Pretty good isn't good enough for Bucks
The Bucks showed some playoff mettle tonight but ultimately it meant nothing as they lost to the Detroit Pistons at the Palace in Auburn Hills, Michigan, 112-106. On Bob Lanier Night, the Bucks blew leads of 15 and 18 points in this game, but they were leads that you just knew the team couldn't sustain because those leads were built on some of the most incredible, unconscious, circus shooting I've ever seen on a basketball floor, courtesy of Michael Redd, who had a spectacular game, Charlie Bell, who has proven he deserves to start over Ford, and Mo Williams, who looked back in form. These guys were making threes and driving layups with guys right in their grilles. You just knew that kind of shooting couldn't continue.
No, this game was lost upfront. At power forward Rasheed Wallace manhandled rookie Andrew Bogut. At times it appeared Wallace was playing defense against Bogut with a tennis racket in his right hand. Bogut couldn't shoot over him, and wasn't really creative when it came to conjuring some alternative approaches. Thus, he was overwhelmed. Wallace stamped "Return to Sender" on several of Bogut's rather weak shooting efforts. Joe Smith couldn't correct the situation either, as he was completely outplayed by Pistons reserve Antonio McDyess. At the center position, Jamaal Magliore had another awful game, and Dan Gadzuric was no factor at all. At SF, Bobby Simmons looked lost, and had no answer for F Tayshaun Prince, a 44% shooter on the year, who went 10 for 15 tonight. Toni Kukoc turned in another strong performance off the bench, but there's only so much he can do at this stage of his career.
To make matters worse, the 76ers and Bulls both won, reducing the Bucks lead over those two teams to just 2 1/2 and 4 games respectively.
The Bucks played heroically tonight, but moral victories are of absolutely no value at this point.