Bucks Outslog Celtics
This year's traditional Sunday matinee game against the legendary Boston Celtics was not one that will make either team's retrospective highlight reel when the season ends. With each squad shooting a measly 31-for-77 from the field, the game was either an old school defensive struggle, or more likely a display of acute offensive ineptitude. But, it had a happy ending. The Bucks defeated the Boston Celtics 83-79 and recorded their second straight win at home. Some thoughts:
The Gunner's Motto
G Michael Redd has often repeated the mantra he lives by: "Whenever I'm in a slump, I shoot my way out." It seems all gunner's live by this creed. It can be both a blessing and a curse for his team, but it is becoming increasingly clear that in this case, it is a necessity. No one else will step up and deliver. On Sunday he struggled early, continued shooting, and luckily for Milwaukee faithful, he found the range in the nick of time, delivering key baskets down the stretch to help Milwaukee past the Boston Celtics.
ESPN Insider or Milwaukee Bucks Diary?
If you had paid your monthly rip-off, er, "insider" fee to ESPN.com, then yesterday you could have read the very same analysis you have already received twice (here and here) for free on Milwaukee Bucks Diary. That is, the Bucks "Expected Win Total" is much lower than their actual win total. To real Bucks fans, that's old news. The moral: When true Bangoheads want Bucks analysis, they don't waste their money on the national sites -- they get it here gratis, or they go to 5-Point Bucks. The national media has no love for the Bucks -- we do.
Redd Agrees with Bucks Diary regarding Bogut's low post game
A couple of posts ago, I wrote that Andrew Bogut appears to be having trouble getting good position in the low post. In an excellent profile piece on Bogut that appeared in Sunday's Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, Michael Redd essentially said the same: "Those numbers (scoring) are going to increase once he knows more about positioning and getting stronger. He's 21 years old and it's all about potential."
Van Gundy impressed with Bogut
Houston coach Jeff Van Gundy has been impressed with Bogut as well. The JS article reported that Van Gundy was "amazed" at Bogut's progress since he last saw him at the NBA Summer League in Minneapolis. Van Gundy clearly considers Bogut a rare commodity: "He's a cerebral big man, and there just aren't many of those guys out there" Van Gundy told the Journal-Sentinel.
Bell tolls relief
With G Mo Williams back among the walking wounded, it sure was good to see G Charlie Bell back in uniform. I thought he was a very effective performer off the bench prior to his injury and a necessary component for success. His value was on display Sunday. He shot 4-for-8 from the field and contributed 12 important points to the Milwaukee cause. Welcome back Chuck.
The Big O on Kobe's farcical 81 point game
Like many, I was initially awed by LA Laker G Kobe Bryant's 81 point performance against the Toronto Raptors last week. But after digesting it for a while, my attitude turned a little sour. For one thing, many in the national media went overboard with their praise ("The greatest performance ever!"). How can you possibly consider Kobe's regular season performance against the lowly Raptors better than Michael Jordan's 63 point playoff performance against the 1986 Boston Celtics, one of the greatest teams of all time? More importantly, though, whenever a player scores a ridiculous amount of points, as Kobe did, there is always an element of farce to the whole affair. First, the scorer's teammates have to totally exclude themselves from offensive participation. Second, the opponent has to lay down like a pack of tired dogs. The great former Buck Oscar Robertson summed it all up beautifully when he said, "I was shocked no one fouled out guarding him. He didn't go down on the floor at all. Was the Toronto team happy he scored 81?"