Bucks Diary

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Bucks Burnt Canadian Bacon


The Bucks are going to have ups and downs this year. They're young. Last night was a down. Toronto is probably not a playoff team, and they ran the Bucks off the court. Why? Defense and a lack of productivity off the bench.

Milwaukee needed a more consistent effort from everyone on defense, and they needed someone to step up and knock the anything-but-rugged Chris Bosh in the mouth.

Instead they got a spotty defensive effort and the rail thin Bosh was barely bothered on his way to a 26 point game on 12 of 16 shooting. 12 of 16! That should never happen. He's not that good. He has exploitable weaknesses that were on display for the world this summer, and the Bucks didn't exploit them. Specifically, the book on Bosh is you bloody his nose early and he'll disappear; play patty cake with him and he'll light you up. His heart is his achilles heal. The Bucks never got around to testing it.

Bucks bench. I'm not one of those who buys into the notion that the Bucks have a deep bench. I think they have competent bench players, but as a compilation the bench lacks the necessary talent. It showed last night. The starters logged a lot of minutes and ran out of steam in the critical fourth quarter.

Even if Simmons were active, I still see little productivity coming from the Bucks reserves. Skinner will have a night here and there; Bell is pretty reliable; Blake will do alright, but overall there just is no gas pedal there. The Bucks are going to just have to lean hard on the starters all year long, or at least until some of the younger players round the corner.

Shaq and Rick Barry

Rick Barry used to make nearly all of his foul shots using a simple principle: back spin. He shot the ball underhanded, but it wasn't granny style (flinging the ball from between the legs with an upside down catapult motion). That's a misconception. He spun the ball up there from his waist. Many have suggested Shaq try this method. Apparently he has no interest in it, feeling he would look "moronic" using this style. Where's the logic? He couldn't possibly look any worse than his current one-handed shotput delivery. Is he worried that the unorthodox release is not a true shot and is somehow unsportsmanlike? This is flawed thinking. Sure, the free throw shot was at one point simply the exercise of a player's normal shot technique, but it hasn't been that way for quite some time. Most players never shoot set shots anymore except at the foul line. So the motion used at the foul line is already an unnatural motion. That being the case, why wed yourself to the set shot? Why not give yourself the best statistical opportunity to convert by using a motion based on science and tested over time?

Photo credit: Frank Gunn, AP

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