After watching the coach apologize to the entire city for the way his team played Saturday night, it was hard to imagine things getting much worse for the Milwaukee Bucks.
Somehow, it did.
Detroit used a 21-0 first-quarter run to end things early Monday night, eventually sending Milwaukee to its ninth-straight loss with a 113-94 victory.
The Bucks have lost nine consecutive in one season for the first time since 1997-98, as they also lost nine in a row over the last eight games of 2007-08 and the first game of 2008-09. After vowing to never let a performance like Saturday’s 96-72 loss to Charlotte happen again, where did coach Larry Drew turn after Monday’s rout?
“Man, there were a lot of discussions in there,” Drew said. “Right now we are a team that is searching, searching for an identity. We just don’t have one.
“I expressed my disappointment in how we played, but the last thing I want us to do as a team is feel sorry for ourselves. It seems when a team jumps us and goes on a run we get into that mindset. I’m not going to let that happen. There’s just too much basketball to be played. We have to figure this out as a team. That’s just the bottom line.”
Drew promised to make changes to his starting lineup after Saturday’s loss and did just that, inserting Brandon Knight at point guard for Luke Ridnour and Khris Middleton at small forward in place of Caron Butler.
The shakeup didn’t do much, as Milwaukee hung around for the first seven minutes before Detroit rattled off a 21-0 run to lead 38-14. The Pistons led by as many as 33 points in the first half and didn’t look back.
“We turned the basketball over, took bad shots and didn’t execute,” Drew said. “In this league, it doesn’t take long for a league to jump like that. It was quick.”
The search for the right combination of players will continue, as the Bucks clearly are going to have to play much better on the defensive end if they are going to have any chance to win games.
Drew just wanted to see his players compete and show some pride in the second half.
“In spurts it was better, but we’re still searching for an identity,” Drew said. “We’re going to have to find some type of balance to who we want to be, who we are. I’m saying what I want us to be but maybe that’s not the case. I don’t know.”
Sitting at 2-11 and the second-worst team in the NBA, the Bucks are nothing short of a mess at this point. Drew and company now must figure things out before the season gets completely out of hand before Christmas.
“I have to find some answers,” Drew said. “It’s that simple. It’s not going to be a situation of, you know, feeling sorry for ourselves. We’re going to have to roll our sleeves up, we’re going to have to look in the mirror.”