Monday, January 26, 2009

Weekly Bucks Report - Injury Time!

We're throwing up the Weekly Bucks Report on Monday this week, due to the Michael Redd injury. Let's see what CH correspondent Two Name has to say about the whole ordeal.

And now, starting at guard, 6-foot-3 from Nevada, Ramon Sessions! No wait, from Michigan State, Charlie Bell! Hold that, Damon Jones! One of those three guys will join Luke Ridnour in the starting backcourt the rest of the season for the Milwaukee Bucks.
After Michael Redd tore his ACL and MCL Saturday against the Kings, the Bucks will be without their best scorer and the focus of opposing teams’ defensive game plans for the duration of the season. Paging Andrew Bogut. Paging Richard Jefferson.
Bucks fans had thoughts of a “Big 3” heading into the season with Redd, Bogut and Jefferson leading the way. But with nagging injuries to Redd and Bogut, and now Redd missing the rest of the season, that potentially potent threesome unfortunately never came to fruition. With Bogut getting back into the mix after dealing with back spasms, it’s time for the Aussie and RJ to take this team over.
RJ has been a nice all-around addition for the Bucks, but you can tell he’s taken a backseat to Redd in terms of asserting himself offensively. Bogut, who shoots 57 percent from the floor, needed to be more aggressive when Redd was healthy. Now it’s imperative that he force other teams to double team him and give his teammates open looks at the basket.
Redd is really good at making something happen out of nothing, whether it’s hitting jumpers or driving to the basket and getting fouled. Sessions is not a shooting guard, though he did play OK when paired with Ridnour earlier in the year when Redd hurt his ankle. But guys like Sessions, Bell and D. Jones (I can’t believe he is going to play significant minutes for the Bucks) won’t fill it up unless their teammates put them in good positions to score.
I thought Redd was playing his best basketball of the season lately. He was driving to the basket instead of setting for jumpers, and he has picked up his defense. I’ve been down on Redd in the past, but you can’t deny how big of a loss this is. But now Jefferson needs to be a more powerful perimeter threat and No. 1 or 2 scoring option for the Bucks.
Jefferson’s 17.3 ppg mirrors his career average. But we need to see the slashing, get-to-the-foul-line RJ that led to a 22.6 ppg average last year with the Nets. If Jefferson can pick up his game and Bogut can stay healthy and become more involved with the offense, I still think the Bucks can compete for a playoff spot in the East. Come on, it’s the East.
Of course, Charlie V needs to continue his torrid pace of late, or at least be more consistent on a nightly basis. And whoever plays shooting guard can’t be an afterthought each time out.
Frankly, I’m more worried about how the Bucks will react defensively without Redd. Sessions is too small to guard a formidable 2-guard in the NBA, Bell is banged up and Jones does not play defense whatsoever. That means The Fresh Prince will be defending shooting guards periodically, weakening the Bucks’ interior defense and rebounding.
Milwaukee has a favorable schedule the rest of the season, but losing Redd is going to be the ultimate test of this team’s depth, something that’s been a question mark all season.

Player of the week: Charlie V. The Big Smooth is averaging 19.1 points per game in January and has played outstanding the last four games, dropping 23, 32, 27 and 18 points. The best part of those performances was he had three 10-rebound games during that span, proving he’s willing to bring it on both ends of the floor. You can forget the Charlie V trade talk now that Redd is out for the year. We need his scoring now more than ever.

This week: A bunch of winnable games this week for the Bucks, with or without Redd. Milwaukee travels to Indiana and Toronto before hosting Atlanta Saturday. Have to win 2 of 3 this week, no questions.


fish said...

two name whats more valuable at this point, playoff experience or better draft pick? I for one wanted a playoff run with Redd because at full strength Bucks could be a tough out in the playoffs and maybe pull off a shocker but now I say a tank job is in order to get a higher draft pick. I hate to say it because I was really on board with this bucks team but I think Redd's injury is season over for the Bucks. Time to get minutes and experience for sessions and alexander.

Anonymous said...

this year's draft class is going to be pretty awful, and we've won too many games already (and have way too many winnable games left even without redd) that it's going to be difficult to tank enough to get much better than a #9 or 10 pick.

the sad thing is that this not only means we can't trade redd this year, but with this big injury he's going to be hobbled next year and no team will want him until they see how he plays after the injury. he's getting old, he's broken down.

we need to just blow up this team now rather than waiting 3 years to do the same thing. trade redd and jefferson for picks or expiring contracts - take what you can get even if it isn't much. build the team around bogut, the prince and sessions for the next year or two and see what happens when the big contracts come off the books.

fish said...

Never underestimate the Bucks ability to tank...also remember that its a lottery for non playoff teams and not a guaranteed order. All i'm saying is at this point I wouldn't mind seeing the bucks drop a bit and pick up a higher percentage of maybe getting a top 3 pick. Who knows? I see that as a superior alternative to scrapping into the playoffs and getting dominated in the first round by boston, cleveland or orlando.

woziszeus said...

I disagree that a "tank job" is in order. A team can should always strive to remain competitive with a possible shot at making the playoffs. The fiscal minded moves that the organization took in the off-season were a great first step (Hire Skiles, dump Williams, Simmons, & Yi), and the team has rebounded with a competitive season. The fans deserve to see playoff games if long as the Bucks don't do any crazy moves (same as the Brewers).

That being said, there's enough playmakers on this roster to take down a 6-8 seed. You think Jefferson and a playoff-starved Bogut and Ridnour won't be playing hard down the stretch?