Tag:Milwaukee Bucks
Posted on: September 3, 2010 9:17 am
 

Shootaround 9.3.10: What's in a position?

Posted by Royce Young
  • Positionality has become quite a discussion this offseason and Daniel Leroux of Real GM has an interesting take: "The new-look Miami Heat provide an excellent prism for discussing the positional paradigm since they have a few atypical examples when it comes to positional definitions. Both Wade and LeBron have been the primary ballhandler on their teams in recent years, mostly to great success, as each led their respective positions in assists per game each of the last three seasons. In fact, other than Jason Kidd (who is listed at 6’4”, but is clearly a PG on offense and defense), all ten of the best assist per game seasons by a player 6’4” or taller since the 2003 Draft have been by Wade and James. However, neither spends much time guarding the point guard position, which is obviously the traditional lead position offensively."
  • Tom Haberstroh for Hardwood Paroxysm has an look at positions by shot selection: "[W]e find that Miami Heat point guard Carlos Arroyo deviates the most from the shot selection of a traditional point guard.  In particular, 65.3 percent of his shots come from long twos and he barely attacks the basket or launches from downtown.  His z-scores total to 8.19 which is the highest sum of the point guard bunch.  Perhaps is good that he doesn’t attack the basket, as he only converts on 47.8 percent of his tries which is far below new Charlotte Bobcat Shaun Livingston’s 71.4 percent success rate."
  • Aileen Voison of the Sac Bee: "A few hours before Israeli and Palestinian leaders met in Washington, D.C., Thursday in the latest movement toward peace in the Middle East, Omri Casspi placed himself on the fringes of the conversation. At the Peres Center for Peace youth sports camp Wednesday in Jaffa, Israel, he supervised drills. He answered questions about Kobe Bryant. He scrimmaged with a girls team against a boys squad consisting of Israeli and Palestinian youngsters. Sounding at times like a diplomat and on other occasions like a coach, the Kings' second-year forward spoke about unity and tolerance. He stressed the cultural, ethnic and political diversity of the Kings. He left the community center, he said, encouraged and better educated." 
  • Steve Buffery of the Toronto Sun with some strong words for Steve Nash: "Hardly anyone talks about Steve Nash and the fact that the 2000 Olympic Games hero refuses to play for Canada now, even though he's still a great player. Yes, he has chronic physical issues, as do many other veteran players who pull on the jerseys for their country at international events. And, yes, he only has a few good years left in the NBA and wants to maximize his abilities in that regard. But, again, the same can be said for other, particularly European, veterans who play in the NBA. But consider this: Canada Basketball undoubtedly would have bent over backwards to get Nash on the team. I know for a fact they would have allowed him to arrive at training camp whenever he was ready. They would have limited his minutes to what he saw fit. Hell, they probably would have lobbied to have a street named after him. But, no, never a discouraging word is said about the man. Speaking out against Steve Nash is like speaking out against Motherhood in this country. Nash is a wonderful person and had given a lot to Canada Basketball the last few years. But you have to wonder why everyone, including Canada Basketball officials, are so reluctant to knock the Golden Boy, even just a little bit, for turning his back on the program and the country. It's not like he spent the entire summer lying on his sore back."
  • Bucksketball wonders if Milwaukee should worry about Andrew Bogut: "And even if he misses some time in October or November, better that then have Bogut battling issues all season.  The Bucks will do their best to make sure their franchise big man is in good physical standing for season, even if they keep the details to themselves.  If it’s late November and reports on Bogut are still muddied and unclear?  Yeah, then it’s time to grab a life jacket and jump ship.  But until then, let’s all stay on the ship and try not to get sick."
  • Hey Jazz fans, aren't you so fired up for Francisco Elson? You're not? Well, why not!?!?
Posted on: September 1, 2010 8:06 am
Edited on: September 1, 2010 8:07 am
 

Shootaround 9.1.10: Evans putting the J back in

Evans' J, Love's weird way, and the James kiddos' first day, today in the Shootaround.
Posted by Matt Moore


The Hawks aren't planning on taking their time with Al Horford's extension. They're planning on offering him a near-max extension before the October 31st deadline, meaning they'll have given up $190 million in salary for two players the year before the CBA dramatically shifts. Horford is an All-Star center, young, versatile, and extremely aware on both sides of the ball. Kelly Dwyer pointed out that the Hawks have some options with Horford. Unfortunately, they seem ready to rush into the breach with wallets wide open. You have to wonder how they're going to find salary room for any of the other players, let alone Jamal Crawford, who also wants an extension... or a trade.

