drills a 3 pointer…even about a foot and a half beyond the arc. Showing out for Racine, huh?
9:08 – Yi hits a long jumper — AJ was slow to rotate back to him. You really have to respect his outside shot. This time he was a step inside the 3, but I’ve watched him a decent bit on NBA League Pass this year, and he has no hesitation to pull the trigger.
8:00 – Haywood with a nice block on Bobby Simmons after he got an offensive rebound. BTH’s timing has really improved, but he foot quickness still needs much improvement.
6:37 – Timeout Milwaukee, Wizards are up 11-4. Milwaukee just hasn’t taken care of the ball so far, making it easy for the Wizards. Three turnovers for the Bucks, off three steals by the Wiz. Mo Williams usually does well against Washington (especially remembering that buzzer beater). This game, he doesn’t seem very assertive in his play.
So what was Wizards shooting coach Dave Hopla’s x-mas bonus? Did it come from Haywood or the team? BTH is shooting 71.7% from the FT line so far this year. He best season before this one, 63.3% his second year in the league…..54.8% last season.
This match-up between Antawn Jamison and Yi Jianlian is fun to watch — probably because they are both bad defensive players with interesting offensive games who at least give the appearance that they are trying.
Yi is definitely talented in an athletic way, very smooth. But it’s easy to see that his basketball IQ has a long way to go. His game decision-making does not seem to come natural at times.
There’s been a Michael Ruffin sighting.
The first quarter ends with the Wizards up 23-10. Washington has been solid, but the Bucks have been horrendous. You can already hear a billion restless Chinese. The Bucks have 6 turnovers, 5 of which were Wizards steals. Milwaukee is also shooting 25%. I like that Washington is shooting 52.9%, but 5 turnovers is too many. The big two, Jamison and Butler, are leading the way with 9 and 7 respectively.
Steve Buckhantz can’t stop talking about Mike Hunt.
10:40 – Wow, the Wizards left a wide open lane to Royal Ivey and he absolutely blew the baseline layup. Antawn, Darius, Caron, DeShawn, and Antonio…..Eddie is not going to like that kind of defense.
9:24 – Timeout, mad Milwaukee fans…angered more because of a non-call against Royal Ivey when he was going up for a shot. The ball was out of his hands, but he kept flying into the defender and hit the deck hard afterwards. I wasn’t privileged to the replay, but I’d unbiasedly say that it was a good “no call” – 31-12 Wizards.
More bench is in the game now. Mason and D-Mac join Darius, Antonio and Caron. We need the bench to start stepping some games up. Aaaand the offense immediately becomes stagnant. EJ needs to figure out a way for D-Mac to develop confidence with the ball during games.
I wonder if sitting last night, among other recent criticism, has been a detriment to Songaila’s confidence. He has come in and hurt the defensive rotation, this being a huge step down in the defense of the paint after Haywood went out. D-Song also just committed a bad turnover. Bucks cut it to 10, 33-23. 5:40 left.
4:30 – Right on cue, the horrendous Charlie Bell shoots an air ball.
Songaila just blew a layup and didn’t draw a foul as he shied away from contact.
2:50 – Songaila just took a long baseline shot that he should not have. On the other end, the 18 point lead built 40 seconds ago is back down to 14.
1:40 – The Wizards move the ball all over the place and finally get a wide-open 3 from AD. It was artful to observe. Phil Chenier says that he thought the Bucks were playing good D. And I say that the type of ball movement exhibited is exactly what the Wiz would need against an actual good defensive team.
first half ends with the Wizards up 21, 52-31. They are moving the ball well on offense….getting some baskets inside, driving the ball to create, and making the open shots that develop through inside-out play.
The Bucks are pretty bad all around, especially shooting themselves in the foot on offense with careless play. They have 9 turnovers, 2 by their point guard, Mo Williams, and 3 by the age-less Chinese big man. Milwaukee is settling for a lot of outside shots, going 1-11 from 3.
The Wiz are on fire, shooting 55.3% and have secured the boards with a 23-17 lead in that category. Antawn Jamison is playing like the All-Star I think he should be with 17 points, 2 steals and 4 rebounds. Balanced scoring for the other starters with 7-7-7-9, AD being the 9. Other item of note, neither Andray Blatche nor Nick Young have played.
