The Bucks unleash hell on the Raptors
Which team playing at the Bradley Center last night is an up-and-coming contender in the Eastern Conference? If you just landed here from Mars, you'd say the one in White, Green, and Red. Very impressive win.
Desmond has his barrow in the marketplace
Was Desmond Mason a little warm last night or what? He made all 10 of his shots, but did you see some of them? I think two of them were blindfolded, one was over his shoulder, and one was shot while riding a unicycle. Seriously, no one on Earth could have beaten him in a game of H-O-R-S-E last night.
Shutting down Chrissy
Last season Chris Bosh destroyed the Bucks, recording the highest Eff48 vs. Milwaukee of any NBA player who played them 4 times and averaged at least 25 minutes a game. All the while, I begged the Bucks to bloody his nose a little -- knowing that history showed he would take his ball and go home. Last night they did and so did he. Bosh was badgered, bumped, and harassed into quitting by the newly formidable Bucks team defense. He played one of the worst games of his career, finishing with the lowest Eff48 score (-9.0) I've calculated since I started doing the Eff48 boxscore at the beginning of last season.
The Amazing Yi
Then you've got Yi Jianlian, who looks like a Chinese Dirk Nowitzki. He's stroking it with such confidence! I can't tell you how shocked I am at his level of play so far this season. Larry Harris may have saved his career with that pick. (ESPNs Greg Anthony added this about Yi on last night's NBA Fastbreak: "I'll tell you what, Yi is an impressive player. Yi has got some great skill sets. Athletic, quick, 7'0'' tall...")
Moving the Rock
But even with all that, the thing I loved the most about last night's game was the guard play. It was simply incredible. Redd and Williams played their best basketball, as a duo, that I've ever seen them play. They set the tone early by keeping the basketball moving, and that recommitment to the pass revived the entire offense.
Mo Williams took only 7 shots in 28 minutes, an average of .25 shots per minute, half of what he had averaged to this point in the season. He dished out 6 assists, an average of .85 ass/FGA, equaling his assist total in the previous three games combined. And he put a vise grip on little TJ Ford. Quite simply, he looked like an All-Star point guard. He played brilliantly.
And Michael Redd. That game he played last night, for my money, blows away the 57 point game he had last season. Blows it away. In the 57 point game he took umpteen million shots, had zero assists and looked like a one-trick pony who would have been just as comfortable playing by himself. Oh, and the Bucks lost. Last night he had 17 points, 7 rebounds, and 6 assists and looked like a max dollar basketball player who was playing with the purpose of leading his team back to prominence. And the Bucks won.
In fact, if Mo Williams and Michael Redd have decided that this is how they're going to play the rest of the season, they will continue to win. You might as well print the playoff tickets right now. I'm dead serious. It makes that much of a difference.
Bucks Diary Eff48 Boxscore