Tyreke Evans has reinvested himself in his jump shot. What's interesting is that he was a terrible shooter (32%) from midrange, 16-23 feet last season, but a very decent one from 10-15 feet (43.2%). As Sam Amick's profile reveals, Evans used to be a tremendous shooter, he just needs to reacquaint himself with his shot. It could be a significant leap forward in his offensive development. Which is terrifying, considering how good he was last year.

A Wolf Among Wolves discusses Kevin Love's Team USA summer, and the fact that he's best suited for a third option role. Which makes sense, since the Wolves have buried him in the past for Darko Milicic and just traded for Michael Beasley who most scouts agree is best suited for the power forward role. You know. Third best option.

It's kind of a shame that Shaq's teams didn't end up meeting the Spurs over the years. Because the Duncan-Shaq rivalry is prett good.

George Karl was surprised at the firing of Mark Warkentien. He speaks highly of Warkentien, as well as Masai Ujiri. You have to wonder just how spread to the four corners the entire Nuggets organization is at this point.

LeBron James is a human . No one really seems to think so at this point, but it's true.

Ersan Ilyasova is tearing up FIBA play . Which could be a good thing for the Bucks as he develops and takes on more of a leadership role. Or it could cause him to wonder why he's been shoved to the back of the line in the Bucks' forward feeding trough with the additions of Drew Gooden, Larry Sanders, and others.

A fascinating look at roster balance on the wings for the Knicks, not in terms of skillset, but shot performance on the right versus the left side of the floor. Interesting note: Ramond Felton took exactly as many shots from the right side as the left, and hit the same percentage.

The numerous discussions of Marquis Daniels have overlooked one aspect: Doc Rivers completely took him out of the rotation in the playoffs, despite him having recovered from injury. The trust is simply not there on a team that depends on it so much.

The Bucks hope and expect Andrew Bogut to be back for the season opener. It's close, but don't hold your breath.


Posted on: August 23, 2010 7:26 pm
Edited on: August 24, 2010 9:34 am
 

NBA Pop Quiz: Are the Bucks legit?

Posted by Matt Moore

Fall is here, hear the yell, back to school, ring the bell ... The NBA season is right around the corner, and NBA training camp starts in just a few short weeks. To get you ready for the NBA season, we've put together 25 pop quizzes. Pencils ready? We kick off our Pop Quiz series with the following question...

Is Milwaukee Legit?


The Bucks had terrible prospects going into last season. Considered an Eastern-Conference also-ran, with a questionable "centerpiece" center in Andrew Bogut and a reach of a first-rounder in Brandon Jennings, no one expected them to succeed. And yet, despite all the criticisms constantly lobbed at Scott Skiles, his team did what his teams do best. They defended like samurai, attacked the glass, and won far more games than they were expected to. Additionally, Brandon Jennings made a legitimate push for Rookie of the Year, an award he likely would have won were it not for Tyreke Evans' historic performance (with apologies to Stephen Curry's wheeling and dealing). Jennings had nights where his questionable shot selection, fueled by the kind of confident sense of bravado you want in your superstar, hurt the team, but more often than not, he proved himself exactly what the team has needed for a decade: a true star.

But that was last season. And after Andrew Bogut's arm injury has him still trying to fight through rehab
, the question has to be asked. Are the Bucks legit, or was last season the type of spike that fans will look back on as the high point, followed by a long slide back to the margins?  If we're going to try and suss out the answer, we need to look at their strengths and weaknesses.

The Bucks were the fourth best defense last season (we're talking defensive efficiency here, don't fall for the fallacy of points per game, which doesn't account for pace). They were fourth in opponents' turnover ratio but only tenth in opponents' field goal percentage (45.1%). But very relevant? They were fourth best at defending at the rim . That's got a lot to do with Bogut, who was an absolute iron curtain down low. But Ersan Ilyasova, Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, and even Dan Gadzuric were all good at attacking anyone that dared challenge the Bucks at the iron. They were also sixth in three-point defense. What this means is that the two most efficient areas on the floor, the Bucks were exceptional at. Their only real area of problems, defensively? 10-15 Feet, where they were dead last in field goal percentage allowed. So the Bucks really needed to upgrade their wing and mid-range defenders.

Which is fitting, because similarly their wing offense was also where they desperately needed help. The Bucks' offense in general was a mess , but with Jennings and Bogut, they at least have cornerstones to work with. The addition John Salmons was significant for improving their scoring distribution, and Carlos Delfino proved to be a valuable asset as well. The best news for the Bucks is that they improved precisely at that position, filling in for the injured now-trade-chip Michael Redd with Corey Maggette, while only losing Gadzuric and seldom-used wing Charlie Bell.

