Top Player Performances

by Alex Boeder
Bucks.com Writer

This is the column where we bond over Zaza Pachulia making everything easy back in early November, and things like that. You either clicked on the right link or there is something wrong with this link.

Here are the best individual performances of the season.

(Here are the most memorable games of the season.)

O.J. Mayo

20. O.J. Mayo
25 points (8-14 FG), 3 assists, 1 steal, 7-9 3PT
February 24, 2014 – Bucks 130, 76ers 110

Everyone was on against the 76ers, as the Bucks went to halftime with 73 points. Mayo had the hottest hand, making 7-9 threes off the bench. He led the Bucks in points and minutes on the best offensive night of the year for the team, and that means a couple somethings. Mayo was at his best in Milwaukee as a three-point specialist, a quick scorer. If that is his niche, maybe that can be his niche, next year.

Ramon Sessions

19. Ramon Sessions
20 points (5-10 FG), 11 assists, 5 rebounds, 9-11 FT
March 31, 2014 – Pistons 116, Bucks 11

Sessions made turning corners on the way to the basket look simple and easy, and he easily led the team in free throw rate and making shots at the stripe. That is largely how he came up with 20 points on just 10 field goal attempts on this night, and how he put up similar types of lines throughout his couple of Milwaukee months. Sessions added 11 assists along with the scoring in this one, his highest assist total with the Bucks this season. 

Ersan Ilyasova

18. Ersan Ilyasova
29 points (11-16 FG), 9 rebounds, 2 steals, 3-3 3PT
January 13, 2014 – Raptors 116, Bucks 94

Sometimes that elite three-point form of the previous couple seasons found its way back to Ersanator, and this was one of those nights. More of this next year, please.

Brandon  Knight

17. Brandon Knight
31 points (12-18 FG), 7 rebounds, 4 assists, 4-4 FT
April 16, 2014 – Hawks 111, Bucks 103

The final game of the regular season was not the best game of the regular season for the Bucks or for Knight, and most had an eye or two on the offseason by this time, but if this had been the first game of the regular season, people would have been pretty excited about Knight. As it stood, this type of offensive performance from Knight hardly registered as a surprise, a nice surprise in itself.

Ramon Sessions

16. Ramon Sessions
22 points (5-10 FG), 5 assists, 3 rebounds, 11-14 FT
March 27, 2014 – Bucks 108, Lakers 105

Larry Drew talked post-game after a few games about how he felt comfortable pairing Sessions with Brandon Knight in the backcourt late in games. In this game, they started together and played almost the entire game together (45 minutes and 42 minutes, respectively). Knight finished with more points, but Sessions got his a bit easier as he gets to the line a bit easier.

Khris Middleton

15. Khris Middleton
29 points (11-22 FG), 7 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals
December 6, 2013 – Bucks 109, Wizards 105

In one of the best wins of the year for the Bucks and one of the best offensive games for the Bucks, Middleton started things off right with 12 quick points in the first quarter. He stayed warm through most of his season-high 47 minutes en route to a season-high 29 points in the overtime win. The sharpshooter netted 4-7 threes and 3-3 at the line.

John Henson

14. John Henson
19 points (8-10 FG), 17 rebounds, 4 assists, 1 block
December 6, 2013 – Bucks 109, Wizards 105

Look, it is the same game as the one above. This was a good game with good performances, and Henson gets the edge over Middleton for a really strong defensive evening in addition to the happy 8-10 shooting night from the field that even featured a rather improbable bail-out jumper to give the Bucks an overtime bump. Also: season-best 17 boards.

Brandon Knight

13. Brandon Knight
26 points (11-23 FG), 14 assists, 8 rebounds, 2 turnovers
December 23, 2013 – Bobcats 111, Bucks 110

Plenty of people anointed Knight an off-guard or combo-guard or sixth man at some point this season, and he may have some or all of those things in him, but on this night he showed off some of the purer point guard sensibilities with a season-best 14 assists. The Bucks lost a tight one to the playoff-bound Bobcats, but if you like Kemba Walker, you might like Brandon Knight.

John Henson

12. John Henson
24 points (10-16 FG), 9 rebounds, 6 assists, 3 blocks
April 5, 2014 – Raptors 102, Bucks 98

The second-year power-forward-slash-center delivered this type of performance – or pieces of this type of performance – just enough to give us a long offseason of wonderment and hope and questioning and optimism and confusion. The hooks, the rebounds, the passing, the defense, the blocks, we just need the consistency now, or this coming October.

