Bucks Diary

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Arenas got his


This time the Bucks were burned by the Human Shoot-a-Way machine, Gilbert Arenas. Arenas buried a three pointer, shot from near Anacostia I believe (and with a hand in his face), as time expired to deliver the win to the red hot Washington Bullets, 108-105. As a Bucks fan, you can live with that. Sure, Charlie Bell probably should have crowded Arenas much earlier in the possession (you knew there was no way Arenas was going to pass), but hey, the guy made a tough shot. That'll happen. The Bucks have nothing to hang their heads about.

In fact, playing a back-to-back against a pretty good team -- a team the Bucks humiliated a few short nights ago -- with their star shooter looking to get back at you -- this game had the makings of a blowout loss for the Red and Green. It was not. In fact, it was the Bullets who needed to rally from behind, late in the game just to beat the Bucks.

All things considered, I was pretty impressed with the team's effort last night. They really battled. They led most of the second half against an opponent that is playing very well and is especially tough at home. The Bucks are playing with obvious confidence.

Only two things really bothered me. One, Bogut reverted to his early season form, putting up very weak numbers. Not all his fault, but he needs to be more assertive. He has to be involved every night for the team to be at top form. Two, you cannot let anyone, I don't care if its Dr. J, go 13-17 against you as Caron Butler did against the Bucks last night. You just cannot let it happen. No one is that good, save for Kareem or Wilt. So at some point you say, I don't care what happens but this guy is not scoring anymore... we're cooling him down if we have to sit him down. That's just tough basketball.

But Bucks fans should take this positive thought away from last night's heartbreaking loss -- four of the Bucks' 6 main contributors turned in subpar performances, while at the same time the Bullets received monster games from their Big 3 -- and yet the Bucks almost won -- and probably should have won. I hate moral victories, but I'll live with this one.

Other Random Notes

...Did the Heat really suspend James Posey for having 9% bodyfat instead of 8%? You have to be shitting me. I would give myself a vacation and a huge attaboy if I ever saw the sunny side of 9% bodyfat again. What's going on in Miami? That ship is about to do some capsizing.

...Word out of Memphis is the Grizzlies are bleeding money and in severe financial trouble. It seems they may not last in that area. I knew this was coming. Let me explain. Last year, while vacationing in Mexico, I met a guy from Memphis who said he was a big Tennessee Vols fan. I asked him if he was also a Grizzly fan. Imagine asking a die-hard Republican if he voted for Al Gore, and you will understand the way this guy told me "hell no". His answer was such that it seemed to treat the entire notion of being a Grizzly fan as absurd, which, by the tone of his answer, I took to be the consensus attitude amongst like minded Memphis sports fans. And the Grizzlies were doing well at the time. That franchise just can't buy a break.

...Someone gave me a Bucks shirt for Christmas. Its one of those gray jersey shirts in Bucks lettering you see from time to time (usually with No. 22 and the name "Redd" on the back)... only mine is No. 10 with the name "Dandridge" on the back. I'm using it as a Bucks fan litmus test. If someone asks me, "Who the hell is Dandridge?"...well, they're not a true Antlerhead. On the other hand, if someone says "Hey Bobby D!"... they are fit to wear the rack.

...Here's an illustration of the folly behind the average fan's obsession with scoring numbers: A cursory look at last night's boxscore and most will conclude that Charlie Bell had a decent game while Brian Skinner had a decidedly so-so game, principally because Bell scored 14 points while Skinner tallied only 8. In fact, Skinner had an outstanding game while Bell was awful. In his 25 minutes of action, Skinner contributed to the team in nearly every way possible, recording the aforementioned 8 points, along with 9 rebounds, 5 blocks, 2 steals, and one assist. When combined with only two missed shots, one missed free throw, and zero turnovers you have a monster 42.21 Eff48 night for the big man. He was superior. On the other hand, Charlie Bell pitched in with his 14 points, plus 5 assists and 5 rebounds, but he missed 11 shots and 2 free throws, and turned the ball over 3 times. Thus he was singlehandedly responsible for 15 empty possessions. That's bad. Plus, his contributions came over 42 minutes of action, so he wasn't nearly as productive with his playing time as Skinner. In fact, when you add it all up Charlie Bell had yet another disappointing night when it came to overall productivity, scoring a terrible 10.42 Eff48. So don't let scoring totals fool you.

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