Bucks euthanize much-less-than-super Sonics
Nothing revives a struggling offense like a nonexistent defense. The Bucks found that out first hand on Tuesday night as they easily defeated the visiting Ray Allen and his band of squishy soft Seattle Supersonics, 106-91. The Seattle defensive effort was so poor the Bucks shot nearly 50% from the floor and scored over 100 points for the first time since January 27th, a span of 9 games.
The Bucks were led by should-be All-Star Michael Redd who had 19, points on an economical 7-for-12 shooting, and by the inspirational Joe Smith who poured in 18 points and grabbed 4 rebounds in only 19 minutes of duty. When Smith is cleared for full time duty, I have a feeling PF Andrew Bogut will return to the bench (although I'd like to see Stotts experiment with a C Bogut/PF Smith look). Smith must be on the floor.
Other Bucks who can be singled out for their exceptional contributions in last night's game are the versatile and valuable reserve G Charlie Bell and the surging starting SF Bobby Simmons. Bell spreads the ball around (he had 8 assists) and he plays rock solid defense. He's looking like another fine free agent signing by General Manager Harris. So is Simmons for that matter. Last night he continued what has been about a month long stretch of exceptional play. Once left for dead, Simmons has clearly rejuvenated his entire season. He's got his shot zeroed like a sniper rifle (he went 5-for-10 in the game) and he is making contributions in virtually every phase of the game. If the Bucks are going to do anything the rest of this season, and God-willing this postseason, I'm beginning to believe that the trio of Bell-Simmons-Smith are going to be the principle reasons why.
I think the Bucks are really beginning to mature as a team. The flighty, on-again, off-again crew that manned the Purple and Green in '05 has morphed into a workmanlike, professional unit in '06. Give them credit. The win may not have been overly impressive, due exclusively to the effort of the hapless visitors, but the Bucks did what needed to be done to get it. They encountered a Seattle team that was determined not to win and the Bucks didn't stop them.
On the other hand, give the Sonics no credit for their disgraceful effort. By quitting early in the third quarter they cheated their fans, themselves, and the Bradley Center faithful out of a full professional contest. Respect the game, Seattle. That halfass shit belongs in the NBDL not the Show.
Speaking of disappearing act, what the hell happened to the Sonics of '05? Where did they go? Those guys played an entertaining pass-and-shoot Olympic style game that was a refreshing alternative to the NBA's standard "no motion" offensive sets. Seattle of '06 just looks like a bunch of gunners who feel no obligation to play defense. What a shame. I liked last year's team. This year's team is a shameful collection of dogs who are really good at playing dead.