GAMEDAY: Milwaukee vs Atlanta - 04/12/10

Bucks vs Hawks
Bradley Center
TV Companion
TV: FS Wisconsin | Radio: WTMJ Radio 620
1st Quarter 2nd Quarter 3rd Quarter 4th Quarter Final Score
TV Companion Recap Full Stats Play-by-play Recap

Davis Dish: Bucks vs Hawks Preview
Davis Dish: Bucks vs Hawks Recap

Head Coach Scott Skiles

(On tonight's game...)
"We've got six quarters in a row now where we just haven't had our defensive intensity that we need. We started the game soft and that's a plus 50-win team, they're going to take advantage of that. As we always do, we tried to battle back but we could just never get any traction. Our goal was to be disruptive to them and we just never got that done tonight."

(On defensive intensity...)
"We've got to play at a very, very high level of intensity, especially on the defensive end. We didn't do that for large pockets of this game. We didn't do it for the second half the other night. This is more than likely what's going to happen when we don't do that. We didn't have much resistance to anything they were doing. Invariably, we picked it up a little bit but sometimes guys get feeling pretty good about themselves and become hard to stop."

(On tonight's game...)
"Our whole demeanor and our body language and everything wasn't what it normally is. We didn't have that real passionate intense feeling that we need to have. They played at their pace. We could never get them out of their pace and as I said, they had their bigs switching onto our smalls and just taking advantage of that was difficult for us."

Guard John Salmons

(On playing both potential playoff opponents to close the season...)
"It's good. We know what they are about, we're familiar with them. We know their tendencies. It's going to be between them and Boston, whoever we play, it's going to be a tough series and we're up to the challenge."

(On the athleticism of the Hawks...)
"That's what they do. They use their athletic ability. They are definitely one of the most athletic teams in the league. Josh Smith was just jumping all over the place. We're aware of that. It's something we definitely have to be conscious of. We still just got to play the game and if we do that, we give ourselves a chance."

Guard Brandon Jennings

(On the defensive effort...)
"I think the main thing was just a lack of focus. We were giving up a lot of buckets, we were hanging on the screens and not fighting through anything. It was just a tough night. We have to go into Boston and try to win the game there and see who we have the first round."

(On Wednesday's game against Boston and the playoffs...)
"It's real big, but at the same time, it's either Atlanta or Boston. I think they are both beatable for us; we've been hanging with them the whole year. But, like they say, the playoffs are going to be a different level so we'll see."

MAKING GAINS - The Bucks have made the largest win improvement in the Eastern Conference this season and third-most in the NBA as they're currently 11 wins over last year's total of 34. The other teams with significant improvement from last year include Oklahoma City (+26, 23-59 in 2008-09), Memphis (+16, 24-58), L.A. Clippers (+9, 19-63), Charlotte (+8, 35-47) and Sacramento (+8, 25-55).

JOHN DEER -Since John Salmons became a Buck (or a deer), Milwaukee has gone 21-7 (.750). Over that span, Salmons is averaging a team-high 19.9 points to go with 3.3 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 1.2 steals, leading or tied for the team lead in scoring in 15 of those games and scoring double-figures in 25 of the 28. He is shooting 46.9 (196-418) percent as a Buck, including 38.5 percent (42-109) from downtown.

WINNING WAYS - The Bucks 45 wins are their most wins since going 52-30 in the 2000-01 season. Milwaukee's 28 home wins are their most since 2000-01 (see stat box to the right for more) and their 17 road wins are the most since 2002-03 when they were 17-24 away from home. The Bucks have improved on last year's win total by 11 games (34-48 last year) and have shown a 19 game improvement on a 26-56 record in 2007-08.

THREE HISTORY - The Bucks hit eight three-pointers against Boston on Saturday night, adding to their newly minted franchise record for three-pointers in a season with 624 (fifth most in the NBA). Brandon Jennings' Bucks rookie record 142 three-pointers rank second among rookies and 14th in the NBA. Jennings and Carlos Delfino (130, 23rd in NBA and a career-high) have combined for 272 triples, the most by a Bucks duo since Michael Redd (182) and Ray Allen (123) hit 305 in 2002-03.

CALLING ON KURT - After the injury to Andrew Bogut, the Bucks have called on 14-year NBA veteran Kurt Thomas--and he's answered the call in a big way. In his four starts at center, Thomas is averaging 6.5 points, 10.5 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 1.3 blocks and 1.0 steal per game. Thomas has set new seasonhighs in those starts, grabbing 14 boards against Chicago on 4/6, scoring 12 points versus New Jersey on 4/7 and dishing out four assists at Philadelphia on 4/9. Thomas also tied a season-best with three blocks at Philadelphia. The Bucks have won three of the four games that Thomas has started at center and are 5-1 in the last six games that he's logged 25 or more minutes (6-3 this season). The big man is one point away from 8,500 for his career.

SET THEM FREE - Luke Ridnour has taken advantage of his free throw attempts this season, knocking down 90.3 percent (123-236), good for fifth in the NBA. If Ridnour finishes the season at 90.0 percent or better from the line (minimum of 120 makes), it would be the first time a Bucks player hit that mark since Ray Allen knocked down 91.3 percent in the 2002-03 season. It's happened four other times in franchise history: Ray Allen 90.3 (98-99), Ricky Pierce 90.7 (90-91) and Jack Sikma with 90.5 (88-89) and 92.2 (franchise record in 87-88).

  • Milwaukee has clinched its 26th playoff berth in franchise history and first since the 2005-06 season.

  • The Bucks sold out their fifth game of the season on Saturday, that's the most sellouts for the team since the Bradley Center was sold out seven times during the 2005-06 campaign. The Bucks have sold out the Bradley Center 163 times and stand at 594 sellouts in games played in Milwaukee.

  • Dating back to the 1998-99 season, Milwaukee has gone 8-3 in their final home contest of the regular season. That mark includes a 3-1 record over the last four years.

  • The Bucks have won 30 games (30-19) against the Eastern Conference for the first time since posting a 33- 21 mark in 2003-04 and their 21 wins (21-8) since the All-Star break are their most post-break since winning 23 of 35 in 2000-01.

  • Ersan Ilyasova is averaging 12.5 points and 7.5 rebounds in his last eight, shooting 47.7 percent (41-86).

  • Luke Ridnour has scored double figures in nine of his last 13 games, averaging 11.0 points and a teamleading 4.3 assists. He is shooting 48.7 percent (55-113) during that stretch.

  • One more win will give the Bucks a winning month of April. It would be the team's fourth consecutive winning month and fifth of the season. The last time the team had more winning months was 2000-01 when they had five. Counting Oct/Nov as one month, the last time they had winning records in each month was 1985-86.

  • Jerry Stackhouse (2,998) is two rebounds away from his 3,000th career board. John Salmons is one game away (599) from playing in his 600th career game.

  • The Bucks are allowing just 95.9 points per game, which would set a franchise record for fewest points allowed in a full season (currently 96.9 points in 2000-01).
Mbah a Moute

Player Injury
Andrew Bogut Right elbow, wrist, hand
Michael Redd Torn ACL & MCL
Player Injury
Jason Collins Sore right foot