Cleat Geeks

Middleton’s Lay-up Defeats Mavs

The length of an NBA team is hard to quantify or put on a stat sheet in a particular stat category but for the Milwaukee Bucks, length made an impact in a 96-95 win over the Dallas Mavericks on Friday night at the Bradley Center.MavsVSbucks

According to the players and coaches, the Bucks spent a good portion of yesterdays practice working on their defense. It needed significant work after the Bulls and Spurs did whatever they wanted in games against the Bucks earlier this week. The work in practice appears to have carried over. As the Mavericks scored 18 points while shooting 30% and committing six turnovers. The Bucks kept up the defensive the second quarter. The Mavs maintained a 30% shooting percentage in the second quarter as well as the Bucks took a 16 point lead to the locker room.

Dallas would open the third quarter on a 12-2 run in the first few minutes to force the Bucks into a timeout. Third quarters continue to be a problem area for the Bucks as they have struggled to come out of the locker room after halftime with good energy and intensity. The Mavericks would make up 12 points off the Bucks lead in the third quarter.

Dallas-Mavericks-vs.-Milwaukee-BucksThe fourth quarter would see several lead changes as the Bucks and Mavs went back and forth. The Bucks would find themselves down a point with the Mavericks having the ball with under a minute to play. The Mavericks would try to get a play for Dirk deep in the pant. The attempted pass was deflected by John Henson. The Bucks would scramble to recover the loss ball that would eventually end up in the hands of Khris Middleton. He proceeded to drive the length of the floor to hit a driving lay-up with just under ten seconds remaining. The Bucks defense would stand up to get a game clinching stop to secure the one point victory.

Several stats jump out from this game. The Mavericks attempted 44 three pointers. This ties a record for number of three pointers attempted in an NBA game this season. The Mavericks also got 16 offensive rebounds and that is a lot for a single game. From a Bucks perspective there defensive energy was much improved from the earlier performances last week. They need to continue to work on defensive rebounding because giving good teams like the Mavericks extra shots will burn you at some point.

BucksVSmavsAlso Middleton and Michael Carter Williams both continue to play at an outstanding level. Middleton has shot the ball over a stretch of time that covers several weeks now and that continued Friday night with him scoring 27 points. Carter Williams has reduced his turnovers and is making good decisions as far as when to pass and when to attack. Carter Williams had 15 points, 12 rebounds, eight assists and five steals. This is a great win for the Bucks over a quality western conference opponent. The Bucks have beaten other good teams so far this season. The question now becomes a matter of consistency. The Bucks need to duplicate this effort on Sunday night when they travel to Madison Square Garden for their fourth meeting of the season with the Knicks.

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