Jared Dudley continues bounce-back year with perfect night against the Hawks
In a game full of anomalies, Dudley’s 10-for-10 from the floor stands out above the rest.
The Milwaukee Bucks pulled off a surprising blowout against the soaring Atlanta Hawks Friday, beating the hottest team in the East by 30 points. Milwaukee continues to be a revelation in its first year under Jason Kidd. The Bucks were supposed to be rebuilding yet they would be the sixth seed in the East if the season ended today, earning them a first-round match up with the Wizards. The highlight of the night was Jared Dudley‘s perfect game. The eight-year veteran wing became the first player to not miss from the field in at least ten total attempts and three three-pointers.
— NBA History (@NBAHistory) diciembre 27, 2014
Dudley hit tough shots from all over the floor:
It was a fantastic performance from a player who the Clippers — trying to scramble to find a 3-and-D wing right now — used a first-round pick to dump on the Bucks for nothing. Dudley is having a bounce-back year, with his shooting percentages near, or up, from his career-best years while providing some veteran leadership for a very young team. Milwaukee has clearly found something that works on their collection of talented youngsters and high character-veterans like Dudley and Zaza Pachulia and seem to have left their dysfunctional past in the rear-view mirror. The loss of Jabari Parker to a season-ending ACL injury is a tough blow but the Bucks look like a team that can handle adversity in Kidd’s first season as a coach.
As for the game itself, it was an anomaly. The Bucks have been getting it done with a defense that has shined all season long and held the Hawks to a season low 77 points. Of course, the Hawks contributed by missing open shots from outside. Atlanta is one of the best teams in the league shooting the long ball and they went just 4-for-23 from outside, a 17 percent conversion rate that pales in comparison to their 37.6 percent mark for the season, the fifth best in the league. The Bucks are decent at preventing and contesting three-pointers but they can’t claim sole credit here. Kyle Korver is typically automatic when he has this much room after a catch:
Korver and DeMarre Carroll combined to go 1-11 from beyond the arc. Those misses and a season high 23 turnovers did Atlanta in.
The Hawks won’t have to wait long for another crack at the Bucks. The two teams meet against this Saturday on a home-and-home back-to-back. Considering they could potentially meet in the playoffs, it will be interesting to see if Atlanta’s struggles are directly related to Milwaukee’s defense or if the Hawks just had a down game and the Bucks took advantage of it.