State of the Bucks – Week 15
State of the Bucks – A Weekly Review and Preview of the Milwaukee Bucks’ Previous and Upcoming Weeks
Last Week’s Results:
vs. Atlanta, Won 98-90
@ Toronto, Won 116-110 (OT)
vs. New Jersey, Won 91-81
@ LA Clippers, Lost 105-98
Winning streaks haven’t come too often for the current Milwaukee Bucks, so they’ll take them whenever they can. This past week happened to feature one of those streaks, 3 straight wins that were desperately needed by the Bucks. They appear to be on the verge of good health and better shooting, which would be promising signs as they approach the 50th game of the season.
The Bucks finished the month of January with a 7-9 record, by far the best of the season. In those 16 games they faced 8 with winning records and only beat two of them, while they went 5-3 against the lower portion of teams. Of the final 6 in the month, they won 3 and lost 3. Shooting has been much more consistent across the board, but in the last 3 losses they have either allowed the opponent to shoot a ridiculous amount or gave up too many turnovers. They have yet to put together a string of good, solid performances, which has been the theme of the season.
Player of the Week:
Ersan Ilyasova had a great week, putting in 76% of his shots and averaging 15.5 points, 6 rebounds and 2 steals over the past 4 games. He’s also been a big culprit on turnovers, but he is certainly not alone in that department.
Other Standout Players:
Andrew Bogut gets notice here for his 4 game averages of 16 points and 12.5 rebounds. He picked up a total of 13 blocks in those games and finally rediscovered that shooting touch of his. Unfortunately he found his way into another category as well.
Highlights of the Week:
Winning 3 games in a row is always a highlight. It’s just a matter of the Bucks sustaining that effort for longer periods. Brandon Jennings also made his return to the court after a long absence and is getting back into his groove. He’ll be needed to pick up the tempo of the offense, which suffered in the 6 weeks he missed.
Disappointment of the Week:
This is where Bogut appears again, and for the same reason as last week. Los Angeles Clippers rookie Blake Griffin terrorized Bogut to the tune of 32 points and 11 rebounds. Anybody that makes 65% of their shots is either THAT good or the defender was THAT bad. In this case, Griffin was just lightning quick, getting the ball in the paint and making spins around Bogut. This guy has become a phenomenon this year and for very good reason.
This Week’s Games:
Wednesday Feb 2nd, @ Phoenix
Thursday Feb 3rd, @ Golden State
Saturday Feb 5th, vs. Detroit
Tuesday Feb 8th, vs. Toronto
Things to Watch For:
Finally some rest! The Bucks finish up a few games on the West Coast, where the snow won’t be slowing down their travel. Then they come back to Milwaukee and get the first 2-home game stretch since early December. That means the players get to sleep in their beds for more than a night, get in their film and their practice in familiar surroundings, and of course, the home court fans. Always a treat.
Milwaukee hasn’t played Phoenix this year, but has beaten both Golden State and Toronto once each. Detroit has been in a bit of a free fall and will present an easy matchup for the Bucks. There is no reason why Milwaukee shouldn’t win all 4 of these games, but 3-1 would be acceptable. The Bucks have 36 games left and can hardly afford to not win 75% of the rest of their games. They are healthier and are finally beginning to gel as a team at essentially the same time as they did last year. We’ll soon find out if last year’s big run was a fluke or if this year’s team is just underachieving.
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