Milwaukee Bucks Conference Call
Milwaukee Bucks General Manager John Hammond and Head Coach Scott Skiles hosted a conference call this afternoon with ticket holders, answering questions about the previous season as well as the future of the team. I got my question in early, and luckily had a digital recorder to get their response:
Brian: It seems like, with the big exception of Derrick Rose, the top point guards in the NBA are all players who can make the assist: players like Jason Kidd, Steve Nash, Chris Paul. Coach Skiles played in that same style during his career. Yet Brandon Jennings fits the style of Allen Iverson, a shoot-first, assist later-on type point guard. Can Brandon be successful for the Bucks if he remains that type of point guard?
GM John Hammond: I would challenge you to say that if you looked at some numbers, for example, you talked about a guy like Derrick Rose. Derrick Rose attempted, I don’t know what percentage of shots for the Chicago Bulls but it was an extraordinary amount. He shot the ball probably 5-6 times a game more than Brandon Jennings, minimum, and that’s his responsibility for the Chicago Bulls. They need him to score for them to be good. If Derrick Rose came down and said “I’m just going to be a distributor,” the Bulls would not be where they are right now. To a certain extent with our team, this last year in particular, Brandon had to score for us to be an effective team. What we need to do is put better players around Brandon, put him in a position where he can distribute more; it’s not like he doesn’t want to distribute. I think that he will if called upon to do so. But we needed him to score, and Brandon’s assists were down a little bit this year in comparison to last year. The inefficiency of our team, guys struggling to play to their full capability I think really hurt him in that regard. But look, you got to have some way, some how, to put points on the board.
Coach Scott Skiles: I think the premise is good but possibly just a little bit incorrect. You know, the Magic Johnsons, the Steve Nashs, the Chris Pauls, the Stocktons, the great point guards, Deron Williams, the list is long obviously. But what they do is they do whatever the game dictates that night. So one night it might be 25 and 12, and the next night it’s 12 and 15. That’s really what the great ones do, they can all score. Now Rose, John’s points are very valid. Out of necessity, he’s doing that for Chicago, and his style of play kind of warrants that. But most of the great point guards, they just kind of feel the game and they run their club accordingly. Chris Paul can be very dominant scoring the ball in a game, and so can Nash. Brandon is a young player trying to figure all that out, figure out when to score, when to drop it off to other people, when to go to the hole and try to get the foul, when to pass on a break. Those are things that, he’s a work in progress, he should still be in college right now. Instead he is going to be entering year 3 in the NBA. We feel like he is making progress, those are very quick, split-second decisions that normally take a lot of experience to be able to make correctly.