Sunday, November 06, 2005

Bucks Win Again!?!

"In your face, kidney transplant recipient!"

Now I'm really starting to like this team. The addition of Jamaal Magloire (and his awful play in the first two games) and my general dislike of Larry Harris prevented me from taking too much joy in the Bucks first 2 wins, but after last night's game, I'm just going to shut up and enjoy the ride. The Bucks overcame a nine-point, fourth-quarter defecit to beat the Heat. I don't care if they didn't have Shaq, they still shouldn't have lost to us, especially with that lead.

In the first, T.J. and Magloire looked sharp, with Magloire finally providing something on the offensive end. The Bucks started a game strong for the first time this season. The Heat were running the Bucks though, and they looked lost, especially when Andrew Bogut lost Udonis Haslem in transition for an easy dunk. Magloire took an ugly shot from way outside, which he had no business taking. When Gary Payton came in, I'll admit I didn't really notice, that is until I heard the crowd lustily booing. I want to refrain from swearing on this site because I'm sort of using this site to prepare for a career in sportswriting, but you know what? Fuck Gary Payton. Gary Payton
"Now you take something off!"

I'm glad that I live in a city where we won't let assholes like him (and Gary Sheffield, for that matter) get away with screwing us over. To the fans credit, they booed long and hard for the entire game, not just the first quarter. I wish someone would have said "Hey Gary, how are the strip clubs in Miami?" or "Hey, you still hang out with Jason Caffey?" Payton and Caffey (along with Sam Cassell) got into a fight at a strip club in Toronto, when they were all with the Bucks. Then, when guest hosting "The Best Damn Sports Show, Period" he had the gall to give advice to Andrew Bogut after he was drafted #1 by the Bucks, along the lines of, make sure you have a lot of books to read because Milwaukee is boring. Gee, Gary, I'm so sorry we don't have strip clubs on every corner, and prostitution isn't legal. We'll stick with the fine arts and lakefront cultural festivals. So, I was understandably thrilled when Mo Williams drilled a three in his face to end the quarter, to take the lead 26-23. It was Mo's second three of the quarter.

Please break his neck!

The second quarter was when the tide began to turn. Mo was still hitting shots, but the Bucks started to get killed by, of all people, Alonzo Mourning, starting in place of O'Neal. He looks like just as great a shotblocker as ever, blocking 2 dunks in the quarter. He was also scoring like the Zo of old, picking up eleven by halftime. The Heat also ran the Bucks ragged, and I mean ragged. The Bucks looked awful in transition and in the halfcourt. The rotations were terrible, and Miami got open look after open look, and converted more often than not. The Bucks were also totally lost on offense, as T.J. didn't really have a clear plan of what he wanted to do. He usually just ran down penetrated, vame back out and looked desperately for someone to pass to. At halftime, the Heat led 52-49, but the game was becoming much more lopsided than that. Milwaukee had only 15 rebounds in the first half, and once again struggled to get to the line, getting only two shots to the Heat's 11.

The Bucks started the second half where thay left off, playing poor transition defense, not boxing out, and getting lost in the halfcourt offense. Mourning blocked a layup, but key shots by Bobby Simmons kept Milwaukee in it, and T.J. Ford's patent blow-by layup managed to cut the lead to two going into the fourth.

The fouth quarter started out with the Bucks making poor rotations again and the Heat getting hordes of wide open shots and pushing the lead to nine. Miami started playing super-physical ball and were getting away with murder: Mourning bashed T.J.'s face with an elbow and Haslem did the same to Charlie Bell, after Bell made a great hustle play, but no fouls were getting called. The rest of the quarter belonged to Simmons though, as he drilled a long two and slammed down the best dunk of the NBA season right on Mourning's head, for a four-point lead. Considering that Mourning blocked 2 dunks and a layup previously, (and later would block a dunk by Jamaal Magloire) this would be a good candidate for Slamadamonth. The Heat went dead cold after the Bucks tied it at 92, being outscored 6-1. They still had a chance, because Wade was doing what he does best, getting to the free-throw line off of drives, but Wade missed two free-throws, and the game was pretty much in the bag. 105-100 Bucks.

Simmons was obviously MVP of the game. He scored 23 points, but for the dunk on Mourning alone I would've given him MVP, even if he had missed 25 three-pointers taken with 19 secconds on the shotclock leading up to the dunk. Redd also had a quiet 23, and Mo Williams had another great game after the Game 1 debacle, with 16 points on 5-6 shooting. Magloire had his best game as a Buck with 14 points, 8 rebounds, and two blocks. He did foul out for the second time in the first three games, so his three game foul total is now 15. T.J. Ford came back with a good fourth quarter and finished with 13 points and 11 assists. Bogut was quiet after the first quarter, with 6 and 6.

As good as ths win was, and as fun as it was to watch, the Bucks' penchant for falling behind and coming back in the fourth is not sustainable for an entire season. The Bucks are going to have to give more consistent showings or they are not going to do very well when everyone is tired in the middle of the seaon. We might be able to get away with it for now, but it has to change soon.