Tag:Milwaukee Bucks
Posted on: July 20, 2011 8:32 pm
Edited on: July 20, 2011 8:50 pm
 

Video: Brandon Jennings off the backboard dunk

Posted by Ben Golliver.

Milwaukee Bucks point guard Brandon Jennings is the type of young point guard who operates on the poles. His play is sensational or cringe-inducing, brilliant or regrettable. He's not yet reliable as a shooter, shot selecter or distributor, but he's still 21 years old, one of the quickest players in the league and extremely fast with the ball in his hands.

He needs to develop and progress as he enters his third NBA season -- he admitted as much recently in a recent Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel interview -- but the 6-foot-1 Jennings is capable of putting together a highlight-reel dunk on par with anyone in the league, regardless of size. 

The Baltimore Sun reports that Jennings showed up at Baltimore's Carmelo Anthony Youth Development Center on Monday night, where he delivered a ridiculous above-the-rim dunk that set the crowd off. Jennings gathers a defensive rebound and dribbles up in transition, opting to throw the basketball off the backboard to himself as he reaches the three-point line. As he cruises past a pair of defenders in the paint, Jennings rises high to catch the pass and slam the ball through the rim with two-hands. His dunk elicits elation, as two hefty gentlemen dance around on the court before bumping bellies.

Here's the look at the video courtesy of YouTube user HoopMixTape.



Hat tip: HoopMixTape.com.
Posted on: July 18, 2011 11:28 am
Edited on: July 18, 2011 1:38 pm
 

Jennings says it's time to become an All-Star

Posted by Matt Moore

Remember when Brandon Jennings was neck and neck with Tyreke Evans and Stephen Curry for Rookie of the Year? Those were good times.

Remember when Jennings suffered a foot injury and wound up missing a bunch of games and showed no real improvement? Yeah, that was sad. Especially for Bucks fans. 

The good news is that Jennings is dedicated to improving significantly from his disappointing 2010-2011 season. He told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel that he's focusing on his basics and working out harder than he has since he was 18. This is not saying much since Jennings is only 21, but still. From the Journal-Sentinel
"I'm just getting back to the basics of basketball," said Jennings, who worked out regularly at the team's training facility before the NBA lockout was imposed July 1. "Just working on my fundamentals. Getting set back last year with the injury made me have a different approach to the game. It's not (taken for) granted.

"Next year will be my third year and I need to establish myself as one of the best point guards and one of the best players in the game. It's just trying to get better and better every day. Working with Scott Skiles (before the lockout), getting in the weight room, dedicating the summer to strictly basketball. It's going to be my third year, so it's time to become an all-star."
via Jennings goes back to fundamentals - JSOnline.

All-Star, huh? Those are big words from Jennings, and not just because he'll need to make huge strides in multiple areas to improve to that level. He's also facing the most stacked position in basketball. League MVP Derrick Rose and Rajon Rondo both play in his conference, as does rising star John Wall. Jennings has a ways to go to get to that level. But he's working. He also said that he's working on dribbling and finishing with his right, which sounds simple, until you realize it's one of the things Tony Parker worked for years on. 

But if Jennings is making upgrades to his game, he needs to try out his shot selection. Jenning shot just 39 percent from the field last season and 32 percent from three-point range. His true shooting percentage (factoring three-point shooting and free throws) was one of the worst among point guards (though still better than Baron Davis), even though he was 12th overall in usage among point guards. Jennings has to learn to ease back on the trigger finger and let the game come to him. If he can make the Bucks' overall offense better, that might be an All-Star worthy performance.  

(HT: SLAM)

Posted on: July 10, 2011 9:06 pm
Edited on: July 10, 2011 9:46 pm
 

Carl Landry eyes Pacers, Bucks in free agency

Forward Carl Landry says he's considering the Indiana Pacers and Milwaukee Bucks in free agency. Posted by Ben Golliver. carl-landry

We tend to forget that there are two, not just one, New Orleans Hornets power forwards hitting the free agent market this summer.

