Things were going so well to open 2010. The Milwaukee Bucks began the year with three straight victories.
And then came the daunting west coast roadtrip.
The Bucks, now losers of three straight, allowed the Blazers to shoot a ridiculous 60.3% from the field on Wednesday night, led by Brandon Roy’s 22 and LaMarcus Aldridge’s 21 points.
Roy made 7-10 shots, all 7 of his free throws, had 3 steals and just 1 turnover in yet another efficient night from Portland’s best player. Roy tweaked his hamstring late in the 3rd quarter and did not return.
Aldridge is a matchup nightmare for the Bucks as his length and athletic ability is tough to guard. He made 10-15 field goals and added 7 rebounds, 6 assists, 1 steal, and 2 blocks for the 24-16 Blazers.
Milwaukee was down by as many as 33 in the 3rd quarter, but the Bucks’ reserves nearly cut the lead to single digits. Ersan Ilyasova tied a season-high with 24 points. He made 4 threes and grabbed 5 rebounds. Jodie Meeks had a career-high 21 points off the bench, including 4 rebounds, 2 assists, and a steal. Luke Ridnour handed out 8 assists off the bench.
Coach Scott Skiles was not happy about how his team played defense on Wednesday night.
“We had an awful lot to do with them shooting so well,” Skiles said. “They were just in a different gear than us for most of the night, other than the first 2-3 minutes of the game. They were quicker and more athletic and they drove by us pretty much at will. They built a 30-point lead and they deserved it.”
Andrew Bogut had a double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds. He added 2 blocks in just under 30 minutes of action. Brandon Jennings had another poor shooting night, hitting just 4-11 shots for 12 points. He handed out 7 assists.
Dan Gadzuric made his first appearance since December 6th against the Lakers after suffering a knee strain. As usual, Gadzuric was a foul-committing energy player off the bench, scoring 7 points and grabbing 8 rebounds while also committing 4 fouls in just 13:36.
Milwaukee, now 15-21 has been outscored 91-39 in the 1st quarter of the current roadtrip. Skiles knows he doesn’t have a team of sharpshooters, but the team has to find a way to make shots early in games if they want to have a chance at a win.
“We have to find a way to stop easing our way into games and be more ready to impose our will right at the beginning.”
The Bucks will try to impose their will against the Golden State Warriors on Friday. Gametime is 9:30pm and can be seen on FSN Wisconsin.
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