State of the Bucks – Week 7
State of the Bucks – A Weekly Review and Preview of the Milwaukee Bucks’ Previous and Upcoming Weeks
Last Week’s Results:
@ Denver, Lost 105-94
vs. Orlando, Won 96-85
vs. Miami, Lost 88-78
Success continues to elude the Milwaukee Bucks. A 1-2 week against three very difficult teams could lead to some bits of optimism and pessimism. With the optimism, a win against the Orlando Magic is a win, no matter who does or doesn’t play. With the pessimism, guys are starting to come back a bit healthier but they are still taking too long to form a cohesive unit.
In all honesty, the direction of the team still needs to be sorted out. The Bucks are still performing well in a few areas; rebounding and overall defensive efficiency are near the top of the league. The Bucks currently rank 1st in the NBA by drawing 24.6 fouls per contest, according to Bucks.com. But they still cannot (or will not) pass the ball well, and enough of the offense isn’t running through Andrew Bogut.
Bogut played the last two games after missing 5 due to injury. In the game they won, Bogut hit 13 of 20 shots and collected 8 rebounds on the offensive side. In the losing performance, Bogut only picked up 4 offensive rebounds and only attempted 12 shots. Conclusion: neither Orlando (sans Dwight Howard) or Miami had a dominant center to put up against Bogut. Bogut dominated the offense in the game they won, and wasn’t as big a factor in the game they lost.
Player of the Week:
Andrew Bogut didn’t have a stunningly great week, but he did have one great game against Orlando that inflated his numbers for the week a bit. In the 3 games Bogut averaged 21 points and 15.5 rebounds. He had one of his better shooting percentages at 53%, but hit on only 40% of his free throws. He continues to acknowledge that as long as his surgically-repaired wrist is less than 100%, he’ll just have to continue to make adjustments to his shot in practice.
Other Standout Players:
Larry Sanders continues to improve his defensive abilities each week. His week included a game with a near triple double of 14 points, 10 rebounds and 8 blocks. The hope is that Bogut will continue to get healthy and both players will have plenty of opportunity to play side-by-side and work well in tandem.
Highlights of the Week:
Bogut and Sanders both with big games. A lot of good can come in the next few years if these two work well with each other. Sanders is still going to have to bulk up a bit, but he can’t give up his quickness. And Bogut, well, these two will play a lot better with each other when both are healthy.
Disappointment of the Week:
We are going to put Brandon Jennings into this spot for the week, just because his numbers were down nearly across the board. He shot about 40% from the field and near 60% from the free throw line. Fans wondered throughout the offseason how we’ll he’d grow in his ability to speed to the basket and draw fouls. None of that means a whole lot he isn’t making a higher percentage of those shots.
This Week’s Games:
Wednesday Dec 8th, vs. Indiana
Friday Dec 10th, vs. Houston
Monday Dec 13th, @ Dallas
Things to Watch For:
Some wins! We’ve said this before right: two very winnable games, which this week come in the form of Indiana and Houston, both in Milwaukee. There is no better time to start clawing back up the standings than right now. They aren’t going to win every single game, but if they can start taking a few 2 out of 3′s, 4 out of 6′s, a .500 record can be in the near future.
Match-up to Watch:
Watch for the matchup against Dallas? Which one? All of them. Dallas is riding a 10-game win streak and sits right near the top of the Western Conference. They have a great time full of big-name players: Dirk Nowitzki, Jason Kidd, Shawn Marion, Tyson Chandler, Brendan Haywood, Caron Butler, Jason Terry. All good players in a very good system. Try not to snicker when you see former Bucks’ head coach Terry Stotts on their bench, because he’s just an assistant, and head coach Rick Carlisle has done some great things with that team.
The mood in the Bucks’ locker room cannot be good. This is a team with a lot of expectations but little results to show. You can be sure that if the Miami Heat had a 7-13 record their coach wouldn’t be anywhere near the state of Florida. But here in the state of Wisconsin, the Bucks have had some very understandable setbacks, injuries that have kept everyone from being together at the same time. It’s a miserably-slow process, but things will be falling into place. Some confidence-building wins against Indiana and Houston could be just what the doctor ordered.
Milwaukee Brian’s Bucks Report runs from Wednesday-Tuesday and covers all the highlights, all the highs and lows of the 2010-11 Milwaukee Bucks season. Topics can be found at Pocket Doppler – The Wisconsin Sports Blog and Milwaukee Brian Sports