Two wins in a row. Gotta be honest, I did not see that coming, especially against a Hawks team that looks poised to be the best of the second-tier teams in the East, behind the obvious Magic, Celtics, and Cavs tier.
Milwaukee led most of the game, and held off a late surge by the Hawks to win 110-107. This puts the Bucks at a 24-27 record and maybe gives a little more hope that this team could still make the playoffs.
All of that obviously hinges on Andrew Bogut. Bogut played for the second game in as many nights. Tonight it was apparent that towards the end of the game, his back was acting up on him. Still, in 10 minutes of action he was a beast, scoring nine points, grabbing six rebounds, dishing out two assists, and recording two steals and a block.
Bogut's presence makes the entire team's level rise up a notch. It's kind of incredible to see. For instance, Bogut made an athletic leap to steal the ball at the perimeter. He then threw an outlet pass, ran the floor, then got the ball back and dunked it home. It was impressive for a guy who had just missed a slew of games due to back spasms.
Scoring hasn't been an issue thus far for either of the last two games. Charlie "Chuckie V" Villanueva racked up 27 points, seven boards, four three-pointers, and six assists. I cannot believe how well this guy is playing right now.
Redd's injury has also opened the door for Ramon Sessions to start and get more playing time. His ability to cut through the defense and take the ball to the rim is surprisingly complimentary to Luke Ridnour's style. It was also nice to see what Richard Jefferson does best, and that is get to the line, scoring 11 points on free throws alone.
Sessions and Jefferson both added 20 points, and Charlie Bell had 16 as a nice contribution off the bench.
It was said several times last night during the broadcast, but there is some room for optimism. The Bucks have 19 home games and 12 road games left on the schedule. Milwaukee heads to New Jersey on Tuesday. Game time is 6:30 and the match is on FS Wisconsin.
TBC Buck of the Game: Charlie Villanueva