While former All-Star David West checks in at No. 2 overall on the CBSSports.com free agency tracker, the often-overlooked Carl Landry made the top 20. And in a JCOnline.com article, Landry lets it be known that he, like West, plans to fully test the free agency waters, whenever the NBA lockout ends.
"I'm sure the lockout will end one day. I just don't know when. A lot of guys are trying to play overseas and make a little extra cash while this lockout is going on, but unfortunately in my case, I'm a free agent, so the smart thing for me is not looking into going overseas.

"Playing in New Orleans is fine. I'm comfortable there. I'm glad to be there. I feel like I was a productive player in their rotation. I brought something to the table every night. I feel wanted there.

"But I would play in Indiana for the Pacers, and I'm from Milwaukee, so I wouldn't mind going back there. You just never know where I will end up."
It's fair to say that the fates of West and Landry are tied pretty closely together. The Hornets have pledged to do pretty much whatever it takes to keep West. If they deliver on that promise and he agrees to run it back with the Hornets, there likely won't be enough money leftover to secure Landry for the long haul as well.

On the flipside, if West decides to walk, New Orleans' back-up plan would seem to be the undersized Landry, who was acquired from the Sacramento Kings in a midseason deal. Landry performed solidly in the playoffs, battling the longer, more athletic Los Angeles Lakers to put up postseason averages of 16.8 points and 5.0 rebounds. He doesn't have West's overall talent, but he has energy, determination, defensive versatility and good instincts. 

The intrigue grows a bit when Landry specifically mentions the Pacers, but that's a team that's often been linked to interest in West, given their large cap space, desire to add a top-level free agent and a hole at the starting four spot. The Pacers could find themselves setttling for Landry if West decides to stay with the Hornets or jumps ship to a more ready-made contender. His motor would fit in well with the developing ethos in Indiana, and he is likely to come at a far cheaper price, potentially allowing Indiana to spend its cap space dollars acquiring another mid-tier free agent.

Landry's numbers took a hit last year from his career season in 2009-2010 after his playing time decreased, but his reputation as a crafty scorer and worker has been established. His best fit might be as a team's first big man off the bench, but there's a good chance someone will pay him to be their starting power forward. Outside of West, the other top available free agent power forwards competing for dollars with Landry include Glen Davis, Kris Humphries, Jeff Green, Josh McRoberts and Kenyon Martin. Landry stacks up nicely with that group, as each of those players comes with questions. His size will always be a knock, but his toughness and age -- he's 27, ready to enter his prime -- should ensure a solid payday, regardless of which team ends up signing his checks next year. 


Posted on: July 9, 2011 3:43 pm
Edited on: July 10, 2011 1:39 pm
 

What teams risk in a lockout: Central Division

A look at what is at stake for the NBA's Central Division if a whole season was lost due to the lockout. Posted by Ben Golliver.

derrick-rose-dunk

Talk of losing an entire NBA season is a bit ridiculous. But it's a possibility. And with all this hardline talk going on, it seems like neither the players nor the owners are wanting to budge. There's incentive for teams to get a deal done and not just for the money, but because a year without basketball and more importantly, basketball operations, could greatly affect each and every NBA franchise.

Earlier this week, we took a look at the Southeast Division and the Atlantic Division. Let's continue this series with the Central Division.  

CHICAGO Bulls


The Bulls won the Central by a preposterous margin in 2010-2011, stacking up a league-high 62 wins and burying their division mates by a ridiculous 25 games, by far the biggest margin of any division winner. Nothing has happened yet this offseason which suggests next year's results will be any different. Even if the Milwaukee Bucks return to full health or the Indiana Pacers make a key free agent addition or the Detroit Pistons finally emerge from their slog or the Cleveland Cavaliers successfully start the Kyrie Irving era, the only thing stopping the Bulls from running away from the competition again is an injury to Derrick Rose. The Bulls are, by far, the most talented and deepest team in the division. They have the reigning MVP, Coach of the Year and Executive of the Year. They're poised to be championship title contenders for the next five years.

With so much going for them, the Bulls clearly have the most to lose in a lockout. If a season is lost, that's a title chase that evaporates. Perhaps most important, the Bulls would lose that visceral desire for redemption that comes with the ugly end to their season. It was a disappointing, frustrating loss to their new archrivals, the Miami Heat, in the Eastern Conference Finals. The pain of that loss subsides with time. It's ability to serve as unifying inspiration will fade too. The Bulls want revenge and they want rings. The pieces are in place. Besides aging teams like the Los Angeles Lakers and San Antonio Spurs, who face the possibility of their championship window closing, the Bulls don't want to sit around and wait. They created some amazing chemistry last season, built strong trust bonds. Losing a season risks all of that.