The Bucks improved at the position they needed to, adding both Salmons (and subsequently re-signing him) and also added a ton of muscle down low by drafting Larry Sanders and adding Drew Gooden in free agency. While Gooden's usage is a bit high, he does provide somewhat of a backup plan in case Andrew Bogut continues to struggle recovering from the arm injury. That said, just as it was in the playoffs, this team's chances are tied to Bogut. Bogut has to not only recover, but re-assume his position as a premier big man in the league if the Bucks are going to repeat their success of last year. Similarly, Brandon Jennings has to take a step forward, grow a sense that maybe that off-balance 18-foot jumper on the run is not the best option offensively for this particular moment of time, regardless of how hot he "feels."

This is a team sound throughout its principles and structure. But its superstars will have to take steps forward if they're going to keep pace with the rest of an improved Eastern Conference.

Finally, the real test for if this team is legit is if Skiles manages to get the same effort night after night from this team that he did last season. There's been a pattern with Skiles' losing the ears of his players with the incessant yelling and discipline, and it'll be up to him to show some restraint and trust. Not exactly something he's known for. But Skiles has improved in his coaching style, so it's not out of the realm of possibility.

At the end of the day, the Bucks won with defense, rebounding, a dynamic point guard and stellar center. That's a formula that's been relied on to win. Throw in the fact that they added to their team while losing no essential component, and while it's not a sure thing, it's safe to say you can legitimately fear the deer for another year. That was an unfortunate rhyme.

Be sure to follow the NBA Facts and Rumors blog on Twitter @CBSSportsNBA


Posted on: August 19, 2010 2:12 pm
Edited on: August 19, 2010 2:12 pm
 

Boykins and Bucks near deal

Posted by Royce Young

Fear the baby deer. Earl Boykins is close to signing with Milwaukee, the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reports.

The signing would round out the Bucks point guard group with Brandon Jennings, Keyon Dooling who was signed after Luke Ridnour moved to Minnesota and now Boykins.

This would be a return to Milwaukee for Boykins who played for the Bucks in 2006-07. Last season, the 5-foot-5 guard played witht he Wizards and appeared in 67 games, averaging 6.6 points and 2.6 assists in almost 17 minutes a game. Depending on how you count teams, this would be Boykins' ninth team in 11 NBA seasons.

Boykins' signing pretty much rounds out the Milwaukee roster, putting the Bucks at 14. Most teams like to keep that 15th spot flexible so more than likely, second round pick Tony Gallon will be heading to Europe (or the D-League) next season.
Posted on: August 19, 2010 12:30 pm
 

Bogut's recovery not going well, may miss opener

Bucks' star having trouble in recovery from elbow injury, may miss season opener.
Posted by Matt Moore

Andrew Bogut suffered a seriously gruesome elbow injury in a fall last season which ended his year and the Bucks' chances of going deep into the playoffs. He required multiple surgeries, but worked hard to recover and all indications were that he would be back with plenty of time to spare before the start of the season.

You can sense the "but" here, can't you?

Real GM's board of internet scour experts brings us a transcript of Bogut's television appearance in his native land of Australia. The interview, available here (but not in the US), tells us that Bogut was shooting while in Europe, but had fluid build up in his elbow and so had to go back to conditioning and weight training only. More concerning is this quote:

"I'm optimistic that I should be ready for the season but you never know with these things because of the nerve damage and so on, it's on its own course.

"[It's my decision] I'm one of those guys who will play through injury but if I'm not 100% for the season to start, there is no sense going into an NBA season at 85% 'cause we're playing up to May."


Yikes. Losing Bogut for even a month could put the Bucks in a hole to start the season. The good news is that they did bolster their frontcourt with Drew Gooden and Larry Sanders, who might be able to at least function with Brandon Jennings and Corey Maggette handling the scoring load until Bogut returns.

It was a severe injury that Bogut underwent, so this isn't entirely expected. It still has to be frustrating for both Bogut, and Bucks fans, who have seen the versatile center limited in multiple seasons due to injury. When healthy, he's one of the top big men in the league (and a defensive player of the year candidate). But he's got to be able to get on the floor first. For all the strides Milwaukee has made, recurring injury problems for Bogut is just the kind of thing that can submarine a season before it has a chance to get going.

The clock's ticking.

(HT: Brewhoop on Twitter )

Posted on: August 11, 2010 11:04 am
Edited on: August 11, 2010 11:08 am
 

Breaking down the back-to-backs

Posted by Royce Young

Other than the fact that since it's August and we're all starved for NBA news, the schedule release typically doesn't have a ton of surprises. On the surface, all schedules are created equal with everyone having 41 home games and 41 road games. (Unless you're the Lakers and you get a couple extra home games when you go on the "road" to play the Clippers.)

