The Weekly Bucks Report is still alive and kicking! Two Name is down...but he is not out. He will continue to write the quality analysis we've all grown to love until the Bucks are eliminated from playoff contention. And after that, he tells me he might even want to write about OFFSEASON moves and the like (wow!).
It’s sad to say, but I’m done. I’ve checked out.
I’ve followed the Bucks closely all season, literally watching at least some of every game, but now it’s becoming unbearable. I’m not sure if my interest has waned due to March Madness or the progression of spring training, but it’s difficult to tune in and pay attention to the Bucks lately.
I watched Mike Redd and Andrew Bogut fall to injuries. I watched Charlie V. and Ramon Sessions carry the team for a few weeks. And I’ve seen glimpses of a bright future with Scott Skiles running this squad. But, for this season, I’m done. The Bucks have 11 games remaining – six coming against teams with winning records – and I’ve run out of hope and patience with this season. I guess 71 games was all I could muster.
Sure, Milwaukee still could surge ahead and claim the eighth and final playoff spot in the East. I don’t see it happening, but the possibility exists. But there’s nothing I hate more than jump-shooting, one-pass-and-shoot, no-effort basketball, and that’s what the Bucks have put on display of late. Injuries have decimated the team, and players simply have run out of gas. Everyone knew the Bucks bench was thin at the beginning of the season, and injuries made that point even more evident as the season wore on.
I hung on longer than most Bucks fans did. I know everyone said the season was over when Bogut was ruled out with a fracture in his back. I was in that group at first. But the way the Bucks responded in the weeks following Bogut’s injury was encouraging. The quality of play definitely took me by surprise. Unfortunately, it didn’t last.
I still will tune in here and there for the final month of the season, mostly due to my obligation to the Weekly Bucks Report (as if anyone cares at this point - editor's note: Hey now!). When I do tune in, I will do it with forward thinking in mind. I will envision how the Bucks lineup will look next season and enjoy watching the Fresh Prince and Ramon continue to progress.
Along those lines, it’s time to play Joe Alexander (editor's note: HA!). I want to see some of the raw athleticism that made him the first pick of the John Hammond era. That pick hasn’t been justified this season, but 11 games would be a nice growth opportunity for Joe. Why not play him? It’s time to say bye-bye to the playoffs and look ahead to next year.
Now that I’m done with the current campaign, I’ll use the last couple Weekly Bucks Reports to look ahead to next year and assess the bright spots of this season. I had a lot of enthusiasm heading into the year, but I’m ready for baseball. I’m done with the Bucks, until November 2009, of course.
Bogans back?: Keith Bogans has played well of late, and Skiles has take a liking to the burly guard. I like the defensive intensity Bogans brings to the court. He might be earning himself a roster spot for next season based on his play of late. He’s played tough D, rebounded well and is averaging about 7 points in the month of March. Nothing special, I know, but he could be a solid backup next season.
Player of the week: Charlie V. has dropped off his torrid pace from a few weeks back, but he’s continuing to showcase his talents in a contract year. Big Smooth scored 17 points against Orlando and finished with 26 against Portland. Charlie is heading for a big payday, and he has 11 more games to earn a little more cash.
This week: The Bucks kick of a four-game road trip with games at Toronto, Orlando and Miami. They conclude the trip with a game Monday night at New Jersey. If the Bucks win more than one game on this trip, I would be surprised.