State of the Bucks – Week 22
State of the Bucks – A Weekly Review and Preview of the Milwaukee Bucks’ Previous and Upcoming Weeks
Last Week’s Results:
vs. Orlando, Lost 93-89
vs. New Jersey, Won 110-95
vs. New York, Won 100-95
Player of the Week:
We have our first runaway “Player of the Week” in quite some time.Carlos Delfino helped the team break out of a 3-game slump in a big way, putting up 56 points in the team’s winning efforts. He has clocked in at a 65% shooting rate, both from the field and from distance, and grabbed 19 total rebounds in the two matches. The team desperately needs him to continue this stretch of hot shooting.
Other Standout Players:
Quite a few players deserve recognition for putting up the mostly solid effort against Orlando as well as the two convincing wins against New Jersey and New York. Brandon Jennings came 1 assist close to a triple-double against the Knicks, John Salmons averaged 23 points on 56% shooting for the three games this past week, and Luc Richard Mbah a Moute had a reliable shooting week, highlighted by his 13-13 performance from the free throw line.
Highlights of the Week:
Dare we say it, could the Bucks finally be breaking out of their season-long shooting woes? They’ve not only found a bit of confidence on the offensive side of their shooting percentage, but they’ve also remained solid on the defensive side of that statistic. They’ve been collecting assists at the pace of a team who generally passes well and has some flow off the ball. When they move the ball well and set up good looks, either in the post or as cuts to the basket, they rack up free throws like an any elite team in the league. The Bucks came close to a season-high (40 on Dec. 8th) by hitting 31 of 37 free throws against a more physical Knicks team.
Disappointment of the Week:
Bogut missing the Orlando Magic game because of a migraine is what it is. He’s missed plenty of time this year do to troubles with his surgically-repaired wrist and elbow, he’s had back spasms keep him out of games, and his most recent setback was a rib injury. A migraine is unfortunate, but as long as he is right back in the game, there should be little concern to fans.
This Week’s Games:
Wednesday March 23rd, vs. Sacramento
Friday March 25th, @ New York
Saturday March 26th, vs. Chicago
Monday March 28th, @ Charlotte
Things to Watch For:
Watch out for the return of Michael Redd. While the Bucks have seen some improvement in their shooting lately, Redd should be welcomed back with open arms based on his shooting ability alone. It’s true, Redd has never been known for his defensive skill. The other four players on the court might have to cover a bit extra while Redd eases back in. But even if the team gets only 7-10 minutes per game from Redd, it is almost statistically impossible for their shooting to get any worse. Besides, he’s an experienced veteran and despite his massive contract, a fan favorite, and having him back could be an emotional boost to the team. Win/win.
The Bucks have no choice but to go a minimum of 2-2 in these 4 games. Anything worse could be in nail in the coffin. I’d have to get Packers’ radio announcer Wayne Larrivee for his line “there is your dagger!” How do they win 2 of these 4 games? Facing Sacramento tonight at home shouldn’t be too much of a problem. The game at Charlotte would have double value: a road win, and a win over a team in the same playoff race as Milwaukee. Beyond that, it’s anyone’s guess what happens with the other two. The Bucks clearly outplayed New York a few days ago, but that rowdy (and suddenly restless) New York crowd might be tough to handle. And suddenly the Chicago Bulls are the best team in the NBA.
Is it possible to change divisions? In the last 25+ years, the Bucks have won the division once, and that was in the couple of years between Michael Jordan’s and LeBron James’ reign over the Eastern Conference Central. It will take a lot for the Bucks to overtake Chicago in the next couple seasons.
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