Brandon Knight

11. Brandon Knight
30 points (12-23 FG), 8 assists, 5 rebounds, 0 turnovers
February 22, 2014 – Pacers 110, Bucks 100

Early in the season, his turnovers appeared to be a glaring and deal-breaking flaw, but Knight cleaned it up a bit as the season progressed, and this game marked an ideal. Zero turnovers is one thing, but zero turnovers with 30 points and eight assists is quite another. Knight had the ball in his hands and moved north and south with aplomb and purpose against a dominant defensive team (this was not the game when Indiana rested its starters, either).

Jeff Adrien

10. Jeff Adrien
20 points (5-8 FG), 10 rebounds, 3 blocks, 0 turnovers
March 7, 2014 – Pelicans 112, Bucks 104

The season concludes with Adrien ranked first in PER on the team at 18.4 (if we don’t count Tony Mitchell’s 30.9), and this game represents his time here in a nice way. The 20 points became and less and less of a surprise into March and April, as Adrien transitioned from a sure-handed rebounder to an all-around helper.

Khris Middleton

9. Khris Middleton
27 points (11-15 FG), 5 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals
December 21, 2013 – Bucks 116, 76ers 106

Sort of odd: Probably the best night of the year from Middleton, and he hit just 1-5 on threes. But 10-10 on twos and 4-4 at the line is rather fantastic.

Zaza Pachulia

8. Zaza Pachulia
20 points (5-10 FG), 9 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals
November 1, 2013 – Bucks 105, Celtics 98

The only appearance on the list for Pachulia, and it is the season opener in Boston. This was a 22-point comeback win punctuated by a Wolters-to-Pachulia layup that sealed pleasant autumn memories. Pachulia notched a season-best 20 points, and the +25 differential in the seven-point victory counts for a lot in a tale of two halves game like this one.

Ramon Sessions

7. Ramon Sessions
28 points (13-21 FG), 7 assists, 6 rebounds, 1 turnover

March 24, 2014 – Clippers 106, Bucks 98

Strange that his best game of the season with the Bucks featured exactly zero Sessions free throw attempts. This was his only game without getting to the line with Milwaukee, but he made it work in every other way, in 44 minutes, in a game the Bucks gave a pretty nice effort against the Clippers.

Caron Butler

6. Caron Butler
30 points (12-21 FG), 7 rebounds, 5 assists, 0 turnovers
January 22, 2014 – Bucks 104, Pistons 101

Caron Butler Bobblehead Night. The Bucks and Butler split amicably, but not before the Racine native gave his hometown team a few memorable performances, and this one was pretty great. Butler made 10-11 on two-pointers, many of those the long jumper variety, and just look at this line.

Larry Sanders

5. Larry Sanders
25 points (12-19 FG), 15 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 block
February 5, 2014 – Nuggets 110, Bucks 100

Just a few days later, in the very next game, Sanders went down with an orbital bone fracture and he was done for the season. Indeed, this was his final full game of the season, and it was the type of performance that we had all been waiting for, and will continue to wait for a little longer.

Caron Butler

4. Caron Butler
38 points (13-22 FG), 8 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 steals
November 22, 2013 – 76ers 115, Bucks 107

Spencer Hawes made an absurd three to force overtime, and the 76ers won the game, but the Bucks won the top lottery spot, and Butler was pretty much the best all night (including hitting a three to give the Bucks a 101-97 lead with 9 seconds to go in regulation, if you recall).   

Ersan Ilyasova

3. Ersan Ilyasova
31 points (13-14 FG), 5 rebounds, 2 steals, 1 block
March 3, 2014 – Bucks 114, Jazz 88

The 13-14 (.928) shooting night was the third best FG% in a game this season (10+ FG minimum). The Bucks destroyed the Jazz. Turkish Thunder reappeared for a night.

Brandon Knight

2. Brandon Knight
37 points (15-25 FG), 8 rebounds, 2 assists, 4 steals
December 31, 2013 – Bucks 94, Lakers 79

On the final night of 2013, the Bucks visited the Lakers, which meant a 9:30 central start time, which meant all eyes were not necessarily on Brandon Knight. Even fewer, hopefully, were on opposing starting point guard Jordan Farmer, who scored zero points. The Bucks didn’t dominate many games, and Bucks players didn’t dominate many games, but this night, this Knight, we saw a lot of both.

John Henson

1. John Henson
25 points (11-17 FG), 14 rebounds, 6 blocks, 3 steals
December 10, 2013 – Bucks 78, Bulls 74

For one night, John Henson was everything we wanted John Henson to be. 

 

Alex Boeder

Writing and the Bucks. Two of my passions. So it is good to be here. I have reported on media row for just about every Bucks home game since 2009. I started writing for the Bucks in 2012. Before that, I co-founded and wrote for BrewHoop. I have written for the Milwaukee BrewersSB NationESPN MilwaukeeSlam Online, and so on. Feel free to follow me on Twitter @alexboeder or email me at adboeder@gmail.com.

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