Bucks Diary

Saturday, December 02, 2006

The continuing curse of Neal Walk

In 1969, the fledgling Suns and the fledgling Bucks were both terrible teams. As such, they vied for the first pick in the subsequent NBA draft by means of a coin flip. The call belonged to the Suns. They chose heads. That decision led the Bucks directly to a world championship and an era of glory. The Suns were left with Neal Walk and continued mediocrity. The Suns have made the Bucks pay for their good fortune the last 19 times they have ventured into the desert.

Last night, however, the Bucks made them earn it. Terrific performances from guards Mo Williams (Eff48: 42.00) and Michael Redd (Eff48: 36.00), and admirable performances from C Andrew Bogut (Eff48: 26.32) and SF Ruben Patterson (Eff48: 23.34), kept the Bucks in the game until the very end.

Alas, the Bucks lost for two frustratingly common reasons: no defense and no bench. The Bucks allowed 122 points to the fast paced Suns and, outside of C Dan Gadzuric, got no production from their bench. The net result was a 122-116 loss. However, if the Bucks continue to play as they have in the last two games, particularly offensively, they will be a formidable force in the weak NBA Eastern Conference.

My point underscored

In a previous post, I questioned why the Bulls sought to replace C Tyson Chandler with C Ben Wallace. I pointed out that each has similar attributes, and Chandler is young and rising while Wallace is clearly declining. Last night Chandler underscored my point, thoroughly outplaying Wallace in their head-to-head matchup. Neither scored much (2 points for Chandler; 1 for Wallace), as is their want, but Chandler dominated the boards (17 rebounds in 31 minutes) while Wallace barely showed up (4 rebounds in 33 minutes).

I've always been a Chandler fan. I'm guessing Bulls fans wish the same had been true for GM Paxson.


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