INDIANA PACERS

The upstart Pacers are up to something: they finally committed to Frank Vogel as their coach, they brought on former Blazers GM Kevin Pritchard to serve as Director of Player Personnel, they made a solid draft day trade to acquire point guard George Hill and they sit on a mound of cap space ready to make a splash in free agency. The Pacers risk two things if a season is lost. First, a critical development year to see how their young pieces are able to gel together. Second, A feeling of certainty in terms of team expectations.

Indiana has assembled some nice, young talent: Roy Hibbert, Darren Collison, Paul George, Tyler Hansbrough and Hill are all 25 or younger. Depending on how they use their cap space and whether they decide to move Danny Granger, that has all the makings of a promising core that could reliably make playoff runs for the foreseeable future. But the group needs time to spend together, reps to get things right and an evaluation period to see whether all four belong long-term. They look great on paper but more data -- playing together -- is needed. A lost season risks that and potentially stalls the development of those younger guys.

The real risk is free agency. Indiana has just $36 million committed in salary next season, meaning they have one of the smallest payrolls in the league. They also have an expiring contract in James Posey to move and potentially could move Granter if they were looking to make a major splash. Their combination of flexibility and talent on-hand is near the tops in the league when it comes to rebuilding teams. A delayed season pushes that promise back and while teams with space are definitely sitting in a better position than teams without space, it's unclear what additional rules might be in place that inhibit free agent movement. If you're the Pacers you'd prefer to be able to chase a guy like David West now without any messy collective bargaining negotiations getting in the way. Put simply, the Pacers are a team on the rise, but a lot has to go right for young teams to reach their potential. Even minor things can throw a team off course. The less variables, the better. Unfortunately, the CBA is a major, major variable.

MILWAUKEE BUCKS

lockoutThis team is just confusing. The Stephen Jackson trade made a bit of sense, given that the Bucks needed a serviceable alternative to Brandon Jennings at point guard and got one in Beno Udrih, but this group isn't going anywhere meaningful, not even if Jennings and center Andrew Bogut are fully healthy. 

About the only thing lost in a lockout for the Bucks is another year for Jennings to bloom. His sophomore years was sidetracked by injuries and poor outside shooting, and he questioned his teammates' desire to win at the end of the regular season. Other than Jennings, Larry Sanders and Luc Richard Mbah a Moute could use more developmental minutes but the rest of the roster is essentially veterans who have reached their potential. 

From a cynical standpoint, Bucks ownership could be cheering a lost season because it would mean cash savings on ugly deals for Jackson and big man Drew Gooden. Is it worth saving the combined $15 million that will go to Jackson and Gooden in 2011-2012 to lose a year of floor leadership training for Jennings? 

DETROIT PISTONS

The Pistons are another confounding mess, but at least it feels like they've turned a corner thanks to the sale of the team, the departure of reviled coach John Kuester and the drafting of point guard Brandon Knight and wing Kyle Singler. Last year was one, long, ugly grind. 2011-2012 figures to be a step in the right direction.

Knight slipped out of the top five of the 2011 NBA Draft because of questions about his position. Is he a pure point guard? Can he run an NBA offense? Will he be able to execute something besides the pick-and-roll game? His future is incredibly bright but as a one-and-done player he absolutely needs as much playing time as possible to get a feel for the NBA style and to get comfortable with the ball in his hands and a team of professionals that look to him first. There's no other way to learn the point guard position than by on-the-job training, and recent success stories like Rose and Russell Westbrook only reinforce that idea. A year away from the game at this stage would be a critical loss for Knight and the Pistons, and that's a major risk.

