Brandon Jennings slices, then rains on the Golden State defense

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Warriors Bucks Basketball

By Jake McCormick

If social media could crown NBA stardom, Milwaukee Buck Brandon Jennings is well on his way after Saturday night’s record-setting performance against the Warriors.

Typically on a Saturday night, the college community is out debaucherizing themselves away from the blue hue that is the computer screen. A quick check of Facebook statuses and Twitter search words revealed profile-wide praise of the 20-year-old rookie point guard that popped up almost as quickly as his crossover drives to the hoop. Notice I said almost.

“Considering (Jennings’) is a rookie, he’s not greedy. He was just open and knocking down shots,” head coach Scott Skiles said after the Milwaukee Bucks’ 129-125 win over the Golden State Warriors. “I know what it’s like to be in that zone. In any NBA game when a guy goes off like that, you’re foolish if you’re not going to ride that.”

In a defensively-challenged win against one of the league’s top scoring offenses, Jennings’ much needed 55 points was the most posted by an NBA rookie since 1968 and broke Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s previous mark of 51. All of his points were scored after the first quarter, including a Bucks’ record 29 points in the third.

After shooting a frustrating 4-13 in the first half, Jennings said his second made shot of the third quarter turned on the switch that made him knock down 12-13 third quarter shots, including 4-5 three point three pointers.

“Luckily I hit the first two and it seemed like the rim was getting bigger and bigger and I couldn’t miss,” Jennings said after the game.

Down 57-49 at halftime, the Bradley Center crowd was so lethargic that parachute T-shirts raining from the rafters like World War II paratroopers were cheered louder than any run the Bucks’ put together in the first two quarters. Jennings’ 16-2 run to start the second half increased the decibel level faster than a Michael Jackson surprise concert outside Neverland Ranch. The torrid start helped the Bucks’ to an 80-68 second half advantage and keeping Milwaukee undefeated when trailing at halftime this season.

Warriors Bucks BasketballCenter Andrew Bogut continued his high percentage inside game, going 9-12. However, his 1-6 at the line continued Milwaukee’s ventures into the entrepreneurial field of brick laying, but Bogut said he isn’t concerned about stats as long as the wins keep coming.

“It was a great game for Brandon; great for his confidence,” said Bogut, who’s solid 19 points and 11 rebounds were his fourth double-double of the young season.

Despite the win, Skiles wasn’t happy with Milwaukee’s uncharacteristically slow defense. The Bucks have been one of the top defensive teams in the league this season, but you wouldn’t know it from Saturday’s performance. With a 56.1% field goal percentage for the game, the Warriors became the first team to shoot above 50% against Milwaukee this year.

“I don’t want to sell their players, but we just didn’t come out with the necessary defensive intensity,” Skiles said. “At some point during game, you’re going to have to get stops, and we never really did. When you give guys three or four feet they take the distance.”

Despite the Bucks' win, this was a pretty common site all night. Too bad the Warriors treat the glass like a fourth grader would treat the "hot lava" sidewalk.

Despite the Bucks' win, this was a pretty common site all night. Too bad the Warriors treat the glass like a fourth grader would treat the "hot lava" sidewalk.

Heading into Monday’s matchup against the Dallas Mavericks, Jennings just hopes to follow up his record-setting performance with another win that would extend the Bucks’ streak to five. Growing into a star in only his seventh game has done wonders for Jennings’s confidence, but he’s more than willing to relent and spread the wealth as needed.

“My confidence level is like when I was at Oak Hill my senior year in high school, as far as being comfortable and playing out there,” Jennings said. “Every game we have to come out, feed Bogut the ball and see what happens after that.”

With Jennings taking a philosophically socialist approach to his job as a point guard, the rest of the team seems to be feeding off his energy and charisma. It’s too early, of course, to be talking about more than just the next game on tap, but the Jennings-Bogut co-op are certainly injecting some life and interest into a franchise that is definitely one of the big surprises of the young NBA season.

Oh, and Michael Redd is expected back during this week’s three game homestand. Just thought I’d throw that out there.

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Comments

  1. not a bad TSB.net debut for Bucks credentials…

  2. Agreed. welcome to the big show Mr. McCormick and a great piece.

    yes, socialism should be the ethos every basketball player, especially a point guard should adopt on the court.

    ever since Details magazine called Steve Nash “the Karl Marx of the Hardwood” I’ve realized that

  3. Bogut has 4 double-doubles already? Maybe he’s finally developing like he was projected to..

    I’m actually watching the Bucks game on NBA TV right now…love this channel

  4. hey jake this is your cousin sam just messageing u back about your report was a great one how lucky you were to meet jennings and bogut in person wishing i could

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