State of the Bucks – Week 14
State of th e Bucks – A Weekly Review and Preview of the Milwaukee Bucks’ Previous and Upcoming Weeks
Last Week’s Results :
vs. Washington, Won 100-87
@ Cleveland, Won 102-88
vs. Memphis, Lost 94-81
@ Chicago, Lost 92-83
Another week of mostly expected results for the Milwaukee Bucks leads fans to at least be glad they aren’t playing below expectations, right? Two wins against below .500 teams and two losses against .500 or better teams fits that category well. The Bucks put up solid performances against everyone but Memphis, finally getting good collective team shooting. Milwaukee has held the last 8 opponents under 100 points but is only 3-5 in those games. We’ve noted that fatigue seems to be affecting the team, with a shortage of players due to injury and one open roster spot. The team finally fixed that roster spot problem by signing guard Garrett Temple to a 10-day contract. We’ll see how having another player available to the team will help others get some needed rest.
Player of the Week :
Once again Keyon Dooling continues to lead in the +/- net points category. It’s not always the most definitive statistical category, but it looks even better when it’s paired along with 2 double doubles. Twice this week, one win and one loss, Dooling collected double digit assists to go along with a relatively decent shooting week. His biggest areas of consistency were from 3 point range and the free throw line, two things that the rest of the team doesn’t always do well.
Highlights of the Week :
Finally some good news! Carlos Delfino made his return after missing 2 months of basketball. Coach Scott Skiles said he would limit Delfino’s minutes for a few games but clearly has let Delfino get his momentum back directly on the court. While John Salmons is now the one taking a few days rest, Brandon Jennings is close to returning after a 6 week absence, and Drew Gooden should be getting there as well.
Disappointment of the Week :
The disappointments go to the bigs. Andrew Bogut got chewed up by Memphis, allowing Marc Gasol to constantly make his baskets and get to the free throw line. Larry Sanders’ performance lately has been sluggish and his playing time has taken a hit. He needs to get more aggressive on the defensive side of the ball.
This Week’s Games :
Wednesday Jan 26th, vs. Atlanta
Friday Jan 28th, @ Toronto
Saturday Jan 29th, vs. New Jersey
Monday Jan 31st, @ LA Clippers
Things to Watch For :
Milwaukee played well against Chicago. A tough road game against a division foe, and the Bucks played with (a good deal of) energy, easily out-shot the Bulls, and did everything else well. The areas of lacking were the turnovers. The Bucks could not hold onto the ball well and gave up a lot of points to Chicago because of that. They get a return back home against Atlanta and will hopefully play with the same energy. Temporary-new Buck Garrett Temple might see some playing time, and the higher his minutes are, the more obvious it will be that fatigue is a problem with the rest of the team.
Final Thoughts :
In 17 games played against teams with a losing record, Milwaukee is 10-7, something that could see some improvement with the stretch of games coming up. The next 25 opponents have a combined 486-620 record. They’ve also had close to the same pattern in recent weeks, games every Wednesday, Friday and Monday, with different back-to-backs thrown in Saturdays. It’s helpful to be in the same rhythm, and the Bucks have looked better in the last month, no doubt about that. They are close to finding that elusive “identity” that they have lacked all season, and if they can find it in time for the playoffs (getting there would help), they could put up a decent fight.
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