The Milwaukee Bucks‘ home opening win over the Charlotte Bobcats was one made of urgency, validation, and milestones. From center Andrew Bogut‘s return to normal to the bench’s overall lack of production, there was a lot to take from the Bucks first Bradley Center win of the 2010-11 NBA season.
For a breakdown of the Bucks win over the Bobcats, click here.
By Jake McCormick
Brandon Jennings’ first career triple double in perhaps the most complete performance of his young career takes precedence over Andrew Bogut’s aggressiveness and Carlos Delfino’s sniping, especially on Opening Night in Milwaukee.
“He was really, really good offensively,” coach Scott Skiles said. “He was stepping into his shots, was on balance, and he made good decisions with the ball for the most part.”
Jennings has looked much more aggressive and comfortable to start the year, which is an obvious good sign for a second year point guard. He attributed much of that to having an increase in overall talent around him, but Jennings also has to be able to make good decisions and find open teammates.
“This is my best game since I’ve been in the NBA just from the fact that I had a nose for the ball and I was being unselfish,” Jennings said.
One player noticeable absent was Ersan Ilyasova, who is option number two in terms of three point scoring options for the Bucks. Scott Skiles likened the Ersanator’s 58 seconds of playing time to a baseball player getting a day of rest to work out of a slump.
“We’ll talk to him a little bit and he’ll bounce back,” Skiles said.
Ilyasova will be back on the court at some point in the future, although that time table could be a little tougher to define thanks to a solid game from Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, who played 35 minutes, scored nine points and grabbed nine rebounds, including five on the offensive glass. Like Skiles said at Bucks Media Day, these problems associated with depth tend to find a way to work themselves out.
Carlos Delfino has been a godsend in three point land for the Milwaukee Bucks so far this season (46.7%), but he is notoriously streaky and could very well regress to ice cold at any point. He did an especially good job of working along the perimeter and opening up the Bucks’ offense against the Charlotte Bobcats, going 9-17 from the field and 5-11 from three point range on his way to 23 points, three assists and three rebounds.
“A lot of times it’s a matter of one guy taking the lid off during the game, Carlos did that for us,” Skiles said. “You’d like it to not be that way, but sometimes it is.”
Delfino balances out fellow small forward Corey Maggette’s slashing style with a quality shooting touch that, when combined, creates an incredibly productive overall position. But Milwaukee could be in a tough situation if and when Delfino’s production from the outside dips below acceptable levels. That means Brandon Jennings and Ersan Ilyasova have to find their touch from the outside sooner rather than later, and neither has shown any consistency in that aspect of their games.
The Milwaukee Bucks still have a ways to go to get where they want to be (can you hear the Scott Skiles there?), but Saturday night’s win against the Bobcats was their biggest step taken towards improving upon their success from 2009-10.
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