Originally written on In The Neutral Zone  |  Last updated 11/6/14
On Sunday afternoon, those road-weary Milwaukee Bucks took to the court against the lowly Orlando Magic at the BMO Harris Bradley Center. The Bucks trailed for most of the game; outplayed on both ends of the floor, lacking hustle, focus and intensity. Guess who came to the rescue, again? Mr. Big Shot: Monta Ellis. He tallied a season-high 39 points to lead Milwaukee from the brink of certain defeat to a stellar comeback win; nailing five three-pointers and scoring 25 of his 39 in the fourth quarter alone. Before the win on Sunday, the Bucks had dropped three straight, including a loss to the Miami Heat which allowed the defending champs to stretch their amazing winning streak to an historic 21 games. On the coaching side, I liked the fact that Jim Boylan got on his guys through the media a bit after the contest against the Magic; he wasn’t happy with his team’s focus or intensity during that game, something I commented on earlier and two things which seem to consistently elude this club during important stretches of games. Boylan said, “First of all, we are not in the playoffs…We need to turn it up and we need to be a serious team. Right now, we are not playing like a serious team.” I like the fire from the coach, and he’s completely right. Let’s hope that he conveyed this unhappy message to his players, because if we’re being honest, we know this team is at best, a seventh seed in this year’s playoffs. Even though, during times this year, they have looked like a much better team, on the flip side, they’ve had the ability to under-achieve and play beneath themselves as well; a frustrating and confusing combination for this city and its fans.   Who is this guy, and what have you done with the other Monta Ellis? Since the All-Star break, Monta Ellis has pretty much been, well, off the hook. The Bucks guard has averaged over 26 points per game, and has got to have management seriously considering what exactly this roster is going to look like at the beginning of next season and whether it includes Ellis. He does hold an $11 player option for next year which he will most likely exercise. I firmly believe the Bucks brass may try to sign him to a long-term deal, if he’s open to that option. Ellis is a sometimes dynamic scorer who has shown his maturity and understanding, recently, to go for the right shot. He seems to be learning that he is by no means a classic chuck-it-up jump-shooter; he’s at his best when he goes to the rim or passes the ball; creating open looks for teammates by slashing and driving. Certainly, his three-point shot is his worst enemy, even though he hit five of them in the fourth quarter to basically, single-handedly, bring the Bucks back from defeat on Sunday. When he’s on, he’s on. Remember that Oregon Trail video game? Yeah, I do. Tonight the Bucks (33-32), who hold a comfortable seven and a half game lead over the Philadelphia 76ers for the final playoff spot, look to gain some positive traction against the Portland Trail Blazers (31-35) as tip-off starts at 7pm here in Milwaukee. One thing to look forward to tonight: The Trail Blazers are an unusually unsuccessful road team; losing 13 of their last 15 away from Portland, Oregon. But as we all well know, covering the Bucks, anything can happen when you think the usual thing, the opposite, rears its ugly head. Upcoming: 3/20/13 Bucks @ Hawks (37-30) With Boston and Chicago both losing Monday night, the Bucks are now only one game in the loss column out of the 7th and 6th spots in the Eastern Conference playoff race, making this game against the Hawks all the more important than it already is, including tonight’s game against the Trail Blazers and every one to follow.   Just Winsconsin!    
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Pete Carroll empathizes with Belichick, Pats in Deflategate

Max Scherzer thanks Tigers with full page newspaper ad

Ray Lewis: Patriots should have asterisk for cheating

Report: Cavs players believed team lacked depth

Richard Sherman calls out Kraft, Goodell over their friendship

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Brandon Jennings to miss 6-9 months with Achilles injury

Report: Josh Gordon tests positive for alcohol

Report: Yankees reject A-Rod's request for apology meeting

Jim Harbaugh has landed three recruits in 24 hours

Report: NFL tried to catch Patriots in the act

John Harbaugh: Bill Belichick is best coach of this century

49 Stops to Super Bowl XLIX

WATCH: Opposing Packers celebrate Pro Bowl TD

WATCH: Sherman, Peterson hug it out at Pro Bowl

WATCH: Chris Berman is not happy at the Pro Bowl

PHOTO: Brock Lesnar's tramp stamp says ‘Kill ‘em All’

WATCH: Hassan Whiteside blocks five shots in 7 minutes

Duke unveils 'K' hats after Coach K's 1,000th victory

Irina Shayk dumped Ronaldo over cheating rumors?

Mike Napoli almost retired because of sleep apnea

WATCH: 'Saturday Night Live' takes on Deflategate

Should Tom Izzo be worried about his Spartans?

Five potentially fatal flaws for Seahawks in the Super Bowl

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

49 Stops to Super Bowl XLIX

Chris Berman isn't happy at the Pro Bowl

Brandon Jennings out 6-9 months

Josh Gordon tests positive for alcohol

Report: A-Rod's apology meeting request gets rejected

Harbaugh rapidly landing recruits

WATCH: 'SNL' spoofs Deflategate

NFL tried to catch Pats in act?

Bill Nye: Belichick didn't make sense

Is it time for Tom Izzo to worry?

Jennings suffers horrific injury

Seahawks GM: I love Lynch's act

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.