- TOP PLAYERSOffensePABLO S. TORRE | August 20, 2012
- TAMPA BAY buccaneersENEMY lines WHAT A RIVAL COACH SAYSJune 28, 2012
- Faces in the CrowdJune 11, 2001
"Get some good zees, Loosh?"
"Just resting my mind."
"Getting ready for all those screaming people, huh?"
"No, just for Stormin' Norman."
Allen, it turned out, was more than ready. In concert with his old UCLA teammate, Abdul-Jabbar, he led the Bucks with 24 points. Abdul-Jabbar's work was done early—and most of it was defensive. In the first quarter, as the Milwaukee forwards denied Walker and Love their favorite spots along the baseline, forcing them toward the middle for their shots, Abdul-Jabbar distinctly intimidated seven Chicago field-goal attempts. Walker and Love were rarely heard from thereafter, and they shot a nervous eight for 33 between them.
Only penetration by Van Lier could have disrupted Milwaukee's firm inner defense, but while Abdul-Jabbar worked inside, Allen was busy outside. He played Van Lier closer than he had in the past to keep from being picked whenever Norman stormed to the hoop. Despite his fourth-quarter burst Van Lier got only eight points and was rarely able to penetrate the lane to stir up trouble.
In Sunday's rout the Buck defense and Allen's sparkling play were again the keys. Three straight jumpers by Allen sent Milwaukee to a 10-point lead in the opening period, and an extraordinary 2:41 streak midway through the third quarter clinched it. Milwaukee made seven consecutive shots—six of them long, fast-break jumpers split between Allen and Jon McGlocklin—while holding the Bulls to five futile attempts from far outside. Before the end of the period, in which Allen also had seven assists, the Bucks had a 31-point margin and they waltzed home.
"They were coming in waves," said Van Lier. "And two days of Lucius is enough. I'll tell you, these guys are frustrating." So is being No. 2.