But all schedules are not equal. Not in the slightest actually. Other than some teams getting contenders four times instead of three because of the way the scheduling rotation works and the fact the Clippers have a 10-game road trip (!), there's the issue of back-to-backs. And back-to-backs can take what looks to be an easy month and turn it into a 30-day grind.

The Bulls and Bucks lead the way with 23 back-to-backs. That's a bummer for the Bulls who had one of the highest totals in the league last season. For all you Laker haters, here's some more ammo: The champs only have 15, which is tied for the fewest in the league. The Suns have just 16 and the Thunder and Hawks have only 17.

Six teams have 22, six have 21, two have 20, six have 19 and four have 18. The full list:

1. Chicago - 23
2. Milwauke -  23
3. Charlotte - 22
4. Cleveland - 22
5. LA Clippers - 22
6. New Jersey - 22
7. Philadelphia - 22
8. Portland - 22
9. Detroit - 21
10. Houston - 21
11. Indiana - 21
12. Memphis - 21
13. New York - 21
14. Washington - 21
15. Dallas - 20
16. Orlando - 20
17. Boston - 19
18. Denver - 19
19. Miami - 19
20. Minnesota - 19
21. Toronto - 19
22. Utah - 19
23. Golden State - 18
24. New Orleans - 18
25. Sacramento - 18
26. San Antonio - 18
27. Atlanta - 17
28. Oklahoma City - 17
29. Phoenix - 16
30. LA Lakers - 15

One underrated angle on the back-to-backs is how many games a team gets against a team on the second night of a back-to-back. Phoenix has the most in the league with 15 games against teams that played the night before. The Suns are followed by Cleveland (10), Oklahoma City (10), Atlanta (10) and San Antonio (9).

The Lakers, who have the fewest back-to-backs in the league, only have four games against a team that played the night before. Sacramento has the fewest in the league with only one.

Related to that, the Bucks, Cavs, Celtics, Bobcats, Bulls, Grizzlies and Clippers all have four or more games against a team playing in its fourth game in five days with no rest. The Lakers, Suns, Warriors, Spurs and 76ers have zero such games.
 
And on the flip side of that, the Bobcats, Cavs, Bucks, 76ers and Wizards all have four games that are on the fourth game in five days with no rest. So clearly the league tried to even that out. You get some, you give some. A bunch of teams only have to do that once including the Suns, Thunder, Lakers and Heat.

Based on back-to-backs, days off and playing against unrested opponents, you could make a strong case that Oklahoma City and Phoenix have two of the most favorable schedules in the league. The Lakers, while having the fewest back-to-backs, also have one of the lowest amount of games against unrested opponents.

While the schedule is going to be unfair for some teams because that's just life, it's clear the league tried to even things out. Playing against a team that is coming in off a red eye flight and that played just 20 hours ago is a huge advantage. Probably even more than having a low number of back-to-back games.

But back-to-backs are just part of the schedule story. Who are the back-to-backs against? What about long road trips, days off and long home stands? In the end, it doesn't matter all that much. For the most part, the best teams win and the bad teams lose.

Info pulled from NBAStuffer.com
Posted on: August 9, 2010 9:31 pm
Edited on: August 9, 2010 9:32 pm
 

Wolves to work out Joe Alexander for no reason

Posted by Royce Young

Anthony Tolliver came to terms with Minnesota Tuesday in a two-year deal somewhere in the $4.5 million range, so naturally David Kahn decided he needed to work out a player that plays the same exact position as Tolliver.

Jerry Zgoda of the Star Tribune reports that former lottery pick Joe Alexander will work out for the Timberwolves next week. And as Zgoda puts it, "Even if they like him, where's he gonna play?"

Good question. Right now on the Minny roster there's a garage of forwards including: Michael Beasley, Corey Brewer, Wesley Johnson, Kevin Love, Anthony Tolliver, Darko Milicic, Tolliver, Martell Webster and Lazar Hayward. Forward is the new point guard in Minnesota I guess.

Alexander was drafted by the Bucks eighth overall in 2008 but appeared in only 59 games for Milwaukee. He spent his second season in Chicago and played in just nine games. In two seasons, he's averaging 4.2 points per game and 1.8 rebounds per game. However, he is the first Taiwanese-born player in the NBA, so that could be a feather in Kahn's cap.

It's just a workout and it might not mean anything. But seeing as roughly 80 percent of the Minnesota roster is draft busts, Alexander should fit right in.
Posted on: July 27, 2010 7:56 pm
Edited on: July 27, 2010 7:57 pm
 

Video: Offseason review - Central Division

Posted by Royce Young

The Central was the center of free agency this offseason. LeBron's decision, the Bulls multiple moves and plus, some other interesting transactions. It's all been graded and broken down , plus here's some talking about it as well.


 
 
 
 
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