Sunday night, the Milwaukee Bucks came to the Alamo City to play the San Antonio Spurs. The Bucks entered the contest with a league-worst record of 7-32. Gregg Popovich chose to give Tony Parker's shin a rest so the Spurs were without Tony, Tiago Splitter, Matt Bonner and Danny Green. Even so, all it took was one good run for the Spurs to get the win. The Spurs went on a 15-0 run in the first quarter, and the Bucks were unable to mount a comeback.
The lineup that pulled away consisted of Patty Mills, Manu Ginobili, Marco Belinelli, Jeff Ayres and Aron Baynes. Patty, Marco and Manu had the Bucks completely flummoxed. Their passing created great looks on the offensive end and at the other, Baynes and Ayres did a great job of defensive rebounding. Regardless of who starts, we need more of Bili MiNelli in our lives. They are so much fun to watch, and even more importantly, they are great at breaking games wide open.
As you can probably tell from the game flow, there wasn't much of a game. The young Bucks were unable to close the gap and the Spurs cruised to a comfortable, 110-82 victory. The Spurs improved to 32-9 while the Bucks fell to 7-33.
- Gary Neal made his return to San Antonio. He went one for eight from the field in 18 minutes. I'd feel bad for Gary Neal's current situation except for the 6.5 million reasons he left. Actually, good for Gary. Undrafted, Neal worked hard to get his chance at playing in the NBA. He worked his way into the Spurs' rotation and had many memorable games for the Silver and Black. Now he's getting paid. We'll see where he ends up. The Bucks are reportedly trying to trade him before the deadline.
- Since Tony, Tiago and Danny didn't play, and it was the Bucks, Nando de Colo and Malcom Thomas played a good amount of minutes. Nando got off to a rough start, getting blocked on his first attempt and then committing a bad foul, but he recovered nicely and put together a good game. Nando finished with 13 points on 10 shots and hit three of his four 3-pointers.
- Honestly, I don't know much about Malcom Thomas. He looked extremely raw to me. He was definitely amped up for the opportunity and his athleticism was evident. He had two blocks and nine rebounds in 15 minutes. However, I don't think he has a chance at cracking the Spurs' rotation. The Spurs are deep with their big men and now Ayres has become a reliable option. There's just not any minutes left to play around with Malcom. Also, we can add him to the list of guys that are pretty sure they can shoot but really can't. After taking a couple of long two pointers that weren't even close, he missed both of his free throw attempts.
- Jeff Ayres had another strong performance. As always, he had a few nice dunks, finishing with 13 points making five of his six shots. By the way, I think Jeff stole the excuse I made for his bad hands. In that article I wrote a few weeks back, I excused his bad hands by saying he needed to get used to expecting the ball. I wrote that Indiana doesn't have the creative passers that San Antonio possesses so it would take Ayres a while to get used to it. A few days ago, Jeff gave my excuse to reporters, almost verbatim. Now Sean Elliott is talking about it. Either there's a conspiracy here that begins and ends with his uncle reading this blog, or I was just right. I guess I can live with just being right.
- Patty Mills matched his season-high with 20 points. Patty was hot from deep making four of his six threes. Cory Joseph stupidly picked up two early fouls which gave Patty the opportunity. Mills also had seven assists and three steals to round out his great performance.
- Tim Duncan, Kawhi Leonard, Boris Diaw, Manu and Marco all had solid games. It was the Bucks, so there's really nothing to report other than they played well and looked good, as they should against the worst team in the league.