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Bobcats Lose to Bucks 95-88; Highlights and Lowlights

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The Milwaukee Bucks defeated the Charlotte Bobcats 95-88, powered by a huge first quarter from Brandon Jennings and solid production from Hakim Warrick and Ersan Ilyasova.

We'll have more in the morning, but here are some highlights and lowlights:

BAD

-- Free throws are fast becoming the Cats' most important flaw. Tonight, they had a big advantage in getting to the line, but only shot 26-43 from the charity stripe. That's 61%, folks.

-- Three point shooting is still terrible. Yes, even if they're bad at it, they have to take threes, because otherwise the opposing defense can simply collapse into the lane, but the Cats are so bad at it they must consider severely reducing their three point attempts. 2-13 tonight.

-- The offense did not improve with an increased tempo and pace. (I'm guessing about that. It felt like the pace had increased, but I haven't confirmed.) Fewer possessions in a game provides greater variance in outcomes because each possession means more to the game; it's a reasonable strategy for poor teams to grind the game to a halt. However, increasing the offense's pace and tempo can create a greater advantage if it leads to easier baskets. The Cats seemed to increase the pace a notch, but it's not leading to easier baskets. It seems they're simply taking shots earlier in the shot clock.

-- I suppose it's hardly a bad thing that they couldn't contain Jennings, because few teams have contained him, but I'm still disappointed the Cats' defense has seemed to drop off from the excellent D of the first few games. In addition, Raymond Felton and D.J. Augustin were almost comically bad, a combined 1-7 from the field, and Felton had 2 assists. Was that Jennings's defense? Or was it more our guys' ineptitude? I'm not sure.

-- Boris Diaw is probably hurting. He didn't have his normal offensive game, and Warrick and Ilyasova were constantly pounding the Cats inside and outside, respectively. Perhaps it was just the matchups, but I'm concerned over whether or not Diaw's trying to play through a back injury that is hurting his game too much.

-- Gerald Henderson only got a few seconds in the game. What was the point?

GOOD

-- At times, the increased pace worked, and it seemed to benefit Gerald Wallace's offense most. He ended up with 22 points to go with his now-expected 10 rebounds.

-- Stephen Jackson played to the higher end of his abilities, scoring 22 and only turning it over twice.

-- Derrick Brown! 16 minutes for the rook is about 14 more minutes than I could have hoped for him. Awesome.

-- Mad props to the Milwaukee game day crew. I don't know if it was a malfunction or not, but sometime in the second half, I think all in-house sound effects stopped. The PA guy was still going, but there was no music, no chimes, no thumping beat during possessions. Just the sweet sound of a few thousand people cheering along the ebb and flow of a basketball game.