Cleat Geeks

Kings Sweep Bucks

BucksVSkingsFor the second time this season, the Milwaukee Bucks played the Sacramento Kings without their best player in DeMarcus Cousins. For the second time, the Bucks fell to Sacramento, losing by a score of 111-104 as the Bucks opened a three game west coast road trip.

The Bucks problems in this game were similar to the issues in the game at the Bradley Center in late November. Rudy Gay caused the Bucks defense problems in November and he again filled in nicely as the Kings go-to player. Gay put together a similar stat line to the one he attained in Milwaukee earlier in the season. On Monday night, Gay posted 32 points, 9 rebounds, 6 assists and 2 steals. The Bucks had no answers defensively, as Gay converted 13 of his 20 field goal attempts.

Another problem area for the Bucks were turnovers. The Bucks did an outstanding job taking care of the ball in the first half as they had only 4 turnovers. They were far more generous in the second half, however, as they had 11 turnovers. 8 of those turnovers occurred in the momentum changing third quarter which saw the Bucks manage to score only 18 points. The Bucks fell into the Kings trap of speeding the game up and playing fast. At times the Bucks were simply playing too fast for their own good, especially in the third quarter.

rashadVaughnAll of the Bucks’ starters again played a minimum of 34 minutes as the Bucks bench contributed only 15 points from 2 players. The bench remains depleted due to the injuries to John Henson and OJ Mayo. The positive off the bench is that rookie Rashad Vaughn converted three of his five three point attempts for nine total points. The minute totals the starters are logging are starting to cut into their effectiveness, as tonight Khris Middleton hit just 6 of 18 shot attempts.

The Bucks again had problems, especially late in the game, as the Kings hit nearly half of their three pointers in the fourth quarter to gain some separation and ultimately put the Bucks away. More troubling than the amount of threes on Monday night was who the Bucks were allowing to hit them. Rajon Rondo hit all four of his three point attempts and nearly half of the Kings total for the night. Rondo has never been a good or even average three point shooter. The fact that the Bucks allowed this to happen reflects poorly on their defense.

Lastly, the Bucks were lacking on the rebounding side of things in this game. They were outrebounded by a total of 16, but more importantly, the Kings got 18 offensive rebounds. While the Kings did not turn those into a ton of second chance points, they used them in the latter portion of the fourth quarter to shorten the game and bleed the clock down on the Bucks.greg monroe bucks.widea

The unfortunate aspect of this game is the Bucks wasted a lot of good individual and collective efforts in this game. The Bucks shot 50% overall, and 40% on three pointers. The Bucks outscored the up tempo Kings on the fast break 30-12. The Bucks also wasted solid individual performances. Michael Carter Williams had 18 points and 13 assists. Greg Monroe had 24 points and 12 rebounds.  Monroe has now scored over 20 points in a career high six consecutive games.

The Bucks continue their road trip by visiting the Blazers on Tuesday night.


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