Bucks Diary

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Bucks Nearly Blow It



Milwaukee Bucks point guard TJ Ford saved his teammates from unspeakable shame by converting a driving layup late in the fourth quarter, thereby forging a victory over the ridiculously undermanned, undersized, and undertalented Charlotte Bobcats. The game should never have been this close. The Bobcats starting lineup could have qualified for a 6'5'' and under league. The fact that the game was so close stands as a direct indictment of the Bucks and their absurd offensive strategy (more on that below). Here are some thoughts:



Strange Offensive Tactics

When (a) the Bobcats have no big men (and I mean zero) on their active roster and, (b) FC Andrew Bogut is 7 for 8 from the field and C Jamaal Magliore is 6 for 9 -- could someone tell me why the Bucks backcourt of G Michael Redd and PG TJ Ford took 37 shots? (Hint: It wasn't 'cause they were makin' 'em).

I mean, what the hell kind of strategy is that? The "Let's Go Away from Our Obvious Advantage" strategy? It was as if the team was being coached by the Scarecrow from The Wizard of Oz.

Here are some facts from last night's game to underscore how absurd the Bucks offense was:

A. Both Ford (18 shots) and Redd (19 shots) took more shots individually than Bogut and Magliore took combined (17 shots between the two);

B. Both Ford and Redd missed more shots (12 each) than either Bogut (8) or Magliore (9) attempted;

C. Redd took as many 3 point attempts (8) as Bogut took overall shots, even though Bogut made seven of his shots and Redd only made two of his 3 point attempts.

Coach Terri Stotts recently said he's sick of hearing fans and the media gripe about how the Bucks should go inside more on offense, but how can he expect any different? When his players won't go down low with the ball even when they have such a decisive and obvious advantage as they had Friday night against Charlotte, the team's tactics begin to resemble the theater of the absurd. Its obvious that Stotts needs to forcibly instill some new thinking in his players, specifically his backcourt players. Until he does, Bucks Nation will continue to speak out.




Welsch Needs to Get it Going -- Right Now!

A couple of posts ago I took F Bobby Simmons to task for underperforming in the wake of signing a large off season contract. But if we call him a disappointment, what is the word we use to describe the play of F Jiri Welsch? Catastrophic?


Welsch is killing the Bucks when he's on the court. He's always going to be a defensive liability because of his lack of lateral quickness, and the team's rebounding numbers go way down when he's on the court. We knew that when we got him. But we didn't think he would be a liability on the offensive end as well! He's a shooter who has yet to prove he can shoot. He's effectively rendered himself "Useless" Welsch.

Here's how bad he's been: PG TJ Ford, a player often characterized as lacking a jump shot, has a better percentage from behind the three point arc (40%) than Welsch has from the entire field (39.8%). Those are damning stats for a supposed shooting specialist.

The sand is running out of the hourglass on this guy's basketball career. Jiri must find his stroke immediately or he will be competing with G Reece Gaines for the second half lead in the "DNP -- Coach's Decision" category. The Bucks simply cannot afford to put a guy on the floor who contributes nothing to the cause.


And remember, this is his fourth stop in four years in the Association. He hasn't produced anywhere. Clearly, its crisis time for Mr. Welsch. He has to prove he belongs in the NBA -- right now -- or he won't be in it much longer.

(Photos Courtesy of Associated Press)

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