Saturday, October 20, 2007

Bucks vs. Wolves

Darren Hauck/NBAE/Getty

The Bucks dispatched the Wolves 106-97 at the BC Saturday night in the 31st annual MACC Fund game (Photos / Recap). Mo Williams filled up the stat sheet with 20 points and 12 assists (with just a single TO) while Yi Jianlian had easily his best game of the preseason, scoring 15 along (6/9 fg) with 12 rebounds and a block and just one turnover. Mike Redd was just 4-12 but scored 18 while Bobby Simmons not only played (yay!), but scored 10 points on tidy 4-5 shooting in 28 minutes. The Wolves (47%, 9/16 threes) outshot the Bucks (42%) but the Bucks made a living from the foul line (32/42 vs. 16/25 for Minnesota). The Bucks handily won the rebound battle, 48-37, including an eye-popping 22 rebounds, half of them coming courtesy of CV (6) and Yi (5).

I started listening to Ted Davis and Dennis Krause in the second quarter when the Bucks went down 45-33 before Mo Williams led a 14-0 run to close out the half. Bogut and Yi then combined for 17 in the third, Yi hitting a string of jumpers as well as a putback dunk near the end of the quarter. Meanwhile, Corey Brewer came into the game shooting 26% from the field and averaging just 3.6 ppg, but went out of his mind on both ends, scoring 27 points along with 6 assists and a couple blocks. Al Jefferson quietly had a really nice game with 21 points and 13 rebounds for the Wolves.

Larry Krystkowiak had promised the Bucks would start taking games more seriously from here on out, and that showed as both teams went with their starters to close out the game. Ten Bucks got court time in total, hinting at the rotation LK is looking at for the regular season. The Bucks' offense also showed some real life for perhaps the first time this preseason, as Mo carried the Bucks in the second before Yi sparkled in the third. Charlie Villanueva by contrast was atrocious from the field (3/15) but stayed active and managed 11 rebounds. Bogut was quiet early but ended up with 15 on 7/12 from the field, and managed another 2 blocks, giving him 6 in the last two games. Desmond Mason continued to struggle from the field (3/10) but still managed 14 points.

While Mo was the player of the game, Yi's outing was probably the most noteworthy. We know he'll be up and down as a rookie, but it's extremely encouraging to see him so active on the boards while also being so effective on the offensive end.

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