Milwaukee Bucks

The Playoffs are Short this Year

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Up first in round one of the playoffs was Orlando. They turned out to be not much of a challenge, at least for my teammates.

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Not Phased by the Pressure

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Round one was a blur – an accidental blur. I’ll explain in a minute, but first, game one. It was tight down the stretch, but Stephen Jackson (above) missed two free throws late to enable us to pull away.

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Going Off on Orlando

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I recently had a string of good games, so here’s the summary form. First up was Milwaukee again, this time at their place. Here’s about all you need to know about that game: me swatting Brandon Jennings’ three attempt to close the third quarter. I was solid, but there was a reason we blew them out.

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Bruised, Battered, and Ultimately Beaten

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Here’s a quick run through the last few games.Just FYI – this is a huge post. First up was Charlotte, and it was the start of a sad slide.

 

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All Bucked Up

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The Milwaukee Bucks came to town tonight, which I figured would be great chance to display my new ‘play in the flow of the game’ style. What happened was pretty unprecedented for me.

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Passing Phase

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We won one game, now to make it two. Like I said last time, We’ve got a winnable stretch coming up so we’ve got to take advantage. Up first, the team just under us in the standings, the Milwaukee Bucks.

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Starting to Like This

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Wait, wait, wait. Opening with a  picture of a Bulls game? Didn’t I say last post that we’d knocked off the Bulls? Actually, yes I did. This picture is to cover a hole in my last post – I was so psyched to be moving on that I forgot to mention a change that took place at the start of the game: I got the start. Being the starting PG is a good feeling, but it had happened before and I lost it both times. Would I get the call again in the first game of the Eastern Conference Finals??

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Why yes, I would. I got to the arena having already been alerted that I was starting. Let’s go team! Our foe would be the Orlando Magic. This oughta be good!

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We spent most of the first half within a basket or so of Orlando, either ahead of behind. On this play I took off down court on a fast break and attempted this layup as I was passing Rashard Lewis.

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I made the shot but put me on the deck. We went into the half trailing and part of that was my fault. My scoring wasn’t great but my decision making was horrendous. I had two turnovers in the first half and at least as many bad passes that didn’t get picked off but blew possessions. I turned the ball over two more times in the third quarter and had a few more bad passes before being benched with 3:47 to go in the 3rd. I had 10 points on 38% shooting with 4 turnovers. I did have three assist, though. When I came back in to start the 4th, we were down by two. That’s when it became the Dwyane Wade Show.

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The guy had gone 0-5 in the first half but had turned it on in the 3rd. By the time the fourth quarter came around he was red hot. My mission was clear: get him open looks. He absolutely carried us for about four or so minutes and I all but farmed him for assists. I  got three dimes off of him and a number of ‘pass leading to assist’ and ‘pass leading to foul’ merits. I finally started putting my game together too, and we pulled away as the clock winded down. In a fitting ending, though, we turned the ball over as time was expiring. We had 10 or so turnovers in our 32 minute game, and I only accounted for four of them (LBJ committed 3). I said to myself as the fourth quarter wore on that Wade deserved Player of the Game honors. If he hadn’t gotten hot after the half we probably would have lost. He didn’t win though. Who did?

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I did, with 19 points (led the team), 2 rebounds, 6 assists (led the team) and 2 steals (led the team), I had a surprisingly good game. If, ya know, you ignore the four giveaways. I got my shooting percentage up to nearly 50%, too. D-Wade was next in scoring with 18, and LeBron had 14. We won, we kept home court advantage, and now it’s on to game two. In the west, Kobe and the Lakers are up 1-0 on the Mavericks.

- Rick Daniel

Bucking Milwaukee

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We’ve closed out the Bucks at last. It wasn’t a really exciting finish, so let’s just cover the basics.

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How’s this for something you don’t expect to see from me? A running hook shot in the lane. In case you’re wondering, yes, it fell. I actually wasn’t shooting well at all, with just four points at the half.p05-runaway1

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I then ran off – quite literally – four straight fast break layups. If there’s any cure for a scorer’s slump, it’s easy baskets. I entered the fourth quarter with 12, and finished with 20 points to go with five rebounds, three assists and a block on 50% shooting.

As far as next round goes, the Bulls have come back on Atlanta and now hold a 3-2 series lead. Now I don’t know who we’ll be facing next. I’ll be sure to check back in when I find out.

- Rick Daniel

Daniel’s Domination

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Three more games down in our first round series with the Bucks, and by looking at this picture you’d think we’d swept them. Not so fast, my friend.

We won game two at home 80-73, but I had an average game at best. I was shooting poorly so I ended up with 10 points to go with 2 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 steals,

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We arrived in Milwaukee ready to sweep the Bucks out of the playoffs, and I was determined to do my part.

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I got a quite a few breakaway layups to kick start our offense. This was good for me, because my jumpshot wasn’t falling. My defense was there, though.

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On one play I was bumped on a shot and stumbled into the ref along the sidelines. I recovered and darted back down court to swat Chris Douglas-Roberts’ shot from behind. Yup, I pulled a LeBron.

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Unfortunately it wasn’t enough. I went to the bench in the second quarter for a spell and by the time I got back on the floor our one point lead was a 16 point deficit. What the hell? I scored 18 points with 5 rebounds, 2 assists and a block with no turnovers, so I did my part. In fact, only LeBron, Wade and I made more then two baskets the whole game, and the only player to make two (Bosh) shot 2-10. Everyone else made but one shot or was blanked. We can’t win that way.

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Game four was going to be different. I was hell bent on not having a repeat of game three. We weren’t going to let them tie the series up. I had to be the catalyst, and was I ever.

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I came out firing on all cylinders and scored 9 points in the first quarter. My jump shot was there and I was moving better then I ever have on the court. I only made one basket in the second quarter and entered the half with 11 points, 2 assists and a block.

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To say that my jumpshot was back would be an understatement. I was 4 of 4 from deep and 70% from the field en route to 34 points. Yes, you read that right. I finally cracked the 30 point barrier – and when our team needed it the most, too. I had 3 rebounds, 4 assists and a block as well.

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Here’s my favorite assist. I was so hot that they left LeBron to trap me, so I just fed the King around Drew Gooden for an easy two. LeBron was the only other player on my team with 10 points. Wade had 7 on 3-13 shooting. We won by 12, so if I’d scored my average in the playoffs so far (about 14), it would have only been a 2 point game. Go me!

We’re up 3-1 now, with the Hawks handling the Bulls in our bracket. It looks like we’ll be facing them next, should be put away the Bucks. I’m psyched!

- Rick Daniel

Round One, Fight!

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Our first round matchup was with the Milwaukee Bucks. Naturally we had home court (we’re the #1 seed in the east). I had a rough start the to game and shot 0-5 in the first quarter, but I had 3 rebounds and 2 assists. The Bucks had an early lead but we got back into it in the 2nd quarter. At one point, Luc Mbah a Moute got around me, but was met at the rim with a some resistance.

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Not only is this a picture of our great defense, it may possibly be the whitest photo of the NBA since the 1950s.

I continued to help the team as much as I could by moving and setting picks, playing defense and  controlling the tempo. I scored four points in each of the second and third quarters so I had eight entering the 4th.

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I finally found my stride here, playing with the Bench Bunch of Carlos Arroyo, Edjaurdo Najera, Udonis Haslem, Zydrunas Ilgauskas. I ended up scoring eight in the fourth to finish with 16 points. I also had 4 rebounds and 4 assists.on nearly 50% shooting. Needless to say, we won the game. Now, for game two.

- Rick Daniel

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