Bucks Diary

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Bucks Commit Only Two Turnovers. No Foolin'

If anything can convince the Bucks of the importance of protecting every single possession, it would have to be Saturday night's game at the Bradley Center. The Bucks were badly outshot, were inept in their few opportunities at the foul line, held only a slight edge in rebounding, and yet emerged with one of their most important victories of the season over the struggling but dangerous Indiana Pacers, 96-89.

How'd they do it? By turning the ball over an NBA record 2 times all night. 2 times! An absolutely astounding achievement on its own, but a near miraculous feat when one considers the Bucks are one of the most turnover prone teams in the Association, and they were playing one of the best defensive teams in the Association. The Bucks stinginess with the ball, combined with their fine effort on the offensive glass, translated into an overwhelming edge in the teams' overall number of possessions. When you get a lot more chances to score than your opponent it makes your chances of success a whole lot greater.

Has Ford seen the light?

I have bashed TJ Ford relentlessly for the past couple of months. But I don't hate the guy. When he has a good game, I'm going to say so, and last night he had a very good game. I know what you're thinking. How is a 4 point effort categorized as a very good game? In this case it is. TJ shot the ball only four times, and he hit on 50% of his tries. Very efficient. More importantly, he dished out 6 assists and recorded ZERO turnovers. After a season of watching this guy dribble mindlessly, turn the ball over habitually, and shoot the ball terribly, last night was great to see. TJ, this is the point guard we need you to be. Protect the ball, limit your shooting, and concentrate on getting us into our offense, penetrating the defense, and setting your teammates up with your passing skills. If you can just do that night after night, TJ, you and the team would be so much better off.

Redd on an offensive rampage

Over the last four games, the last two of which were played against superb defensive teams, G Michael Redd is averaging 34 points a game and shooting an astounding 56% from the floor. His demeanor and unstoppability (is that a word?) reminds me of the incredible offensive run Bernard King went on in 1984 when he played for the Knicks. Its been something to see. Redd is making shots with guys almost glued to his chest, he's scoring from every place on the floor, and in nearly every manner, and he's showing a kind of fearless confidence you rarely ever see. Granted, he's still been kind of one dimensional, but what a one dimension. His performances are energizing the Milwaukee Bucks at a crucial time and lifting them to a higher level. If he can keep it up, the Bucks could be a dangerous team in the first round of the play-offs.


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