With their 107-89 victory over the Hawks Saturday, the Bucks were pleased to meet themselves — the tenacious, intense Bucks, ready to play and challenge everything defensively … it was the key to the game.
During their 89-107 loss to the Bucks, the Hawks were also reacquainted with a tried-but-true version of themselves: the unfocused, road troubled, unmotivated Hawks.
Sorry, but Hawks coach Mike Woodson looked like he was going to cry yesterday. I suppose he couldn’t believe that his Hawks were doing this to him AGAIN, two years after Boston, as though 175 games (including playoffs) hadn’t been played since, as though the Hawks had gained nothing in learned experience. The Bucks dominated them Saturday.
While Bucks and Hawks alike are busy getting reacquainted with former and true selves, check out Gadz and Zaza.
(Alright kids, just try not making sound effects for that photo. Just try. Can’t do it can you?).
In the Land of the Giants. Dan Gadzuric and Zaza Pachulia were teammates in Milwaukee 2004-05. They were both free agents summer of 2005. The Bucks decided they could only afford one and overpaid Gadz (6 yrs-$36 mil) while Zaza signed a much more reasonable contract (4 yrs -$16 mil) with the Hawks. Last summer he signed on for 4 more years at $19 mil.
I’ll never understand why the Bucks didn’t hold cost down on Gadz and sign Zaza too, embarking on a three-headed big man project (the Bucks had just drafted Bogut). It would have made more sense than what they did — trade Desmond Mason and a draft pick for Jamaal “Big Cat” Magloire.
In five years of often entertaining failure, never was Gadz so good, really good as he was Saturday. Ten rebounds in 17 minutes. Four offensive boards, six on the D-end. One assists. One turnover. Five ugly fouls – that’s our Gadz.
Gadz played big minutes all night (Primoz Brezec played the garbage time), none bigger than in the 2nd quarter when Kurt Thomas’ cut jaw was being stitched. 10 boards in 17 mins when it counted. That’s e-ffect-a-Gadz.
Dan Gadzuric has a total of 16 rebs for the series, all in his last 35 mins (he had none in six mins in Game 1). He’s playing his best and most important basketball as a Buck – getting more minutes and being more productive than he was four years ago against Detroit.
Hawks starting center Al Horford could get to only 3 rebounds in 30 mins Saturday, as Gadz, Thomas, Luc Mbah a Moute and Ersan Ilyasova controlled the paint for the first time this series. With the Bucks making shots, the Hawks had no chance.
… Does Game 3 really need a breakdown? The Bucks made shots, John Salmons showed up. The Bucks showed up and played D. They also controlled the paint. The Hawks never stood a chance away from “the Highlight dome” or whatever they call the arena in Atlanta.
Game 4 will be Monday already, (quite a change from and I’ll end by saying that a blowout win over the Hawks is no fluke. More on that in the Game 4 previews.