Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Weekly Bucks Report!

And now for the best writing on this site and best Bucks' analysis in the state that nobody comments about! Its the Weekly Bucks Report written by CH correspondent Two Name. The Weekly Bucks Report is posted every Tuesday morning on CH.

Nobody knew how the Bucks would react after losing Michael Redd for the season Jan. 24 against Sacramento.
The first two games in his absence were disconcerting, as Milwaukee lacked confidence and cohesion while dropping consecutive games to Minnesota and Indiana – two teams with inferior records. Then, the Bucks rebound with wins against Toronto and Atlanta – two rosters that feature more talent than Milwaukee’s. So what team is going to show up the rest of the way?
When Andrew Bogut is healthy and playing significant minutes, I think the team you saw Friday and Saturday will mirror the squad we’ll see for the next three months – and hopefully beyond that. Bogut’s affinity for passing from the post and encouraging team play adds a dimension to this team his replacement cannot provide (Though Francisco Elson should get credit for playing hard in the post in Bogut’s absence).
When you have two point guards on the floor at the same time, which will be the case with Luke Ridnour and Ramon Sessions running the backcourt, teamwork and sharing the ball should come natural. When that happens, guys get easy shots and the void left by Redd isn’t so glaring.
I don’t think Bogut’s scoring will jump significantly, but his presence, like Redd’s, changes the way teams defend the Bucks. Without Bogut, the Bucks will try to get to the hoop with Ridnour and Sessions and knock down jumpers with Charlie V, RJ and Charlie Bell. That can only work for so long, as you saw during the Minnesota and Indiana games.
The last two games were encouraging for the Bucks, and the schedule now lies in their favor the rest of the season. They finished with a 9-9 record through a rigorous January, and they will play seven of their 11 games at home in February.
So, no, Milwaukee won’t be playing for the draft the rest of the season, and they shouldn’t. This isn’t the NFL, where records ensure a guaranteed draft spot. As the Bulls learned last season, anything can happen when ping-pong balls determine a team’s fate.
I don’t care if the Bucks get the seventh or eighth spot and lose to Boston or Cleveland. Any playoff experience is good playoff experience. Plus, a playoff appearance in Year 1 of the Scott Skiles-John Hammond administration would energize the fan base, if only a little bit.

D.G. is AWOL: A Danny G sighting, anyone? After starting for Bogut for most of his time off, Gadzuric hasn’t played the last two games. I guess Skiles saw enough of D.G. hacking guys 10 seconds into games and missing layups following minimal contact. Elson is much more effective and will see more time if Bogut continues to battle back troubles.

Bogut returns, sort of: After missing eight consecutive games with back spasms, Bogut returned to the lineup Friday, playing limited – but productive – minutes. He finished with 13 points and nine rebounds in the Bucks’ win against Toronto Friday. He played another 16 minutes against the Hawks on Saturday, totaling nine points and six boards. Bogut shot 67 percent from the floor Friday and 57 percent Saturday, so he’s picking up where he left off field-goal-percentage-wise. More importantly, his return probably gave the squad a little emotional boost, leading to consecutive spirited victories.

Player of the week: You have to give it to Villanueva after the ridiculous numbers he put up again this week. Here’s a look at his impressive three-game stretch: 28 points and 8 rebounds against Indiana Wednesday; 26 points and 13 boards against Toronto Friday; and 27 points, 7 rebounds and six assists against Atlanta Saturday. I don’t see him keeping up at this pace, but Charlie V is earning himself some big dollars next year after his performance in January.

This week: The schedule lightens up this week, as the Bucks travel to New Jersey tonight before hosting Detroit Saturday. They will win both of these games, running up a four-game winning streak (Editor's Note: Interesting...do I detect the beginning of the Two Name Guarantee?).


woziszeus said...

Can you elaborate when you say "Elson is much more effective..."?

He looks completely lost out there as well and and has bricks for hands. I guess he's a more stable defender then Danny G because he's not a maniac and just bodies up...but he's not anything remotely special.

Matt said...

At least Elson is a presence on defense and knows his role on offense.

He's generally a disaster with the ball in his hands if he's further than 2 feet from the bucket, but Dan G. is much worse.

grammy said...

