Bucks Diary

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Bucks Should Go Small

The Bucks enter tonight's play-off series against the defending Eastern Conference champion Detroit Pistons owning only one conceivable advantage over their opponents. The Bucks will not carry the burden of any expectations. There is no one in the civilized world who expects that Milwaukee will defeat Detroit. Most experts are saying Detroit will easily take all four games. The Bucks can, theoretically, play a wilder, freeform style of basketball that might throw the Pistons off stride. I know, when teams say they're dangerous because they have nothing to lose, generally they lose with no perceptible difference in their conduct of the game. The Bucks have to maximize the lone part of their roster that has had any success versus Detroit (their small men).

Instead of trying to match-up conventionally with the Pistons frontline (big on big) Coach Stotts should try a rotation that consists of a constant mix of 3 guards (Redd, Ford, Williams, and Bell), a small forward (Simmons, Welsch and even J. Smith), and starting Gadzuric at center (rotating in Bogut, J. Smith, and Magliore).

Here are the advantages: (1) The Bucks regular 4-5 men (Bogut, Magliore, and J. Smith) have done nothing against Detroit this season so you don't lose much; (2) by going small they can get more offense on the court; (3) Rasheed and McDyess's interior defense has reaked havoc on the Bucks offense, this strategy may force the two to guard the perimeter; (4) It gets Prince's smothering defense off Simmons, hopefully freeing him up to provide offense; (5) It will spread the Pistons shot blockers out more, allowing Ford and Redd opportunities to finish; (6) It might sucker Flip Saunders into replacing Prince with the play-off unsteady, and aging, Lindsay Hunter; (7) Gadzuric is the one big man who has produced against the Pistons because he is athletic and can run the floor; (8) They have no chance of winning a conventionally coached game, so they might as well try it.

Some disadvantages: (1) The Wallace brothers will own the glass; (2) Rasheed might decide to take his offense exclusively to the post, where he won't be stopped; (3) If it backfires it could have a disastrous effect on morale.


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