Milwaukee Bucks 112, Toronto Raptors 85

Maybe Bill Simmon isn’t out of his mind to pick the Bucks to make the playoffs and the Raptors to miss them, tonight’s display in Milwaukee was about as bad as any blowout played in the old Skydome. The only difference being that back then we had an excuse to do bad, tonight we didn’t. First of all, is Bosh injured? If he is, get him off the floor and on the injured list so he can stop hurting the team by taking bad shots, turning the ball over and getting consistently owned on defense. If he’s not injured, then, well, then it’s just sad that our “superstar” is capable of playing so poor. I’m not overreacting, I’m just saying what I’m seeing.

It’s also painfully apparent that we’re strictly a jump shooting team, the only post-presence for us tonight was….get ready for this…Kris Humphries. Yes, Kris Humphries had the most fluid offensive game that a player of his talents can be allowed. He was the only reason we didn’t lose by 37 instead of 27 and was the only bright spot in a game marred by so many negatives that you can’t really begin to start writing them down, but I’ll try, I’ll try because dirty laundry must be aired out and the disgusting nature of tonight’s loss must be dissected.

Chris Bosh and Andrea Bargnani took another night off. The latter playing marginally better than the former who in his 16 minutes scored a terrific 1 point. Yes, 1 point from our superstar who looked healthy enough playing 44 minutes against Boston, but didn’t bring any part of his offensive or defensive game with him. Getting outplayed by Yi Jianlian and Andrew Bogut on every single offensive and defensive mathup against them can only be attributed to ______. I don’t even know how to fill in this blank but if it’s injury, Sam should sit him the f*ck down because he’s a detriment to the team playing the way he is. Maybe him sitting on the bench like last Dec/Jan will allow him to see the game more clearly and come back stronger.

Andrea Bargnani is generally a one-trick pony who, if his shot isn’t falling, is of no use to the team in that game. I’m 100% positive that his defense is improving along with his post-game but we’re still a year or two away before he can bring it consistently, until then we’re going to have to live with sporadic showings of the Nowitzki in him. What’s not helping him is that Sam’s substitution pattern is about as erratic as Juan Dixon. Replacing Bargnani with Jamario Moon with 3 minutes to go in the 1st quarter? Exactly what is Sam trying to achieve here? Let him play the entire quarter, what do you think Moon will buy you down 10 in the first quarter? Answer me Sam! While we’re on the subject of Moon let’s just say that he jacks up ill-advised shots and doesn’t appreciate the opportunity that Sam is giving him, however undeserved it might be. Never thought I’d say this but I miss Luke Jackson.

Mitchell must utilize the resources at his disposal and the biggest one is being completely wasted in Michael Scofield…err…Anthony Parker. One of our best mid-range and spot-up shooters is getting five shots a game while Juan Dixon is getting 15. Something isn’t adding up. There needs to be a focus on getting to the rim when we’re struggling on offense and if Bosh/Bargnani can’t do it, we must use Parker on curling motions to at least get into the paint for short jump shots or even attract a double team and try to do some hi-los with him. He is a resource whose utilization rate is around 20% at this time. While Mo Williams and Desmond Mason were capitalizing against our defense, Parker, a player arguably as talented as them was busy drifting on the outskirts of our offensive sets looking confused. Frustrating to say the least.

We cannot play against the zone defense, be it of the 2-3 or 3-2 variety, we haven’t figured it out. NJ used it to beat us in the playoffs, the Celtics had success with it and the Bucks played it all game tonight. You beat the zone by quick passing and movement, you avoid unnecessary dribbling and play inside-out, it’s really that simple. Why our coaching staff and players have been unable to improve their zone-offense is a mystery that can only be attributed to either 1) not understanding how other teams are beating you or 2) not knowing how to beat the zone. If it’s #1 then Sam should be fired immediately, but I’m going to give him the benefit of the doubt and say he can see a zone when he sees a zone. It’s probably #2. Perimeter ball movement and quick offensive moves by our bigs is the key here, unfortunately every move Bosh makes takes about 6 seconds to develop giving the defense ample time to predict and gear itself for what’s coming. It’s sad to say this but after him we don’t have ANY low-post threats and even he is an average one at best.

Defensively, we did nothing. Yi, Williams and Mason got the shots they wanted and made them, Mason hitting a few which made me adjust my screen. The Bucks moved the ball, moved without the ball and caused enough confusion amongst the Raptors that all we could do was watch them either lay the ball in or drain wide open threes. Maybe it’s the Jim Todd factor, I think the guy gave the Bucks everything we had, granted it’s not much but it all counts. Sam gets out-coached by another assistant coach, how embarrassing.

Nets and Knicks won tonight. It’s Orlando tomorrow, we need to be 4-2 after this stretch and I’m counting on Bosh to get at least 10 points tomorrow to offset Howard’s 35. Grab the feed.

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