State of the Bucks – Week 20
State of the Bucks – A Weekly Review and Preview of the Milwaukee Bucks’ Previous and Upcoming Weeks
Last Week’s Results:
vs. Phoenix, Lost 102-88
vs. Boston, Lost 89-83
@ Washington, Won 95-76
The Bucks put a quick foot on the breaks to stop a short losing streak Tuesday night, picking up their first road win since late January and keeping pace with the 8th seeded Indiana Pacers, who have lost 4 in a row. Milwaukee now sits 2.5 games out of that final playoff spot, and Andrew Bogut made his way back to the lineup, almost picking up a triple double in his first game since missing 3 because of a rib injury. With 20 games left in the season, the Bucks suddenly have a slim chance of sneaking into the playoffs. The 8th seed in the Eastern side would most likely face off against the current #1 Boston Celtics, who had to fight until the very end to put away the Bucks this past Sunday night.
Player of the Week:
Keyon Dooling stepped it up on the defensive side, putting some frustration against the Boston guards and running in tandem at times with Brandon Jennings. He was also reliable from distance and continues to be a smart, reliable backup option for the Bucks.
Other Standout Players:
Corey Maggette missed the Washington game because of a knee injury against Boston, but he came off the bench versus Phoenix and Boston and, like Dooling, contributed some good select shooting, single-handedly keeping the team’s shooting percentage from plummeting even further. He still has problems attacking the lane, sometimes plowing through people and often picking up a charge. But his effort clearly has gotten better as the season has gone on.
Highlights of the Week:
Everyone loves having Ray Allen around the Bradley Center, and the cheers he got were mostly drowned out by the lingering boos given to Paul Pierce. The Bucks hung with the Celtics down to the very end, which at least looks good for the ESPN broadcast. Remember, close only counts in horseshoes, hand-grenades, and when the Bucks are on national television.
Disappointment of the Week:
Have to say this again, the biggest disappointment about the Celtics game was the pro-Boston crowd. It’s hard to blame fans who aren’t breaking down the doors to get in when the product on the court is lacking. If they found a way back into the playoffs, you’d assume the atmosphere would be just like last year’s Atlanta series.
This Week’s Games:
Wednesday March 9th vs. Cleveland
Saturday March 12th vs. Philadelphia
Sunday March 13th @ Boston
Tuesday March 15th @ Atlanta
Things to Watch For:
Milwaukee gets the return matchup against Boston on Sunday. Coach Scott Skiles finally showed a bit of extra emotion during the Boston game last week, and he’s going to have to light a bigger fire underneath his guys if they are going to win a few more. The tough stretch coming up includes the rematch at Atlanta, postponed early in the season due to weather-related issues.
Milwaukee is going to have to win against Cleveland, no matter what. The rest of the week is hard to predict. Philadelphia has quietly crept up on New York for the 6th spot in the playoffs, were they to start today. Odds are they wouldn’t be able to win a best-of-7 against any of the top 4 Eastern Conference teams, but they seem to be one of the most underrated teams right now, having won 8 of their last 10.
7 of the Bucks’ next 10 opponents are current playoff teams by today’s standings. While 2.5 games isn’t a lot to make up, they are going to have to hang with some good teams down the stretch if they are going to have any kind of postseason at all.
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