Elson is generally a disaster when he's more than two feet away?..Agreed! This was clearly visible Saturday evening against the Hawks when he repeatedly received passes on top of the key and appeared to be wetting his shorts. But in comparison to Danny G, he's a pleasure.

Jordon said...

Bleh. I wish for nothing but the best for the Bucks, but making the playoffs and losing in the first round again would be close to the worst thing possible. How would getting swept by the Celtics or Cavs or Magic energize the fanbase?

The worst position for a franchise to be in is what the Bucks are right now - no cap space, not good enough to make a run in the playoffs and not bad enough to get a good lottery pick without some serious luck. This means more 40 win teams with no chance at elite talent in the lottery and no chance to really rebuild. Does anyone remember the teams that kept losing to the Nets in the first round after the Big 3 was dismantled? Of course not.

I do enjoy watching them though, I love the John Hammond and Scott Skiles hires, but the NBA has made it extremely difficult to rebuild your team if you don't have a top 3 draft pick or a 20+ million in cap space in a good free agent season... or taking advantage of the worst GM in the league in Kevin McHale and trading for quality veterans. This is a really disheartening situation for Bucks fans.

Matt said...

That was exactly what I was thinking about, Grammy.

Elson made some, um, interesting decisions in the Atlanta game, throwing the ball to either nobody or to the Hawks more than once.

Let me tell you what is great about Skiles. I was at the Atlanta game. Bogut got himself a T in his limited minutes, and then a short time later you could see him and some tall scrub from Atlanta going at it, barking and bumping each other as they're running up and down the court. Play stops for a foul, and as somebody from the Hawks lines up for the FTs Skiles screamed something, then Bogut turned around to look at him. Skiles simply did two things - put his hands in the "T" formation, and shook his head as if to say "if you get another technical for something stupid, I will literally rip your head off."

Bogut turned around, stopped jawing with the Hawks scrub, and didn't act up again.

Do you think Larry K would do this? Terry Stotts? Nope. But the players listen to Skiles. It is refreshing. They may be stuck in oblivion right now, but at least they're worth watching because the players are held accountable.

graf said...

matty, lay off danny g. if you read the paper today you'd see that he's hit that mid-season wall, 13 minutes a game will do that to a guy. his legs are a little mushy right now, but he's been doing more weights, so he should start banging down low more.

bogut's out again, should they just keep him out till after the all-star break? 4 games only.

fish said...

I agree with Jordon's post...playoff experience is good, and yes we might be able to temporarily rejuvinate the fan base but the truth is, if the bucks stay mediocre we never will have the fan base we need to keep this francise viable in Milwaukee. We make the playoffs, we get murdered in the first round. We lose out on the lottery which decreases the chances significantly that hammonds can find another impact player for next year when redds back. As professionals I expect the Bucks and Skiles to play hard and I'm sure they will. But lets just say I wouldn't mind seeing a little "extra" playing time for younger guys and less playing time for the vets and worry more about development for next year then making the playoffs this year. Then bucks can't be average and stay in Milwaukee. For the good of the francise staying in milwaukee we have to build a team that can actually compete for a title which means taking a few steps backwards now to take steps forward in the near future.

two name said...

By effective, I mean he doesn't pick up three fouls in the first 10 minutes. Obviously, danny g has set the bar nice and low. Elson at least plays physical - sans fouling - and he has a better understanding of the offense. Again, we're comparing him to danny g

Justin said...

Making the playoffs is the best thing that can happen for the Bucks. For one, they need to win over some fans, and making the playoffs would go a long way in doing that, especially without Redd.

Secondly, the Bucks need a superstar player. I just don't see that in this draft, at least not yet.

Lastly, NBA teams make virtually all their money off the gate. Playoff gates are huge for NBA teams. The Bucks desperately need that.

I see your point about getting destroyed by the Cavs or Celtics in the first round, but I honestly think most fans would rather see that than a 35-57 season.

More than anything this team needs to string together consecutive years in the playoffs to win the city back.

Matt said...

Two Name Guarantee = Fail.

Wrigleyville said...

have you guys given up on the brewers? last couple days they announced they're set with their rotation (though i think that repeats something they said earlier) and avoided arbitration with little rickie and we, the readers of CH, get nothing.

what gives? don't make me go to those other crappy brewers blogs. and they are, by and large, crappy.

thank you.