A team’s season-high winning streak says a lot about their taste for success, but the Milwaukee Bucks’ three straight victories, including Saturday’s 91-81 win over the New Jersey Nets, are showing they are closer to replicating last year’s second half run than they have been all season.
By Jake McCormick
Milwaukee’s 91-81 win over New Jersey shouldn’t inspire much serious talk about a full revitalization of the “Fear The Deer” movement, but their recent stretch of five wins in their last seven games is reminiscent of the 2010 Chicago Bears.
Before the NFL season began, most astute observers did not predict the Chicago Bears would make it to the NFC Championship game or win the NFC North. The Bears got quite a few bounces their way in their regular season schedule, but the fact is that they were convinced they were a good team, which played a part in their trek towards a game within the Super Bowl.
The Bucks have an easy schedule through the rest of the regular season, but beating bad teams like the Nets can still be a great confidence booster for when Milwaukee takes on the best teams in the NBA.
Notable Bucks performers:
The return of Brandon Jennings was the major story after the game, but Keyon Dooling again showed that rushing Jennings back to the court is not necessary. Dooling scored 14 points on 6-10 shots, including 2-4 from beyond the arc, dished out nine assists (most off drive and kick plays) and committed one turnover.
By grabbing 18 rebounds and rejecting seven shots, Andrew Bogut (7-18 fg, 17 pts) became the first Bucks player since Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in 1974 to do both in one game. Against a quality center, Bogut was able to consistently drop in left and right hook shots and stay in position under the basket on defense.
The Carlos Delfino (7-16 fg, 4-9 3fg, 21 pts, 5 rbs) Milwaukee Bucks fans were waiting to see showed up in full force Saturday night. Playing both small forward and shooting guard at times, Delfino’s three point stroke and aggressive drives helped spread the floor and give the Bucks open looks inside and out.
- The Bucks started the game flat footed, as is often the case in the second game of an NBA back-to-back. Milwaukee only connected on 7-12 field goals in the first quarter, and fell behind early 25-22. However, the Bucks went into lockdown mode in the second, allowing 12 points while scoring 23 to take a 45-37 lead into halftime.
- As good a game as Andrew Bogut had defensively, Brook Lopez pretty much had his way for most of the night. Lopez displayed some impressive long range shooting, while overpowering Bogut at other times and expressing his disgust for everything that seemingly went against his perception of basketball reality.
- The Bucks bench contributed 11 total points between five players, which according to elementary school math logic, means that Milwaukee’s starters all scored 14 or more points. Corey Maggette wasn’t particularly hot shooting (3-8 fg, 2-3 3fg, 14 pts), but made up for it in his usual way (6-6 ft), and Ersan Ilyasova (6-9 fg, 14 pts, 8 rbs) drained a number of open jumpers with a few scrappy rebounds mixed in.
Click here to read more in-depth analysis of the Bucks-Nets game.
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