Milwaukee Bucks head coach Jason Kidd talked preached consistency Wednesday night after falling to the Philadelphia 76ers 114-109.
The Bucks scored 39 points in the first quarter but only 19 points in the second, and they fell to the Sixers just two nights after beating one of the NBA’s top teams, the Houston Rockets.
“I mean that’s who we’ve been all year, we’ve been inconsistent. We’ve got to get consistent if we want any chance of competing in the East,” Kidd said. “You have to be consistent on the defensive end. We can talk about shooting, we can talk about rebounds but it comes down to doing the small things and having fun doing it and tonight we didn’t do that.”
On the defensive end, Milwaukee gave up 72 points in the first half and only 42 in the second half.
“It’s always disappointing when you lose. But the one thing is we’re young. This is growing pains and the understanding of patience. Understand in the first half you can’t give up 72 points to have any chance to win,” Jason said. “Those guys fought in the third and we made a game of it. We fought all the way back to take the lead and to not execute down the stretch, that’s what young teams do. Sometimes they don’t close the door, and that’s what we did tonight.”
Led by Greg Monroe’s season-high 28 points, the Bucks played a strong enough second half to steal a victory from the 76ers, but they didn’t quite make enough plays late to pull out the win.
Milwaukee took a one-point lead with 5:56 left on a Matthew Dellavedova 3-pointer. From there the game was back-and-forth with nine different lead changes.
“I think that’s a good way to put it, we just didn’t execute having the lead. We couldn’t get the ball in. We couldn’t execute taking the ball out on two possessions. Then we couldn’t get the stop when we had to,” J-Kidd said. “We were only down one and they make a jump shot. Understanding, coming down we don’t have to force, we were only down three and we can work the clock and we can probably get a better shot.”
Monroe was an integral part of getting Milwaukee back into the game; however, he had a costly turnover with 35 seconds left. Nonetheless, J-Kidd loved the big man’s performance overall.
“He was great. He played long stretches for us. Defensive and offensively he was great for us coming off the bench. He kept us in the game. He got us back in the game,” Kidd said. “Unfortunately the ball just sailed on him when he threw that last pass and that’s sometimes the last thing everybody remembers but he played a great game for us tonight.”
Losing six of the last seven games, Kidd has been playing around with his lineups and giving different players opportunities to play. Of course, that means other players are forced to sit out, but Jason says they’ll get their chance again.
“Yeah it’s really easy, just play hard. If you play hard something good is going to happen. We can understand that, but that’s very hard to understand right now,” J-Kidd said. “We’ve got a lot of guys who want to play; Henson didn’t play tonight, Beasley didn’t play, but those guys are cheering for their teammates. Understanding, that’s a little thing and that goes a long ways because they’re going to get their chance. But tonight it’s just execution, we couldn’t get the ball in.”
While the Bucks showed some positive, Coach Kidd said afterward that his squad just didn’t put together a full four-quarter performance.
“I think understanding it’s 48 minutes and we didn’t play our first 24 well, but we bounced back there in that second half and we played up to the last couple possessions,” Kidd said. “So understanding it’s 48 minutes and we did turn it around and those guys fought and we put ourselves in a position to win the game at home.”
The Bucks will take their passports and travel north of the border to challenge the Toronto Raptors on Friday night.
Tipoff is set for 6:30 p.m. CT.