Monday, October 1, 2007

Milwaukee Bucks

Milwaukee Bucks season preview

Projected Starting line-up
G Maurice Williams
G Michael Redd
F Desmond Mason
F Charlie Villanueva
C Andrew Bogut

Yi Jianlian
Bobby Simmons
Charlie Bell

Last year
There were lots of moves made by Milwaukee heading into the 2006-2007 season, including 3 trades that saw T.J. Ford, Jamaal Magloire and Joe Smith leave the team, while joining the Bucks were Charlie Villanueva, Steve Blake, Brian Skinner, Ha Seung-Jin and Ruben Patterson. These players combined with Maurice Williams, Andrew Bogut and franchise player Michael Redd set the expectations high going into the 06/07 season, as the franchise felt that with these changes to the roster, they could build on the 05-06 playoff appearance they made. And that might have been true, if the Bucks starters actually played more then a handful of games together during the season. Charlie Villanueva was figured to be a major contributor at the power forward position, but only played 39 games due to various injuries. Star player Michael Redd only did slightly better with 53 games. Mo Williams got in 68 while Bogut played in 66 games. Bobby Simmons played in a grand total of zero games. So it's going to be hard for any team to be successful when every starting player is missing huge amounts of the season. When Ruben Patterson becomes the number one option for the majority of the season due to him playing in more then 80 games, you know your in trouble. Regardless of the injuries though, Bucks owner Herb Kohl let it be known that he was not happy spending a lot of money on payroll and having a basement team. Therefore a sacrafice needed to be handed over to the basketball gods, and head coach Terry Stotts was fired at the 41 game mark. One good thing to come out of this season for the Bucks was the continue play of Michael Redd, who has become a scoring machine. With a 26.7 scoring average for his 53 games and a nice 46.5 FG%, Redd twice during the season dropped 50 plus points, once against the Bulls with 52 and a 57 point gem against the Jazz. Of course, the Bucks lost both of those games so those were not completely sweet for Redd, but he let the league know that he was a franchise type of player. As the season ended, and the Bucks sat with the 3rd worst record in the league, I think everyone knew in the back on their minds that this team was much better then 28-54.

Signed Yi Jianlian
Re-Signed Mo Williams
Signed Desmond Mason
Signed Awvee Storey
Signed Royal Ivey
Re-signed Charlie Bell
Signed Michael Ruffin
Signed Samaki Walker
Signed Jake Voskuhl
Lost Ruben Patterson to free agency
Lost Earl Boykins to free agency
Lost Jared Reiner to free agency
Lost Brian Skinner to free agency

Lots happening to the Bucks this off-season. I am not even going to get into the Yi Jianlian drama, let's just say that it's over and we can expect Yi to get anywhere between 20-25 minutes a game. The Bucks took the guy even when they knew of the potential drama because Yi is considered to be a very talented ball player. So now that everything is done and the contract is signed, I expect that Yi will be a contributor for the Bucks this season. Mo Williams worked his way to a nice payday when he had dinner with Pat Riley, scaring the Bucks into giving up some extra cash to keep Williams. Williams has talent, but he is getting overpaid. Since TJ Ford was traded, he is all the Bucks have at PG and he made them pay for the lack of depth. Desmond Mason could be a solid contributor off the bench and should make up for the lose of Ruben Patterson. Charlie Bell said he didn't want to return to the Bucks, and had signed a offer sheet with the Heat. The Bucks though decided that what Bell wanted matter very little and matched the offer. Truth be told, the only reason that Bell said he wanted out was because of the lack of urgency the Bucks showed in trying to get Bell signed. Now that it's done, he will be fine. And Michael Ruffin...I just want to mention him cause every time I hear the name, I think about the MoPete shot against the Wiz.

Unless the Bucks are cursed and see half the roster miss half the season again, expect a much different team this year. A new coach, a new high ranked draft pick, new role players ready to prove themselves...they were picked to be a playoff team last season so it would be easy to pick them again this year as a playoff team. That being said, a lot still rides on the fact that individually the Bucks have good players across the board but nothing great. Bogut is a servicable big man, but was one of the weaker 1st picks in the draft in the past 7 years. Charlie Villanueva is a good player, but with the exception of one 47 point game two years ago when he was with the Raptors, he has not shown all-star level talent as of yet. Micheal Redd is a great scorer, but as a franchise player for the team he is very one-demensional with low numbers in boards/assists/steals. Mo Williams is a good PG although last years numbers of 6.1 assists compared to 3 turnovers a game shows that he is not in the upper class of point guards in the league. The bench the Bucks have is nice, but again, just nice, not great. The reality is that this team is solid, but just solid and that's it. And with a much better eastern conference this year, is solid good enough anymore? They are not a basement team, yet I find it hard to call them a playoff team.

What to look for
1) Who gets the minutes? - They got money riding on Charlie V, but they also promised a role for Yi.
2) Scottie Pippen - Someone needs to step up and be the clear number 2 guy on this team. Will ether Bogut/Williams/Mason/Villanueva make the move to become Michael Redd's right hand man?
3) Keep it together - This team showed major frustration last season. It was understandable why, but if things don't go smooth this year, can these players keep it together?

While I expect the Bucks to be more of a challenge then last season, I just don't see this team as a playoff contender in the stronger east. Maybe last season if they stayed heathy they would have beaten Orlando for the 8th spot. But this season it will be much tougher. Redd will have another great season, but unless someone else steps up, this will be a lottery team for the second year in a row.

Between 30-33 wins this season with a 12th place finish in the East


breatnyS said...

Good defense by the Milwaukee Bucks drama boys, if only we could patch up the difference, this will be a Milwaukee good season. They are running, switching in defense, rebounding see those efforts. We don't have yet the Bucks team down.

I which I could see some Bucks games live. I was looking for tickets all the good seats on ticketmaster were taken I had to check broker. And man you don’t want to do that especially for the Milwaukee Bucks. Thanks god there sites like Ticketwood which work as comparators here is the site
Bucks Tickets

I like slam dunks that take me to the hoop my favorite play is the ally-hoop,
I like the pic n roll,i like the given goal its basketball yo, yo lets go!
Go Bucks Go!!!

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