During the first half of last night’s Lakers-Bucks game when the Bucks were winning by 4, I texted a friend “The pace is too fast!! You can ride the back of a tiger for only so long… eventually you end up inside!” That’s what happened.
There was no way the Bucks were going to win a toe-to-toe punching match with the Lakers. They were foolish to engage them in such a match. When you’re in the ring with Smokin’ Joe Frazier, you stick-and-move, you don’t slug.
Because unless you’re George Foreman, Frazier will outlast you. You will land some shots and he will land some shots, and eventually your shots will stop coming and his will keep firing and then you’re done.
That’s basically the story of last night’s basketball game. The Bucks tried to play up-and-down schoolyard ball with the Kings of the School Yard. Can’t do it!
Last night’s game reminded me of a game I went to at the Bradley Center several years back. I can’t remember whom the Bucks were playing, but it was a high quality opponent. At halftime the Bucks were up by three points. Jus like last night, the crowd was very energized. My girlfriend commented “The Bucks look great.” But I looked up at the little statistical board that they have at the BC and saw that the Bucks were shooting some unGodly figure like 71% from the field. “Actually, they’re fucked” I replied. The Bucks ended up losing the game by something like ten to fifteen points.
What I knew then, and I knew at halftime last night, was an easy axiom of basketball or any sport. If a game is close and one team is playing at or above their maximum capacity — which the Bucks clearly were last night –while the opponent is simply playing their normal game — which the Lakers appeared to be doing — then look for the overachieving team to eventually lose.
That’s what happened last night, and it will happen every time. Hopefully, like Sugar Ray Leonard after the first Roberto Duran fight, the Bucks will learn from their strategic mistake in this game and bring a different approach to the rematch in Los Angeles.