The Weekly Bucks Report is written by a man who is known as Two Name, a man who will get into drunken arguments with you at George Webbs if you even mention that you've "lost interest" in the Bucks. Besides that and his inability to bounce a quarter or flip a cup, he still can write good stuff about our favorite NBA team.
Raise your hand if you have heard of these guys: Brad Newley, Stephane Lasme (don’t even know if this is a dude), Derrick Byars, Stanko Barac, Jared Jordan (obviously no relation to a more famous Jordan, considering his basketball career). None of these cats ring a bell?
These are just a few of the players taken ahead of Ramon Sessions in the 2007 NBA Draft. I understand most general managers consider the second round to be a complete crap shoot, but a gem emerges every once and awhile. And it appears Larry Harris, in spite of all his bone-headed decisions as Bucks GM, found a gem in Sessions.
Harris and the Bucks drafted Sessions with the 56th pick in 2007, behind a stable of foreign no-names and guys who are bagging groceries at an ALDI near you. Even many first-round picks that year are failing to make the impact Sessions has at this point. Remember Alando Tucker? Phoenix picked him with the last pick in the first round, and that guy has fallen off the face of planet.
After watching the Bucks beat Washington and lose to Boston and Phoenix, Sessions continues to be the player that catches my eye. Comparisons are never fair, especially in the NBA. But if you watch Sessions, his game is similar to that of Tony Parker. He’s nowhere near Parker’s level, but his ability (and willingness) to get to the hoop and make all sorts of running, off-balance shots reminds me of the Spurs point guard.
Sessions is averaging 17 points and six assists in five games. He seems to be a decent floor leader and made some impressive passes against Phoenix, including one that led to a dunk by Joe Alexander, who saw his first extensive action of the season against the Suns.
So, let’s pose the question: Would you rather have Mo Williams (14 ppg, 5 apg this season, plus inferior defense) or Sessions as your point guard? As long as Sessions stays committed to developing into a true point guard, I’ll take Razor Ramon. You know Mo can fill it up on any given night, but he’s not a point guard to build a team around. I think Sessions can be, and that’s why the Bucks passed on D.J. Augustin and other point guards in last year’s draft. They already had their point guard of the future, and it’s looking positive so far – even if it’s only a handful of games.
Player of the week: See above. Sessions is giving Bucks fans a glimpse at their starting point guard of the (near) future. Luke Ridnour will continue to start because of experience and because Sessions gives the squad a nice boost off the bench, but there’s an obvious drop-off in speed and athleticism when comparing Ridnour and Ramon.
RJ arrives: We got to see the real Richard Jefferson this week. After struggling through his first couple games as a Buck, he broke out with 32 points against the Wizards. He started 6 for 6 against the Celtics, but cooled off after the first quarter. I still think he should be touching the ball more with Mike Redd out. It seems like his teammates forget about him from time to time. By the way, check out RJ’s wifey. Wow.
Road improvement: A 3-4 record with four of those seven games coming on the road is not bad at all for the Bucks. They won two of those road games after struggling mightily last year away from the BC (7-34, ouch!). Wait, they sucked at the BC, too, but I digress …
Rotating rotation: Still having a hard time figuring out Scott Skiles’ rotation. Unlike almost all NBA coaches, he doesn’t seem to have one. He’s going with whoever is playing hard and scoring points. But I had a hard time with Danny G, Charlie Bell, Joe Alexander, Sessions and The Prince (Mbah a Moute) playing at the same time against the Suns. Not a whole lot of firepower there.
Skiles tried to make a point to his starters by sitting them for a considerable amount of time in the first half Saturday, but you risk digging yourself an Anthony Mason-sized hole with a crew like that playing together.
This week: I have the Bucks going 2-2, beating Memphis and a banged-up Spurs squad, and losing to Cleveland and Boston.
Editor's follow up note: I actually watched the Bucks game Friday night against the Celtics. Now granted I was playing poker at Potowatomi, but I was still glancing at the TV whenever I could. I found myself mildly interested in the outcome. They played hard against the champs and the game was fun to watch (until they got blown out in the 4th quarter). All I can say is this through two weeks in the season: this team is a team you can root for as they appear to be trying to play defense with a non-selfish offensive attack. Baby steps indeed to get interest back in the minds of an average WI sports fan.