Tip off is in about ten minutes, and still haven’t seen Stephen Jackson in uniform. Andrew Bogut just got in the FoxNorth camera background and swished a warm-up free throw — right handed — and he’s not wearing a sleeve or a brace on the bad arm.
The pregame hype revolves around Ricky Rubio‘s debut against Brandon Jennings, and Bogut’s health. Rubio isn’t starting – Luke Ridnour does.
Interested to see who takes the Bucks first shot tonight. If this is anything like last year, it will be Drew Gooden, starting again at power forward, shooting at will.
Not this year. Mike Dunleavy drains the Bucks first shot, a three-pointer off a feed from Bogut in the post. Dunleavy’s starting for Jackson.
The starting lineup: Bogut, Gooden, Dunleavy, Delfino and Jennings.
Gooden takes an off-balance post-up fallaway, misses. Bogut still hasn’t shot. 8-4 Bucks. The T-Wolves aren’t getting anything in the paint.
4 minutes in: Kevin Love beats Gooden on a drive and draws a foul. Skiles yanks Gooden and Ersan Ilyasova makes his entrance. 13-7 Bucks.
Tobias Harris in for Delfino at the 6:30 mark. The rookie can get to the rim. First a layup on the break, then a foul drawn on a drive into the lane. Two free throws. 17-10 Bucks.
Bucks need a good look and are trying to get it to Bogut in the post, can’t. 3 second call on Bogues on an Ilyasova drive. 17-15 Bucks.
Rubio and J.J. Barea into the game. Barea somehow grabs an offensive board and Michael Beasley draws a foul on Tobias Harris. 17-16.
Bucks don’t look settled at all on offense. Jennings, Beno Udrih, Harris, Ilyasova and now Brockman in for Bogut. We know the Brockman-as-backup-center didn’t work last year. Yet here we go again.
Larry Sanders anyone?
18-20 T-Wolves. Leuer into the game for Ilyasova, who has two fouls.
Brockman-Leuer-Harris-Udrih-Shaun Livingston. This is a D-League lineup to close the first quarter with
BJ Livingston and Beno. Udrih looks shorter in a Bucks uniform for some odd reason. 24-26 T-Wolves, end of quarter.
What have we learned so far? Mike Dunleavy can shoot, and Delfino looks ready to have his best season as a pro. Bogut looks comfortable and healthy but didn’t get touches. The Gooden-Ilyasova playing time problem is still there, same as it was last season. The bench rotations aren’t set, and one wouldn’t expect them to be at this point.
Livingston looks like Jennings’ taller, older brother.
2nd Quarter: Luc Mbah a Moute starts the quarter, immediately grabs an offensive board and lays it in, starting the Bucks on a 12-2 run. Leuer is scoring at will against Anthony Randolph. Moute is all over the court, making plays. The guy hasn’t practiced a day due to visa problems with Cameroon that finally cleared on yesterday.
Bogut’s back in at about 9:00 left. He finally gets his first bucket after grabbing a Moute airball at the rim.
Bogut at the line, 6:28 mark. He’s one for two, a lot of rim.
Skiles calls timeout after the T-wolves bomb away from three to close the gap, then Gooden eats the ball in the post and takes another bad fallaway. 45-40 Bucks.
Kevin Love just drained a three with Bogut in his face. Then another one. Skiles has realized he can’t put Gooden on him, so k-Love is Bogut’s charge. This is clearly a job for Ilyasova or Moute. 46-50 T-Wolves.
Love hits another one from Downtown, where Bogut can’t get to him. Bogut looks annoyed, and answers with a driving lefty hook. Bucks go into timeout after a foul with Skiles looking confused. 48-55 T-wolves.
52-62 at half. Eight threes in the quarter by the T-Wolves. Ilyasova looks glum, but gives Gooden a hand slap on the way to the locker room. Bucks assistant Sidney Moncrief is clearly not happy.
This looks far too much like the beginning of last season for comfort.
Did the Bucks really just give up 62 to the T-Wolves in the half? T-Wolves are 8-11 from 3-point-land.
SECOND HALF: Skiles starts Ilyasova on Love in the second half but Love picks up right where he left off and drains a mid-range jumper. He’s on fire.
Now the refs are getting into it. Ticky-tacky fouls and the T-Wolves are living at the line.
Great basketball play by Ilyasova – to Dunleavy – to Bogut for a dunk. Best passing of the night. 61-68 T-Wolves.
Jennings hits a three from the corner. But the Bucks are having trouble with Mike Beasley. And Love again. 67-77. But Dunleavy’s keeping them close. Another three. 16 for Dunleavy.
Love finally misses. A jumper by BJ, and the Bucks are in a groove with this unit: BJ, Delfino, Dunleavy, Ilyasova and Bogut. It’ll be interesting to see where Skiles goes from here. 79-72 with Bogut at the line. One of two – 79-73 and the Wolves turn it over.
Skiles has stuck with the group for most of the quarter, then subbed Livingston for Delfino, which may signal a Skiles preference in terms of who’s on his bench. He’d normally go to Moute but Ersan has slowed down K-Love and Dunleavy’s filling it up. Bucks had a good rhythm going until a couple of fluke bounces led to second chance hoops for the T-Wolves.
Bogut out after a ticky-tack call guarding Darko. These refs won’t let Bogut d-up on Darko? Really? 87-76 and it’s slipping back to the T-wolves.
92-78 at the end of 3 quarters. The T-Wolves cooled off a bit from Downtown (2-7) but got enough garbage going to hold the Bucks off. There’s not much to what the T-Wolves do but shoot threes and move off of point guard penetration.
Which is to say that BJ and Dunleavy haven’t been good on the perimeter D. This is where the Bucks need Moute and Livingston to help tighten it up. (It’s not happening tonight).
4th Quarter: The D-League unit of Udrih-Livingston-Hobson-Leuer-Brockman is getting smoked. 84-100 T-Wolves but Leuer has 14 against Derrick Williams this time in the matchup of rookies.
Hobson has some nifty moves on the perimeter, dropped a nice pass to Livingston for a dunk. But how different from Chris Douglas-Roberts will he be? He’s bigger but CD-R was pretty smooth on the offensive end. I wonder how these things play out in GM John Hammond’s mind.
Bucks are shanking shots, still with the D-League group. Ooof! Rubio to Derrick Williams for a lob dunk. Williams beat Leuer badly on a back-cut. 86-105.
86-107. Another dunk for Leuer. The rookies Rubio, Williams, Leuer and Hobson are putting on a show. Skiles isn’t entertained but, why not? This one’s over and it’s fun watching Leuer light it up in Bucks green.
117-96 final, a poor night on the defensive perimeter, a second quarter of bad matchups that Skiles would like to have back.
LINK. Just to show that I didn’t make all this up.