The same is true, to a lesser degree, for big man Greg Monroe, who came on strong in the second half of his rookie season and appears to be a potential core piece going forward. 2011-2012 is all about letting Knight and Monroe build up a chemistry together 

A lost season would certainly be welcomed by ownership here too because Richard Hamilton, Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva all failed to live up to their big-dollar contract figures last season. Hamilton and Villanueva, in particular, seem like lost causes. Weighing the savings from these deals versus the lost development of Knight, the Pistons should probably be pretty close to indifferent when it comes to losing a season. They need work, they know they need work and the rebuild can only come as these big contracts get closer to their conclusion and become more tradeable. Still, it would seem to be better to continue that journey with Knight getting more familiar and comfortable day-by-day, month-by-month than it would having him workout solo in a gym somewhere. If you've committed to a rebuild, start it immediately.
 
CLEVELAND CAVALIERS

Last but not least, we have the Cavaliers, the NBA's second-worst team from last season, who endured an embarrasing 26 game losing streak to set an NBA record for consecutive futility. There's significant light at the end of the tunnel for the Cavaliers, as they have an owner committed to spending money to win, the 2011 NBA Draft's No. 1 overall pick, Kyrie Irving, and Tristan Thompson, who was taken No. 4 overall. 

Cleveland is in much the same position as the Pistons: the biggest risk from losing a season is the lost reps that Irving won't get running the show. There are always some bumps and bruises for a young point guard transitioning from college to the NBA, and the potential for struggles is even more pronounced in Irving's case because he missed much of last season, his freshman year at Duke University, with a foot injury. Time away from the game is not good. The shorter, the better. Irving was clearly the most NBA-ready point guard in this year's draft crop and the Cavaliers would be smart to turn the keys over to him from Day 1, even with veterans Baron Davis, Daniel Gibson and Ramon Sessions on the roster as well. 

That raises a secondary risk of the lockout season for the Cavaliers: losing positional clarity. Cleveland clearly needs to move one, if not two, of their point guards to clear the deck for Irving and surround him with some solid complementary pieces. A lost season just delays that process. Saving the money from Davis' contract is tempting, but it's a non-factor for owner Dan Gilbert who would just as soon pay that tax to watch his young team start the rebuild. Along those same lines, an entire season lost could mean the Cavaliers aren't able to move Antawn Jamison's $15 million expiring contract, a nice trade asset that could potentially bring a rotation player in return.

Posted on: July 6, 2011 12:53 pm
Edited on: July 6, 2011 7:30 pm
 

Former No. 2 overall pick Armen Gilliam dies

Posted by Royce Young and Ben Golliver.

Armen Gilliam, a former No. 2 overall pick of the Phoenix Suns in 1987, died Wednesday. He was 47.

Police say Gilliam collapsed of a heart attack while playing basketball at LA Fitness in Collier Township, Penn. He was rushed to a nearby hospital where he was declared dead.

Gilliam, nicknamed "The Hammer," starred at UNLV on the 1987 team that won a record 38 games and made it to the Final Four.

Over at CBSSports.com's Eye on College Basketball, Matt Norlander notes that he leaves a big legacy in Las Vegas.
At Vegas, Gilliam was the seventh-highest scorer in school history. He put up 1,855 points in his three-year career, and scored a still-standing record of 903 points in the Final Four season of 1986-87. The team was 93-11 while he was there. He averaged 17.3 points and 8.3 rebounds as a Runnin' Rebel.

"I'm all shook up," former UNLV coach Jerry Tarkanian told the Las Vegas Sun today. "He was such a great person. He would take the shirt of his back for you."

Besides the Suns, he also played for the Charlotte Hornets, Philadelphia 76ers, New Jersey Nets, Milwaukee Bucks and Utah Jazz. He retired in 2000.

On Wednesday afternoon, Phoenix Suns president Lon Babby issued the following statement.
“On behalf of the entire Phoenix Suns family, I’d like to express our sadness at the news of the passing of Armen Gilliam and offer our condolences to his family.  Armen will always have a place in Suns history as only the second No. 2 overall pick for the franchise, but the rugged, tough enforcer known as ‘The Hammer’ on the court will be remembered by his former teammates and our fans for his easygoing nature off the court.”
Gilliam briefly ended his retirement, playing for the Pittsburgh Xplosion (Gilliam is from Pittsburgh), an expansion team in the American Basketball Association, in the 2005-2006 season. He was also the team's coach.
In his 13 NBA seasons, Gilliam, a 6-9 forward, averaged 13.7 points and 6.9 rebounds per game. He was always one of the most powerful, physical players in the league, hence the nickname "The Hammer." He was a strong dunker, and while he never really lived up to his draft position, he had a solid 13-year NBA career.