To sum it up: solid Wizards play + disheveled home arena and home team = 21 point deficit for Milwaukee.
8:16 – Jamison continues to take advantage of Yi. Hook bucket, And 1 – 10-0 run Washington, 62-33 Wizards.
As they push the run to 14, the Wizards look a like they are coasting. Everything is just too easy for them. You know how an away team will call a timeout when the home team is on a run so as to quiet the crowd? Well the Milwaukee Bucks, the home team, just called a timeout to quell the mounting boo-birds which seemed close to the point of throwing trash on the court.
Steve Buck just said that in addition to Caron’s 40+ peeps, Nick Young has 16 of his people in the crowd; The City has some ties to the Milwaukee area. Too bad no one has seen him on the court so far as DeShawn Stevenson hits a 3 to put the Wizards up 70-37 with 5:40 left in the 3rd.
4:19 – The most exciting moment of the night for Bucks fans. An errant Wizards pass hits a lady plumper who happened to be walking by with a full beer. Beer went flying all over a woman sitting where the lady was walking when she got it. The plumper continued to walk to her seat, happy that she still had 2/3 left. Towels were thrown, refs investigated the scene, ball-boys came over to mop up…the Bradley Center, Where Amazing Happens (that is actually written on the basket up-rights). And here’s the video.
Phil and Steve just mentioned that between the Pistons and the Bucks, you could build quite a team of former Wizards. Well, let’s do that.
- Rasheed Wallace
- Richard Hamilton
- Michael Ruffin
- Bobby Simmons
- Awvee Storey
- Jarvis Hayes
On second thought, let’s not do that….I’m not taking those 6 as a group anywhere.
The 3rd ends with a little game slippage for the Wizards, the Bucks went on a 4-0 run. But Washington is still up 30, 79-49. Out-shooting the Bucks by more than 20%, 58.9 to 36.2 and they also have 9 more rebounds, 34-25.
Nick Young makes his grand entrance with a clanker jumper. Haven’t we seen Eddie bring him into a game late before only to see him play pretty bad?
9:47 – Nick Young lefty layup miss.
8:50 – Nick Young tries to force a drive from the right wing to the middle of the lane…the Bucks bail him out with a foul on the floor.
8:40 – Nick Young rushed jumper miss. (see a pattern developing?)
8:12 – Blatche monster drive and dunk down the middle. 83-55
If the Wizards were beating a decent team by this much, I really think this young line-up would let that team get back within 15 points. The Bucks, being a pretty bad team, are content to let the Wizards coast to the end.
6:09 – Unnecessary Nick Young foul on Royal Ivey as he got an offensive rebound right under the basket.
5:55 – Finally, after several attempts, Bean Burrito gets on the board with a tough fade-away jumper…which was still forced.
5:45 – 3:45 – Same ol’ stuff – The Wizards are moving the ball a little better as Nick Young has decided to no longer force the game. The lead hovers around 30, 95-66 Wizards.
2:20 – Uhh…heat check?…Nick Young misses a long 3 that would’ve been a crazy bank shot had it gone in.
The game ends in usual garbage time fashion as the Wizards easily take a match which was played in under 2 hours, 101-77. Yup, this disgruntled franchise is exactly what a Washington team, on the cusp of falling below .500, needed.
Revisiting DC Pro Sport Report Keys to the game:
- Don’t let Charlie Villanueva come off the bench and get open looks;
(well…he did have 20 points on 7-15 shooting off the bench — but that came from playing the entire garbage 4th quarter)
- Feed Haywood early and get him involved in the offense;
(Haywood didn’t get into the offense too much, 7 points at half, 9 for the game — but he did get involved on defense early and helped set the tone)
- Someone off the bench must do something good — they didn’t against Detroit.
(Hey 32 points off the bench! Awesome! — oh yea, I guess it’d be rather expected in a blowout — let’s see ’em do something in a close game against a good team before we get all excited)
Wizards Cruise In Milwaukee [Washington Post]
Wizards ease past Bucks [Washington Times]
Easy win in beertown [Wizards Insider]