Bucks Beat Pistons, Break 9-Game Losing Streak
The 2013-2014 Milwaukee Bucks have not been a good team, to put it mildly. Going into tonight’s game against the Detroit Pistons, they were by far the worst team in the league with a record of 7-33, and had lost nine games in a row.
Because the Bucks hadn’t won any games in 2014, the team has been in an ugly mood.
So have the fans, who’ve taken to booing home players after they’ve missed free throws. Which is very bad behavior on the part of the fans, of course, but can you blame them? It’s no fun to go cheer on your favorite team, only to watch them creatively find yet another way to lose.
The Bucks, in short, have been pathetic.
But tonight’s game against the Pistons was a bit different from the start. The Bucks actually made their first basket, a nice change. They were competitive at halftime, losing by only six points, 56-50. And they were actually ahead for much of the fourth quarter, where they outscored Detroit, 23-16.
Even with all that, the Bucks barely squeaked out a win against the Pistons, 104-101. The game was in doubt until the final 1.4 seconds of the game, though to be fair to the Bucks, there were some extremely debatable calls by the referees — the worst of the lot being a no-call after Brandon Knight was actually thrown out of bounds by a Piston player, yet the ball somehow went back to Detroit. Had those calls been more understandable, the Bucks would’ve taken a comfortable five-point lead with thirty seconds to play . . . instead, there were multiple opportunities for the Pistons to win.
Instead, the Pistons fell to 17-25. (Check out the Bucks’ Tumblr page if you don’t believe me.)
This was an interesting game for many reasons besides the odd decisions from the referees. First, it was Caron Butler bobble head night — as Butler is a native of Racine, and as this is his first season with the Bucks, he had many friends and family in the stands to cheer him on. This may have been one reason why Butler played exceptionally well this evening with 30 points, seven rebounds and a season-high five assists.
Second, Milwaukee’s PG Knight used to play for the Pistons, while PG Brandon Jennings, of course, used to play for the Bucks. So there was a lot of hard-fought action on both sides from those two men, because they were playing for pride. Jennings finished with 30 points, four rebounds and four assists, while Knight countered with 16 points, seven rebounds and nine assists.
Third, there were two Bucks players out with illness, C Larry Sanders and SG O.J. Mayo — both are normally in the starting lineup — while a third ill player, PG Luke Ridnour, did well off the bench, hitting two of his four three-point attempts and finishing with eight points in 19 minutes.
Any way you slice it, the 2013-2014 Milwaukee Bucks have been dreadful. But it’s nice to see them scratch and claw their way to an unexpected win for a change, rather than lose, fight with each other in the locker room, lose some more, fight in bars and get injured, and, of course, lose.
It’s hard to know what to expect on Friday, when the Bucks will take on the Cavaliers (15-27) in Cleveland. Will Milwaukee show some moxie again, as they did this evening? Or will they go out and lose yet again?
The smart money is probably going to be on the Bucks losing as many games as they can, as they seem more interested in getting a high draft choice than showing their fans that they actually care about winning games. But I have a funny feeling that the Bucks might actually beat Cleveland, just to be contrary.
If they do, I’ll be glad to write about them again on Friday . . . because if the Bucks can win two games in a row, that’ll be a verifiable hot streak, thus a story, thus something I can blog about without wanting to fall asleep.