Before this week's Bucks Report, I have to remind everybody of 1 thing: the only reason any of us are currently conscious is because Jack Bauer doesn't feel like carrying us. Good lord! How ridiculous was it at the end last night when Jack was filling in the shallow grave dumping dirt right on her face as that FBI chick was still breathing! Incredible. The things Jack Bauer does for this country are ridiculous. What a patriot.
Oh yeah, the Weekly Bucks Report is posted every Tuesday and is written by a friend of CH known only as Two Name.
Twelve days. Seven games. Two back-to-back sets. That’s the challenge facing the short-handed Milwaukee Bucks through the rest of January.
The schedule is tough enough. But when you’re playing without the most valuable player on the roster – Andrew Bogut – the challenge is even more daunting. Bogut tried to play through back spasms against Minnesota and Washington, and it might have made the situation even more dire for the long term.
It’s unclear how long Bogut will be out. And the way the schedule plays out for the next 12 days, there’s no time built in for rest. If you look at the schedule in February, for example, there are two stretches where the Bucks have three straight off days. They haven’t had two consecutive off days all through January. They can’t get healthy, and there’s no time to reflect on what has gone right or wrong, whether it’s via practice or film study. (At least I think they study film in the NBA …)
That might explain the win-one, lose-one nature of the Bucks’ play the last few weeks. It’s tough to get an emotional win one night and have to set up and do it again the following evening, especially when you’re playing across the country. There’s no excuse for losing to the Clippers Saturday considering Baron Davis, Chris Kaman and Zach Randolph all were out with injuries.
The next 12 days could define the Bucks’ season. If Bogut is out for the next 10 days, that could spell trouble. The Bucks have to play Dallas this week and Atlanta twice in the next two weeks. But there are winnable games against Minnesota, Toronto and Sacramento mixed in between. They should win four of the remaining seven games in January, with or without Bogut. If they happen to go 1-6 or 2-5, they’re playing uphill the rest of the way in terms of earning a playoff spot.
Interesting nugget: One of the things I love about watching the Bucks with the NBA League Pass is I get the broadcast of the opposing teams for about half of the games. Getting a break from Jim and John is always a plus, and it’s good to hear how other teams’ commentators view the Bucks. Plus, I pick up an interesting stat every once and awhile that our beloved broadcasters never pass along. For example, the Kings’ announcers said the Bucks force the most turnovers of any team in the league. Great stat, though I couldn’t verify it (Editors Note: I've got to stick it to Two Name here for being unable to "verify" the stat. Here's the link. Wow. The Bucks are causing the most turnovers in the league at 16.3/game. BTW...Two Name...it's called the internet. Use it. I found this in 90 seconds.)
Player of the week: Out of nowhere, Scott Skiles decided to play Joe Alexander significant minutes this week, and the rookie looked like he belonged – at least for spurts here and there. He finished with 13 points – on 6-of-8 shooting – and five rebounds against Miami and scored nine points while shooting 50 percent from the floor against the Clippers. While Bogut is out, guys like Alexander need to provide the Bucks with unexpected production of the bench. By the way, check out seejoedunk.com. It’s pretty funny, and Marty Conlon even makes an appearance.
This week: Another busy week for the Bucks, as they host Dallas and Sacramento with Atlanta sandwiched in between. Sacramento should be a lock, and they need to split to the other two games for a 2-1 week.