Bucks Diary

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Pistons-Bucks Game Two Preview


If we ever needed Don Nelson, now is it. The Bucks clearly cannot stand toe-to-toe with the Detroit Pistons and hope to even be competitive. Sure, the Pistons will allow them to hang around for awhile, but, make no mistake -- its only at their discretion. As soon as they choose to play Piston basketball, vhooom, they're gone and the Bucks are left to suck their dust trail.

So the Bucks need to get creative. They can't just trot their usual five starters out onto the court. That hasn't worked. It won't work tonight. Why not have the courage to try something different, even wacky?

For instance, go three guard right from the start; it will get Bogut off Rasheed Wallace. That matchup has been a disaster for Milwaukee. Bogut is not equipped to guard the perimeter game Wallace favors. Having played the 5 all his life, Bogut has no idea what to do on that little "pick and pop" play that Detroit ran continuously on Sunday. Bogut's instinct is to sink into the lane on that action, leaving Wallace ALL ALONE for three point shots. Enough of that.

Stotts should just concede that the Bucks bigs cannot hang with the Pistons big and sit either Bogut or Magliore, replacing him with G Charlie Bell. With the new lineup, Simmons would be on Rasheed Wallace, and Bell would be on Tayshaun Prince. That's not as bad for the Bucks as it might seem at first blush. Bell is a very aggressive and strong defender. He will not be easy for Prince to abuse, despite the height difference. And, Simmons will be better suited to guarding Wallace because Wallace, despite his size, features more of a small forward's game. I don't think Rasheed likes squatting in the box at all.

Beyond that I would even try a four guard lineup with Mo Williams replacing Simmons. Remember, Michael Redd is 6'6''. He can function in much the same manner as Simmons.

All I know for certain is that Stotts cannot go with his routine lineup. It won't work. If he does he's as big a dolt as everyone has been saying.

FOOTNOTE: Coming into this game, I'm somewhat concerned about TJ Ford guarding Richard Hamilton. Hamilton was unable to exploit this matchup in Game One, but common sense says at some time or another he should be able to go wild against the smaller Ford. Watch out for that.

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