Bucks Win Big in Denver, Must Keep It Up

Curt HoggCorrespondent IIFebruary 23, 2009

The Milwaukee Bucks are coming off, arguably, one of their three biggest wins of the season.

They defeated the red-hot Denver Nuggets, 120-117, at home on Sunday. Charlie Villanueva scored nine of his season-high 36 points in the fourth quarter, including a floater with about 35 seconds left to give the Bucks a 116-113 lead.

Ramon Sessions added 27 points for Milwaukee, which played great defense over the final two minutes. The Bucks continuously forced Denver into wild shots.

The win improved the Bucks to 28-31 (12-12 against the tough Western Conference) and gave the them a one-and-a-half game lead over Chicago for the eighth seed in the East.

With nearly two full months left in the campaign, Milwaukee has already won two more games than all of last season.

The Bucks have lost Michael Redd for the season and center Andrew Bogut for about two months, but despite these painstaking injuries, Milwaukee has played wonderfully—by the Bucks' standards, at least.

Charlie Villanueva, Richard Jefferson, and Ramon Sessions have looked like All-Stars in the past couple of weeks.

To hold on to the eighth seed and make the Playoffs, the Bucks need to continue playing well without two of their key players.

Charlie Villanueva needs to continue his torrid shooting, which was on display Sunday when he hit a shot from center court at the end of the first quarter. He finished with a career-high seven three pointers for the game.

If Milwaukee can keep up their pace until Bogut returns and heat up upon his arrival, a Playoff berth will be theirs.

Looking at the remainder of their schedule, the Bucks should be able to go about .500, which should be enough to hold off the Knicks, Bulls, Nets, and other teams contending for the postseason.

Milwaukee is playing with passion, pride, and, finally, a city backing them up. Those are signs of a Playoff team.