Sunday, November 06, 2005

Yay! Yay! No!


"At least I'm not with Toronto!"

Well, as you might be able to tell from the title, I have good news, good news, and bad news. The good news is the Bucks won again on Wednesday, again coming from behind. The other good news is that Shaq is out for Saturday's game against the Heat, and the bad news is I just read a rumor on ESPN.com that Dan Gadzuric might be on the market. NOOOOO!!!

Well for the first bit of good news, the Bucks came back from 16 pts. down early in the 1st quarter to beat the Nets. The Bucks were fouling up a storm in the first quarter, commiting 12 fouls, and by the end of the game every Bucks player who played more than 1 minute would have at least 3 fouls, except Toni Kukoc, who had 2. Bobby Simmons was in foul trouble all game after a terrific debut with the Bucks, and he would foul out with only 4 pts. The Nets were getting out on the break and drawing lots of fouls, and they were dominating the boards, they eventually led 21-5 and 23-7. Even so, I coudn't shake the feeling that the Nets weren't looking that much better. Jamaal Magloire looked much better defensively, but the Bucks just couldn't get anything going, taking and missing a lot more shots than the Nets. They led 29-17 after one.

The second quarter was a marked improvement with 5 players hitting threes. Michael Redd and Toni Kukoc each had one, Mo Williams had two, and T.J. Ford drilled one just before the buzzer to cut the Nets lead to two going into the half. We finally got to see a little of the T.J. Ford-Mo Williams combination but it wasn't too impressive, with their one fast break opportunity ruined by Mo Williams dribbling the ball off of Richard Jefferson's foot. We also saw a little Mo Williams-Charlie Bell combo in the backcourt, resulting in a fast break layup. The small lineup seemed to work well for the Bucks as they were now routinely beaating the Nets down the floor. It was 48-46 at the half. T.J. had 13 to lead the team.

In the third Andrew Bogut had a tip-in to start the half and tie the game and then another tip-in to take the lead, and then another tip-in a little bit later. This started the Bucks off on the right track, as they were dominating the offensive glass by the end of the game. It was a little back-and-forth and then Michael Redd took over. He faked his man into the air and went around for an open J, then followed that up with an And-1. After a Mo Williams jumper, Redd had a three, and a follow-up tip-in off his own missed shot. with 1.9 seconds left. All in all, Redd scored 17 points in the quarter and the Bucks took an eight point lead into the fourth, 73-65.

After a Mo Williams three to open the 4th quarter, Redd hit another jumper, and the Bucks had scored 15 straight. Marc Jackson made it 78-67, and then 78-69, but an amazing alleyoop in traffic from Williams to Gadzuric made it 80-69. T.J. Ford followed that up with an And-1, blowing by Jefferson and drawing a foul. Two Redd free-throws made it 85-69, and the Nets were essentially out of it. The outcome was still in doubt, though, when Jefferson and Ford got tangled up and Jefferson purposely threw an elbow to Ford's head, drawing an ejection. Unbelievably, Ford was the one who got called for the actual personal foul, though.

"Hey Jeff, aren't you a Christian?"

Mo stood up to Jefferson and was initially ejected, but the referees reversed themselves. This was quite confusing because the refs never informed the public-adress anouncer and even Pashke and McGlocklin weren't sure why Mo was out on the floor playing after the PA announcer said he was ejected. The Nets were pretty much done, though, and the rest was garbage time, and Josh Davis and Reece Gaines got their first burn of the season. The Bucks won 110-96.

Michael Redd had a monster game, finishing with 41 and shooting 60 percent from the field (12-20) and from 3 (3-5). MO Williams also redeemed himself from the first game with 23 points and the aforementioned alleyoop connection. Foul trouble plagued all of the Bucks so the bench was much less effective than the last game, with Charlie Bell going scoreless. As I said before, Magloire's D was better but he was still useless offensively, shooting 1-6 and again finishing with 4 points. His two game totals are 3-10 shooting, 8 points, 17 rebounds, 8 turnovers. In my ongoing series "The Screwing of Dan Gadzuric," Gadzuric's two game totals, are 6-9 shooting 12 points, 9 rebounds, and 1 turnover. He has played far fewer minutes. Ford had a good game offensively, scoring 21 (on 19 shots, though) and giving out 6 assists. Andrew Bogut was a beast on tthe offensive glass, with 17 rebounds overall, although some of those were in garbage time. All in all, good game, guys.

On to the second bit of good news, Shaq is out for two to four weeks with an ankle sprain and therefore won't play in the game Saturday. While this is good considering the soft way the Bucks have started games, this shouldn't give too much comfort, considering the Heat's depth, and how well they played without him last year (8-3 regular season.) The Heat would probably be considered serious contenders without O'Neal, considering how much Dwyane Wade has improved. It should still be a close game.

And on the bad news of Gadzuric, it's just a rumor for now, all speculation. But we know what happened last time Larry Harris got hold of a rumor (he traded D-Mase if you don't know.)