And finally, a did you know: Gilliam's first name was spelled Armon in college and first few years in the NBA, but he later changed it to Armen.

Posted on: June 23, 2011 4:37 pm
Edited on: June 23, 2011 5:56 pm
 

NBA TRADE: Bucks, Bobcats, Kings 3-way

Posted by Matt Moore

Update 4:14 p.m.: Ken Berger of CBSSports.com reports that the Bobcats moved up to No. 7 to select Bismack Biyombo. That makes for a crazy pairing with Tyrus Thomas and the most athletic pair of frontcourt players in the league, probably, based on raw length and leaping ability.

Additionally, a writer from NBA.com notes that the move for the Kings was not made in anticipation of a second deal with San Antonio. Such a fail for the Kings.

Original Report: In a day filled with trade rumors on what's expected to be a wild night even with a disappointing draft class, things touched off Thursday afternoon as the Bobcats, Bucks, and Kings completed a three-way trade. Ken Berger of CBSSports.com reports:

The Bucks receive: Stephen Jackson, Beno Udrih, and the No.19 pick from Charlotte.

The Kings receive: John Salmons and the No.10 from the Bucks.

The Bobcats receive: Corey Maggette and the No. 7 pick from Sacramento.


Analysis: .... WHAT?! That's our general reaction. You're looking at three shooting guards with massive deals getting moved around. Here's the contract run downs from ShamSports.com:

Jackson: Two years, over $19 million, all guaranteed. 

Salmons: Four years, $31 million, over $24 million guaranteed.

Maggette: Two years, over $21 million, all guaranteed.

So the Bucks moved over $45 million guaranteed, and took on $35 million (Jackson plus $14 million from Udrih), saving them over $10 million and dumping most of their bloated contracts. The Bobcats took on Maggette which is an upgrade at the two-guard position, and managed to keep their No.9 pick, now giving them the 7th and 9th pick in Thursday's draft. And the Kings? Uh, they moved back three spots and picked up an aging, undersized shooting guard to go with Tyreke Evans and Marcus Thornton. ...Okay. 

Winner: We'll call it the Bucks, who lost all that salary and still picked up an upgrade on the wing, and still kept a top-20 pick. The addition of Udrih is curious considering Brandon Jennings' place on the roster and will add more question marks towards his future. (Some reports have Shawn Livingston included in the deal going to Milwaukee.) But they cleared all that space and still kept a pick, which is pretty impressive. It's a chance for the Bucks to move back, bring in a wing, and clear some space for a restructured CBA after their spending spree last summer. Grade: B+

Co-Winner: If the Bobcats hadn't had to take on Maggette, they would have won this. Maggette's not a terrible fill-in for Jackson, and the addition of the 7th pick while keeping the 9th means the Bobcats have a chance to wholly remake themselves in the draft, which they have struggled at through the years. This move reeks of Rich Cho, opting for a youth movement while clearing space. If Livingston is indeed included, the Bobcats will actually have managed to save money through this with total outgoing salary of over $22 million compared to Maggette's $21 million incoming. And they get the No.7 pick to go with their No.9. They can draft a big and a wing, two bigs, both Morris twins, Jimmer Fredette as a flyer pick, anything. Grade: B+

Loser: What in God's name are the Kings thinking? Is this some sort of desperate move to make the fans hate them so they'll stop wishing they would stay in Sacramento? There's talk this could be in anticipation of a move for Tony Parker. Even then, a small-market franchise taking on Salmons contract along with Parker's is a rough idea. And where does this leave Marcus Thornton? Is he doomed to perpetual burying by his coaching staff? Will Salmons come off the bench? What is the thought process here? 

