The Milwaukee Bucks defeated the New Jersey Nets on Sunday. The Nets almost erased a 29 point deficit, but the Bucks hit some timely shots, and held on to win 97-88. The Bucks move to 10-9 on the year. Jennings finished with 26pts, 7assists, and 5 steals.
Positives: The Bucks ability to block shots resulted in the Nets never being able to find an offensive rhythm. The team had 6 blocks in the first half (Sanders 4), and 7 on the night. Steals were a huge factor as well – the Bucks had 14 on the night. The Nets only had 31 points in the first half and looked offensively confused the majority of game.
Negatives: Nitpicking here – love Larry Sanders on the defensive end and his energy. But he needs to go to the Jack Sikma School of Post Moves. He finds himself in great position in the paint, but then just kind of spins wildly and flips it up – he shot 3-12 against the Nets. Occassionally his athleticism gets him a monster dunk, but if he can put together some legit post moves, he really could be a force on both ends. The Bucks lack of a reliable post scorer hurt them in this one when the Nets made their run in the 4th. Would be nice to have a reliable scoring threat to dump it into to create open shots.
Observations: Back to back, fairly dominant performances by the Bucks. The 31 first half points allowed, was the Nets lowest scoring half of the season. The Bucks were up by 29 points in the 3rd, and while they did let the Nets (Gerald Wallace basically) get back into it and cut it to 6 late in the 4th, this was a pretty good showing for the squad. Bucks are the top shot blocking team in the league, and with Jennings’ steals, they are formidable on defense. When Jennings and Ellis penetrate and (at least occasionally) dish, they are hard to handle on offense as well. They have Sac and Cle up next, so a legitimate chance to win another two and move to 12-9.
Somehow the Nets have lost 12 games in a row to the Bucks. Yeah, I know, hard to believe.