GameDay LIVE Blog: Wolves at Bucks | Dec. 28, 2013
GameDay LIVE Blog: Wolves at Bucks | Dec. 28, 2013
Well folks, my first GameDay live blog is in the books. I want to apologize for the rough connection in the first half. Please forgive me and bring me back next time.
The Wolves are back to .500 after back-to-back blowouts. In this win, Love led all scorers with 33 points, 15 rebounds and six assists. It marks his fifth 30/15 of the season. Not too shabby.
Martin added 20, while Pekovic scored 19 to go with 11 rebounds. Brewer finished with 12. The Wolves shot 47.8 percent from the field compared to Milwaukee's mark of 44.9 percent.
The Bucks were led by Khris Middleton who finished with 23 points and nine boards.
Well, I've got to run and catch the post-game press conferences. I'll have a recap up in a bit!
Wolves 117, Bucks 95
Somehow, the Bucks are outshooting the Wolves 48.1% to 47.6%. Turnovers have been a killer for the Bucks, though, as they have gave Minnesota the ball 17 times which has resulted in 23 Minnesota points.
It looks like the Wolves are bringing back in Pekovic, Rubio and Love in order to put the frosting on the cake after the Bucks have made a bit of a run.
Wolves 107, Bucks 90
A few numbers to run by you here:
The Bucks started off the quarter with an 8-2 run. The Wolves still hold a 105-84 lead and people in the BMO Harris Bradley Center are leaving. Or maybe they are just going to the bathroom. If so, that will be one long line.
End of 3Q
Points. The Wolves have done that this game. Most teams would be happy with 103 points in a game. The Wolves lead 103-76 right now at the end of the third against the Bucks.
The star of the game thus far has been Kevin Love, who has 33 points, 14 rebounds and six rebounds. I mean, what this guy is doing is pretty incredible. And his full-court pass we just saw to Corey Brewer might even be the (spoiler alert) play of the game.
Kevin Martin has added 18 points, while Pekovic is close to a double-double as well, with 17 points and eight rebounds.
Minnesota is shooting 55.9% in the game, while the Bucks saw their first half mark of 53.3% dip down to the mid 40s.
By the looks of it, Adelman might be able to give his starters a much-needed break in the fourth. Right now, he's go Barea, Brewer, Cunningham, Mbah a Moute and Shved on the floor.
I spy a No. 34 "Rider" jersey. Maybe Milwaukee isn't so bad after all.
In unrelated news, a guy was just shown on the "Kiss Cam." He kissed his lady friend's rear. So yeah, I guess there's that? I don't understand people.
Biggest thing I've noticed to start out this half is Rubio and Brewer's defense intensity. Brewer got call for a foul earlier, but this team feeds off of that energy. Not many guys in the league have it. They need to keep using that to their advantage rather than turning the energy into sloppiness.
Rubio put up the first points of the night after nearly getting a triple-double during last night's game. And then he immediately got called for a foul.
It might sound weird saying, but 23 combined turnovers seems low for this game.
Kevin Love just hit 26 points. That's his 10th straight 25+ point game. That's the league's longest stretch. He's also added 12 rebounds and four assists. Could be be in store for a 25/15/5 game?
Wolves 86, Bucks 64
Add four more points to that run and Love is at the line shooting two more.
Sorry, the "Kiss Cam" is on. Gotta go.
Wolves 74, Bucks 55
Nothing like a 6-0 run to start the second half, huh? The Wolves can thank big man Nikola Pekovic (4 points) and Corey Brewer (2 points) for that. Looks like this is the third quarter run the Wolves were looking for.
Defense is a word that was used a lot in that first half from either team, but I bet it will be used a lot in the locker room at the half.
At the end of the first half, the Wolves led 63-55. The 63 points likely made Adelman very happy. Giving up 55? Probably not so much. The Bucks shot 55.8 percent, which wasn't much better than Minnesota's mark of 53.2.
Love led all scorers with 18 points to go along with eight rebounds. As it stands now, it looks like the All-Star will have another double-double to his name. Nikola Pekovic added 10 points and five rebounds. After starting the first quarter with nine points, Kevin Martin was scoreless in the second quarter.
The big story of the half was Minnesota's bench. The trio of Barea, Cunningham and Mbah a Moute had six points each, while Shved added three.
Brandon Knight (15 points, 6-for-10) and Khris Middleton (13 points, 5-for-9) are the two players keeping this game within striking distance for Milwaukee. It will be interesting to see if any team can continue this hot shooting in the second half.
My apologies for the lack of posts here. The wifi has been up and down. I'm sitting by Kent "Kentavious" Youngblood of the Star Tribune. We are powering through.
Wolves 64, Bucks 55
The bench is alive and well for the Wolves tonight, folks. That's something the team hasn't been able to say all season long, but J.J. Barea and Dante Cunningham are doing a nice job with this second unit. Luc Mbah a Moute is getting in the action, too, with six points against his former team.
Adelman noted that Barea's play off the bench has been huge for the second unit and that looks evident. Sanders just attempted a monster throw-down dunk. It doesn't look like he's too concerned about re-injuring that wrist of his. I'm not sure if that is good or bad news if you're a fan of the Bucks. Would like to see him be a bit more conservative, but what do I know?
Adelman has to love this offense, but 47 points has been given up already. He can't be pleased about that.
Wolves 55, Bucks 47
End of Q1
The Wolves started out leading 16-12, but thanks to six points from Larry Sanders and a three from Khris Middleton. Minnesota bounced back nicely, though, in big part to Kevin Love (10 points, 5 rebounds) and Kevin Martin (9 points, 4-of-6 from the field).
