6th Fan Blogger: vs Cleveland - Dec. 22, 2012
Game number two of my experience as the Milwaukee Bucks sixth fan and I am hoping that for an early Holiday present the team drops some buckets and dimes on the Cavaliers. The crowd was hyped, and everyone seemed to be in the holiday spirits (I think I saw Jon McGlocklin sporting what I can only hope was an ugly Holiday sweater before the game). The Bucks came out in some solid Man-to-Man Defense to start. I assume the idea would be to push the pace on the young Cavaliers in the hopes that they would increase the chances of creating turnovers that could turn into easy transition hoops. A solid strategy employed by Skiles that if optimized, results in quick points with minimum effort – or as I call it, the Michael Bay scheme. Skiles was still looking for an NBA loop-hole that would allow for multiple pyrotechnics to be deployed as a distraction mechanism while his team was on defense, but it had yet to yield a positive result. Meanwhile the Cavaliers threw a 2-3 zone look at the Stags. Of course this resulted in Monta Ellis establishing an offensive presence through isolations and slashes to the hoop yielding a competitive first quarter.
But, much like the satisfaction of a Michael Bay movie, it was short to last – and I felt a little dirty after watching. Quickly into quarter two the Cavaliers reversed the trend of the first and were out to a 29-21 lead with 8 minutes left in the half. It was at his point that I realized that Tristan Thompson was wearing what I can only describe as a Stormtrooper mask to protect what is likely some broken bone in his face. I get that playing through injuries is a valuable quality in the NBA, but when it looks like you are on a personal quest to hunt down Luke and Han maybe you should take a night or two off. But I digress, back to the game – at the end of the first half it was Bucks 37 Cavs 46. The Bucks were not doing enough of a job shooting from deep to coax the Cavs out of their 2-3 zone (1-9 won't cut it) but maybe a Scotty S pep talk in the locker room can do the trick to rejuvenate our team. One half to go.
Quarter three was more of the same except for the fact that M. Ellis was having himself a game. That was until midway through the third when I had another work related epiphany – in corporate America we need a mascot to run around from cubicle to cubicle delivering Palermo brand pizzas. Aside from the food coma said pizza will induce I can think of at least 5 of my co-workers that would increase their daily productivity for the chance at a frozen pizza delivered ¾ of the way through the day. But back to the game, as I said before the half the Bucks needed to do a better job of establishing a deep threat to pull the Cavs out of their zone thereby easing the Stags ability to create points off penetration into the lane. In third they were able to do a better job increasing their 3pt % to 23 from 11 at the end of the 2nd and the score of the game followed suit – at the end of three it was Bucks 63 Cavs 71. Time for the fourth…
Ellis was on a mission tonight. With 9 minutes left in the game he had over half of the Bucks points (some would say he was providing the Energee we needed). We needed the rest of the team to contribute. We were leading the Cavs in most of the hustle stats at the start of Q4 (Off. Rebounds, Assists, Blocks, Steals & Turnovers) but they still had us in Field Goal % by a margin of more than 5%. Apparently Cleveland took notice of our improved 3pt shooting as they finished the game running a man-to-man defense (probably looking to remove Monta from the equation). In the end it ended up being too much for the Bucks to overcome. Bucks 82 Cavs 94.
It was still the Holiday season and I intended to enjoy some Diet Mt. Dew on the rocks when I got home. Happy Holidays to everyone and let's see if we can get a few more wins before the end of the year.
Colin Booth is the Bucks Fan Blogger. Colin was voted by the fans during the 2012 home opener to writer for bucks.com. His views are his own and do not neccesarily represent the Milwaukee Bucks.