6th Fan Blogger Recap: Dec. 29 vs Miami
Well I am on a bit of a cold streak as of late, and the number one team in the Eastern conference was in town – so before the game I was preparing myself for a rough night not unlike when I found out I was going to see Les Miserables with my girlfriend the day after the holiday this week. Coincidentally, while the movie was not my cup of tea, the film’s direction and set design did an admirable job conveying the feeling that on oppressed society might experience when they have reached the boiling point with their tyrannical hierarchy. At the BMO the question of the night – and likely of the entire NBA season – Is the Eastern Conference sick of the Miami Heat and will the Milwaukee Bucks break free from their indoctrinated rule?
Bosh won the tipoff for Chalmers, but it didn’t matter because after a quick steal and Luc Richard reverse layup we were under way. Milwaukee was going to some man-to-man to try and slow down DW3 and the rest of the uber-athletic heat. Sanders guarded Bosh, Mbah A Moute took James, and Ellis was on Wade (it was here that I realized watching Sanders and Bosh go at it was going to be like watching my childhood dream of Stretch Armstrong and Mr. Fantastic compete in an athletic contest of really lanky people – I was a really weird kid).
No matter, the aggressive man-to-man and pick-n-roll offense was working for our team from MKE. Midway through the first we were up 17 to 9 coupled with the fact that Jennings and Ellis had 3 assists apiece and maybe the night is turning our way. Obviously biased towards the Milwaukee side, but watching Ray Allen check in for Dwayne Wade felt like Wendy Peffercorn asking me to prom. Aside from being able to cross that off my bucket list at the end of the first quarter it was Bucks 28 Heat 20. Sure we were shooting over 45% and had only 1 turnover, but in order to beat the best you are going to have to play your best (also rededicate yourself in the offseason to a new training regimen, learn from your mistakes, sports cliché, sports cliché, etc...)
To open up the second Mike D hit a three and all was well in the Dunleavy household. The game continued at the pace established in the first quarter – only difference was that I was really craving a hot dog. So, after refueling, I settled in for the remaining half of the second quarter of the first half. Milwaukee continued to utilize cuts and slashes across an avenue opened wider in the lane than Kilbourne by our penetrating guard tandem. Jennings lead the way into the half with 16 points 5 assists and Ellis was right behind him with 11 points and 6 assists, but perhaps the thing I was most excited about – Larry Sanders had only 1 foul. Bucks 56 Miami 44 – time to go find me some Diet Mt. Dew.
In order to keep this rolling into the second half and take home a W Milwaukee has to find ways to control the hustle stats (off. Rebounds, steals, blocks, Gatorade consumed and assists). I feel fairly confident that we can run away with the steals, blocks and Gatorade consumed (this is known as Przybilla effect) we just needed to continue penetrating then look to the open man to keep saturating our shooting percentage. Needless to say at the Q3 midpoint the Bucks were shooting 38% and the Heat tied the score at 60 apiece. It was right around there that King James decided to assert his stamp on the game. In a short stretch that seemed like James was either scoring or assisting every Heat bucket the talented team from South Beach surged ahead to a lead that would stay until the end of the quarter Heat 71 Bucks 69.
In-between the quarters the Rimrockers were in rare form doing moves in the air that only Jon McGlocklin could wax philosophical about. I was ready to declare them the entertainment of the night until Energee showed off in their New Year’s Eve routine – I always knew I loved top hats.
Q4 was obviously going to be crunch time. Milwaukee needed to find a way to get back into their offensive rhythm. Maybe Ellis needed to work more to slash through the lane, maybe Larry needed to ignite the crowd with a block that sent the ball into the second row, maybe Przybilla needed to share the Gatorade.
Whatever the case, Milwaukee started to figure it out as by the 6 minute mark they were able to pull ahead Bucks 88 Heat 76. After the timeout Mario Chalmers felt the need to give Brandon Jennings a hug (someone shared their secret holiday sugar cookie recipe) and the Bucks got a few free throws out of it – not a bad deal as I have heard that Ersan Ilyasova’s recipe is far superior to Jennings. The Bucks were able to carry the momentum forward and after a series of clutch shots here, an offensive foul there carried the lead to 18 with a little over four minutes left. After another Energee performance and deep Jennings 3 Milwaukee was firmly in command and it was time to ring in the New Year Stag style. After the garbage time at the end of the game - Jennings had led the way with 25 points and 7 assists and when it was all said and done the Bucks had cruised to a victory. Milwaukee 104 Miami 85 Norris Cole’s Hair 2.
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.