6th Fan Blogger Recap: Jan 30 vs. Chicago
Little brothers are always getting the raw end of the deal. Secondhand clothes, the bottom bunk, constant ridicule from your older brother’s friends who think they are way cooler than they actually are - even though you totally saw one of them biff their dunk attempt on a Fisher-Price hoop last week. Whatever the case, it’s evident why little brothers can easily build up a sense of aggression towards their older brother that unleashes unlike anything else when the chance to compete head to head in sports arrives.
Cue the Chicago Bulls rolling into the BMO. I anticipate our Bucks are ready to go. I am sure the “little Brother” syndrome is more implicit with the fan base than the players, but what kind of red-blooded competitive male wouldn’t want to beat their perceived big brother in the sporting world. Maybe Milwaukee will go Kevin McCallister style tonight and lull the Chicago Bulls into trap defense after trap defense. Then again, I don’t think any sane Bucks fan would want to have our neighbors the Detroit Pistons bail us out in the end with a shovel. Regardless, Milwaukee riding an eight out of eleven streak since Boylan took over, and Chicago having lost only four games since the start of January, sounds to me like the ingredients to a basketball pizza that no other game tonight could top.
The game started off with some rather interesting player introductions and within the first few minutes of the game it became apparent that our “older brother’s” fans came to support their team. Shouldn’t matter too much, the Bucks are 12-10 on the road this year. The game was close for the first eighth of play. Milwaukee was running their offense through Dalembert at the start – 7 out of the team’s first 9 points – which leads to the question of the effectiveness of Milwaukee players in a slow paced half-court offense. This is a team after all that has scored over 110 in three of their previous four wins, but maybe this new strategy was loss of an implication of a new strategy, and more of a result of the Tom Thibodeau defense. No matter, like the start of the game the end of the first stayed close, Chicago 23 Milwaukee 19.
At the end of quarter one the Bucks were in pretty good shape with all of the metrics. But that wouldn’t last, as Chicago began to pull away at the start of the second. At one point Nate Robinson hit a three point shot that was further behind the three point line than he is tall – I think the kryptonite stunted his growth - and with a little less than half of the second quarter to go Milwaukee was behind by 14. The Bucks needed some type of a catalyst to kick things into high gear (there was no Larry Sanders for the game so a block sent to row two wasn’t coming), maybe Milwaukee could get the boost from their two star guards who were shooting 4 – 14 from the field, perhaps we could look to the Energee! dance team to uplift our city’s squad from its first half 39% shooting. Something had to change coming out of the half because going into it, we looked more like the little Giants than the revenging Nerds I was hoping for. Milwaukee 37 – Chicago 55.
At the start of quarter three Milwaukee was beginning to try and turn it around behind a refocused offense and three three pointers for Jennings (one Pistol Pete era style). Milwaukee was able to turn around something that was getting away quickly making it into something closer to an athletic competition. At the end of three Milwaukee was still down but much like Jennings and Ellis’ combined shooting (9 – 23) the game had become much more respectable. Milwaukee 68 Chicago 79.
To start the quarter, Jennings took a bit of a breather and the Buck offense noticeably suffered from it. A miscue here, a turnover there, it looked like Milwaukee might be stumbling home with this one tonight. Halfway through the quarter Milwaukee fell behind 72 – 88, they wouldn’t need a 27 point turn around, just a 17 point swing. And then with four minutes left it looked like Milwaukee was finding a little bit of gas left in the tank closing the gap to within 10. That was until Jennings got ejected from the game. Maybe that was the straw that broke the camel’s back, hitting the showers with 15 points and 8 dimes and time left was obviously not a good thing. Even Dalembert’s 14 point 13 rebound effort was enough to keep the team in the game. Milwaukee 88 Chicago 104.
Chicago, your basketball team … woof
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.