MILWAUKEE (AP)—During breaks in Bucks games, Mo Williams appears on the video scoreboard and asks his teammates to pick between two things—such as Scarface or The Godfather, Brett Favre or Peyton Manning.
He finishes the segment by asking whether they’d take him over everyone else in their lives. It’s funny stuff, but whether the well-liked converted point guard picks Milwaukee again is no joking matter.
“We’ll see,” Williams said. “Free agency don’t start until July. I have no idea what’s going on. I haven’t talked with nobody from the office because I can’t talk right now. I’m just finishing the season off.”
Williams became the point guard when the team dealt T.J. Ford in the offseason for Charlie Villanueva, who has missed 41 games with elbow and shoulder injuries. Williams didn’t miss a beat, averaging 17 points and six assists, the first Bucks’ player to accomplish those numbers since Gary Payton in 2002-03.
Patterson was called on to be a starter when Bobby Simmons went down with foot and ankle problems. He responded with a career year and will finish with career highs in points, assists and steals, and needs one rebound against Cleveland on Wednesday to set a career-high in that category as well.
“Guys probably just look at Ruben Patterson as a defensive player,” Patterson said. “I’ve been a scorer my whole career. I hate that Bobby and those guys went down, but it was a great opportunity to show the world my talent and now they see that I’m a scorer.”
Both teams were looking to their future as well. The Hawks got 21 points from Marvin Williams and 16 points and a career-high 17 rebounds from Shelden Williams in a matchup of the third and fourth-worst records in the league.
“Our players are still trying to get better, to build on next year,” said Marvin Williams, the second pick in the 2005 draft after the Bucks’ Andrew Bogut. “I feel like the team we have now will be great next year.”
Great could be an overstatement.
Yes, Atlanta has won 12 road games—more than last season’s eight, but the Hawks will enter next season as losers of 13 straight on the road, their longest streak since losing 23 consecutively on the road in 2004-05.
Both could finish tied in the league standings if the Hawks (29-52) lose to Indiana at home on Tuesday and the Bucks (28-53) beat Cleveland on the road on Wednesday.
The game itself wasn’t very competitive.
The Bucks opened a double-digit lead before the half, and led 84-71 going into the fourth quarter. Milwaukee started the fourth on a 6-0 run and led by as many as 21. Atlanta never came closer than the final margin in the second half.
The Hawks, who scored three points more than their league-worst 93 points per game average when Royal Ivey hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer, were without a slew of players and even coach Mike Woodson, who missed the Hawks’ final road game with food poisoning.
“It was kind of strange to have your coach out of the lineup,” said Tyronn Lue, who finished with 11 points.
Assistant coach Larry Drew led the team, and all five Hawks starters scored at least 11 points, with the Hawks getting 17 points from Josh Smith and 16 from Ivey.
“I enjoyed it, this was my first crack at it,” Drew said. “I’ve enjoyed it very much.”
“A lot of our guys have been out 20 games,” Marvin Williams said. “It’s tough to build chemistry for the season when everyone’s sitting down.”
When the Bucks introduced the entire team before the home finale, Michael Redd (knee), Bogut (foot), Villanueva (shoulder) and Brian Skinner (ear infection) all came out in suits before any players who would actually appear against the Hawks came out.
The Bucks have been shorthanded all year.
It also hastened a coaching change. Larry Krystkowiak took over for Terry Stotts on March 14.
“It’ll be different next year,” Mo Williams said. “Larry’s a good coach, a different coach. It’ll be different next year.”
But whether Williams is a part of that isn’t known. With “Never Broke Again” tattooed on his back, Williams is likely in line for a major pay raise after completing a three-year, $5.5 million deal.
“I know what I can do,” Williams said. “I’ll just continue to get better. Somebody will like me.”
Bucks C Dan Gadzuric dislocated a finger in the second quarter but returned to the game after a short absence. … Shelden Williams had a double-double by halftime, with 10 points and 11 rebounds. … Most of the pregame buzz around the arena was focused on presidential candidate and Democratic Sen. Barack Obama, who was giving a speech just down the street from the Bradley Center.