The artist known as the “Greek Freak” had the crowd on its feet a few times with an alley-oop, but it was the Wolves who came away with a 34-28 first quarter lead.
In the quarter, Minnesota shot 53.8 percent compared to Milwaukee's mark of 61.9. With Love's strong first quarter, one has to believe he's on pace for another 25 point night. He's scored 25 or more in nine straight games. That's the longest streak in the NBA.
Brandon Knight led the Bucks with seven points, while Larry Sanders, in his first start since his wrist injury, had six.
My apologies on lack of posts. My first one didn't go through. Well, so far it's been a game with a lack of defense. Every coach's dream, right?
Martin led the Wolves off to a nice start, opening with 9 points while shooting 3-for-5 from the field. The Wolves started with a 16-12 lead, but thanks to back-to-back baskets from Larry Sanders, the Bucks went to take a 19-16 lead.
Now, we are at 30-24. The Wolves have Rubio, Shved, Brewer, Cunningham and Love on the floor, playing a bit of small ball, which is possible because of the absence of John Henson.
Minnesota basketball fans probably cringed a bit when they saw Nate Wolters just get beat on that alley-oop to Cunningham. The St. Cloud native stepped up on the alley-oop when he should have stepped back. He's only a rookie.
About 11 minutes to tipoff.
It looks like the Wolves will start Ricky Rubio, Kevin Martin, Corey Brewer, Kevin Love and Nikola Pekovic.
For Milwaukee: Brandon Knight, Giannis, Antetokounmpo, Khris Middleton, Ersan Ilyasova and Larry Sanders.
Players are shooting around. Had a nice chat with Dave Benz and Jim Petersen before the game. Always a pleasure talking to that duo.
Back to Henson being out.
I think his absence will be a big loss for Milwaukee in this game. Henson first hurt his ankle last Friday and it has been bugging him since. Drew said as of now, it looks like he's day-to-day, but he's not quite sure.
The reason this is so crucial is that Larry Sanders had his first game in more than a month after missing time with a hand injury. Chances are, the Bucks wanted to ease him back into the lineup. He'll be going up against Nikola Pekovic tonight... Good lucking with any sort of easing.
"Larry, one game back, ready to play more: We'll see how he is. He's been out a couple months," Drew said. "And we want to make sure, from a conditioning standpoint, that he's able to sustain while he's out there. And I know he got a little winded last night, but I thought it did well."
We'll see how Sanders holds up tonight. If he can't play 25-30 minutes, Milwaukee might be in trouble.
Forward Luc Mbah a Moute, newly acquired by the Wolves, used to play for the Bucks from 2008 to 2013. So far, he hasn't had a lot of time to gel with the team through practice, but Wolves coach Rick Adelman noted that his defense has been something the Wolves have needed. The gelling will come with time.
"He's getting the feel for what is going on. We haven't been at home much so I think these next couple of weeks he is going to get a lot better and we are going to have a better understanding, but he is a very good defender," Adelman said. "He is one of the best perimeter defenders we have, by far."
I just had the chance to talk to Bucks rookie point guard Nate Wolters. Wolters is a product of St. Cloud Tech High School (about 15 minutes from ROCORI, where I attended high school). Had the chance to joke about some high school rivalries (he was a tad bit better at basketball...)
Wolters said that it was "pretty cool" to be playing against the team he grew up cheering for.
After starting the season as the team's starting point guard (Brandon Knight was injured), Wolters noted that it's been a challenge starting to going from playing 10 or 15 minutes per game.
“Yeah, sometimes you don’t know how to be aggressive and when you start you can kind of feel the game out and get into a rhythm that way just because you’re playing so much," Wolters said. "I mean, just come in and bring some energy on the defensive end.”
In other news, Larry Drew announced that forward John Henson won't play due to an ankle injury. As of right now, the injury is day-to-day. Larry Sanders, who played his first game in over a month last night, will start in his place.
Henson is a no go for Milwaukee. Sanders will start in his place.— Kyle Ratke (@Kyle_Ratke) December 28, 2013
Last five game averages for Antetokounmpo: 11.2 points, 6 rebounds, 36.5 3-point %, 47.1 FG %. All but FG% above season averages.— Kyle Ratke (@Kyle_Ratke) December 28, 2013
Howdy, folks. I have just arrived here at the BMO Harris Bradley Center and with the game being at 7:30 and not 7:00, it looks like I may have gotten here a bit early. Oh, well. The early bird gets the worm, or something like that.
Coach Rick Adelman will address the media at 5:45, while Larry Drew will address at 6:00. I'll update a bit more after that.
The Wolves of course are looking to get back to .500, as they sit at 14-15 right now. Right now, Minnesota is two games back from the Dallas Mavericks - a team the Wolves have taken down twice this season.
The Bucks are interesting, despite their 6-23 record. Brandon Knight is a dual threat point guard. Larry Sanders is coming back from a wrist injury. John Henson looks like he could be a reliable big man. And of course, we can't forget the Greek Freak Giannis Antetokounmpo. I'll be chatting with him before the game about his season and how his transition has been.
Throughout the day, I've been blogging about my roadtrip to Milwaukee (yes, I drove). You can find that here.
If you haven't done your research on the game, no worries. We've done a little bit for you. Check out our Scouting Report here.
That's all for now. I'll be sure to update you as soon as I can.