The Kings presumably think they can get the guy they want at No. 10 versus No. 7, but taking on Salmons is such a blow, despite giving up Udrih. Udrih wasn't the answer at point guard. Salmons isn't the answer at anything they need.  Grade: F- (pending further action)
Posted on: June 23, 2011 4:00 pm
Edited on: June 23, 2011 4:15 pm
 

Report: Bucks, Bobcats in 'serious talks'

Posted by Matt Moore

From Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer
There are definitely serious talks going on between the Charlotte Bobcats and Milwaukee Bucks. Don't know all the particulars yet, but it sounds like the Bobcats could end up with the 10th pick and maybe send No. 19 to Milwaukee.
via Inside the NBA: Bobcats-Bucks talks serious.

Particulars aren't available yet but Bonnell mentions several veteran players. It would appear that without a 2012 pick, the Bobcats and new GM Rich Cho are making a move to obtain more picks in this draft and get them high. Milwaukee has been rumored to be talking to Houston about moving down as well. It's clear the Bucks don't feel they can get a value pick at the 10 spot that fills a need for them and are looking to move back for a cheaper selection.

The Bobcats could theoretically end up with back to back selections. They'd have their pick of several players they've targeted in that range including Marcus Morris, Alec Burks, and Bismack Biyombo who worked out yesterday in Charlotte and impressed the coaching staff.

Rich Cho appears to be trying to start out his second NBA GM gig in Charlotte with a bang.
Posted on: June 23, 2011 10:21 am
Edited on: June 23, 2011 11:33 am
 

Rockets looking to trade up in draft for big man

Posted by Matt Moore

The Houston Rockets may have a dilemma at their spot, but they have no intention of hanging around to bite their fingernails over it. CBSSports.com's Ken Berger reports that the Rockets are shopping their two first-round picks, the No. 14 and No. 23, in order to move into the top ten. Specifically, Berger reports that talks have opened with the Detroit Pistons in a two-for-one swap that would allow the Rockets to get what they really want: a big man. Berger reports that late-riser Tristan Thompson is at the top of the list, along with Congolese phenom Bismack Biyombo.

The Pistons don't have an outstanding need beyond getting rid of their locker room-cancer vets, so this makes sense. It puts the Pistons in a position to gain more depth without getting stuck with a pick that's too good not to take, but only in a draft this low on star power. Still, that eight spot will have one of several good prospects available, especially with some of the reaches being discussed. However, it sounds like Detroit's not the only team Houston is chatting with in an attempt to move up. 

The Racine Journal-Times reports that the Rockets are also talking to the Bucks about the No. 10 pick, and this one is more than just a pick-swap, there are players involved: 
The teams have tossed around different trade scenarios with Bucks forward Ersan Ilyasova being prominently mentioned.

It's hardly a secret the Bucks would be interested in Rockets forward Patrick Patterson, whom the Bucks were hoping to land in last summer's draft.
The Bucks could also have interest in Rockets forwards Chase Budinger and Jordan Hill, yet another player they liked in the 2009 draft.
via BUCKS NOTES: Milwaukee, Houston discussing a deal.

Ilyasova is a promising all-around player still with upside at 24, and would give the Rockets a talented big man to pair with Luis Scola. Patterson seems like a high cost, though, as he showed a world of potential in his rookie season. Budinger is just the kind of player that GM Daryl Morey often raises the value of and then sells high on, while Hill is still somewhat of a project. Draft Express reports that the Rockets may have sweetened their deal by including Courtney Lee, which would likely get the Bucks' interest considering their desperate need for backcourt depth.

The Rockets' pursuit of a big man makes all the sense in the world, considering Yao Ming's highly questionable return to Houston and their glaring need for height. Thompson makes for an odd fit next to Luis Scola, but Thompson has been the one player who has made the hardest charge up the draft rankings in the past 24 hours, with some reports pegging him as high as No. 4. Biyombo on the other hand is a freak athlete with great work ethic and the <a href="http://www.draftexpress.com/nba-pre-draft-measurements/?year=2011&sort2=DESC&draft=0&pos=0&source=All&sort=5" target="_blank">second-greatest wingspan of any prospect in the draft. Fellow workout prospect Chris Singleton described Biyombo as being able to scratch his knees standing up yesterday, which is just circus-clown freaky.

The Rockets need a homerun. In a draft without really any of those types of pitches, the Rockets seem dedicated to fighting their way into the batter's box anyway.
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com