Bucks Diary

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Bucks: Monster Victory over the Wolves

I know the Twolves came into last night's game having lost 10 of 13, but nonetheless the Bucks victory over them could not have been bigger. First, the Bucks confidence could not have withstood a fourth consecutive loss; they desperately needed to stop the bleeding. Second, the Twolves have been one of the Bucks tougher opponents both at home and in the Land of Lakes. A win over them under any conditions is large. Finally, the Bucks were without the services of G Mo Williams, whom this weblog has anointed their most valuable player to date. Great win. Some thoughts:

Magliore, Kukoc Outstanding against Minnesota

C Jamaal Magliore played one of his best games in a Milwaukee uniform last night. He held Minnesota superstar PF Kevin Garnett to just 14 points, and he made a terrific basket on a running hook near the end of the game. That hook shot showed the kind of aggressiveness Bucks fans have desperately sought from Magliore ever since he came over from the Hornets. It was beautiful indeed.

The other standout last night was F Toni Kukoc. The old vet has been slumping lately, but he finally found his shooting touch against the Twolves and tickled the Bradley Center nets for 14 points on 5 of 6 shooting, including 4 of 4 from behind the three line. I still would prefer he didn't take threes, but if he insists --- well, he might as well make them.

Should Magliore play Power Forward?

Watching last night's defensive performance by C Jamaal Magliore against Wolves PF Garnett set me to thinking. Specifically, should Magliore play the power forward every night and allow Andrew Bogut to play the center position? Magliore looked so much more comfortable and natural defending the 4 than he ever does defending the 5. And the same goes for Bogut. He looked more comfortable defending the 5 spot. He has admitted its been tough on him defending the association's power forwards.

Did Garnett look disinterested to you?

I thought elite player's live to takeover games -- especially when their teams are struggling. Kevin Garnett is allegedly an elite player. Yet he showed no inclination to takeover last night's game. He just looked intermittently frustrated and bored. Where was the passion? G Marko Jaric was the go-to guy on their final play. That says something.

I think Garnett has peaked as a basketball player. He will never lead anyone to a championship, at least not without the help of another elite player. And with his salary no team can fit both him and another elite player under their cap. So he's stuck.

Garnett may be destined to join Charles Barkley and many others who possessed a wealth of talent and yet no rings.

Second Round PF Ilyasova putting up numbers in the NBDL

I thought this Turkish player the Bucks drafted in the second round, Ersan Ilyasova, was just another one of those foreign players the team drafts, hypes, and then never puts on their roster (who was that Polish guy they drafted a couple of years back?). This time I may have been wrong. Ersan is really putting up good numbers for the NBDL's Tulsa 66'ers, especially on the boards. He gathered 12 rebounds in each of his last two games, and in one of those games he poured in 18 points. That's quite encouraging. Maybe this young fella has a little game. His field goal percentage is a bit troubling (40%), but that can improve. A smart move by general manager Harris to send him to Oklahoma for a little seasoning.

AP Photos by Morry Gash


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