Bucks Diary

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Stuff your lame excuses, Terry

Here's the thing. Its all well and good for the Bucks to talk about how injuries have depleted them... blah, blah, blah. That just doesn't fly. Here's why. The thing that's killing them is they play no defense. And defense is not about players, it's all about effort. Bob Knight, Dick Bennett, Bo Ryan... hell, there are thousands of examples of great coaches who took the most unathletic players and molded them into a great defensive unit. But Terry Stotts cannot seem to do that. And that speaks directly to his lack of acumen as a head coach.

Take last night, for instance. What a disgusting display. Paul Pierce and Gerald Green combined to go 10 for 13 from three point range. No way. Cannot happen. But it did, and that, Coach Stotts, is on YOU. And all he does about it is slap himself on the forehead.

Redd will treat the symptoms, not the disease

My point is, the Bucks offense is okay. Its middle of the pack. But the defense is the absolute bottom of the barrel. They are almost giving up more pts per 100 possessions than the Suns are scoring per 100 possessions. In other words, the Bucks defense is so bad it is making every team in the NBA look as high powered as the Phoenix Suns. That's why they can't compete and why, on the nights they do compete, they can't finish. And that's why this whole thing about "wait till Michael Redd gets back" is such a canard. What's going to happen when Redd gets back? He'll improve the offensive efficiency, no doubt, but the underlying defensive problem will still exist. The foundation of the Terry Stotts Bucks is made of mush.

And what's really annoying is the way Stotts concocts excuses for the situation rather than owning it. And he can't even keep his excuses straight anymore. In a radio interview the other day he started out with the old, tired "wait till our guys get back" excuse, and then, probably realizing mid-sentence that only Michael Redd was out (this was before the Dallas game), he turned to his latest loser's lament. I'm paraphrasing here, but his latest excuse is something like "well, at least we're losing close games now." I wanted to barf. Then I heard him trot the same lame excuse out during the Bucks Radio Network pre-game last night. Then his team got blown out by the team with the worst record in basketball. What excuse is he going to come up with now?

He's got to go.

Photo Credit: AP/Michael Dwyer


At February 15, 2007 at 1:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I feel sorry for the people who pay $10 g's in season tickets. Not because they are paying to watch losers but they actually have to observe Terry Stotts up close and personal.

At February 15, 2007 at 11:00 PM, Blogger Treego said...

The fact is this, "We don't really know why this team is failing so badly right now, apart from the injuries."

I put a big heaping helping of the blame for this team's demise on the players. Not that the players can help it, though. They are just over-matched, I believe, many nights.

Here's our roster:

C-Bogut (young and not progressing much---is it the coach's fault that this guy is a miserable free throw shooter and has not developed any low post moves other than some weak underhanded lefty flip shot? Bogut cannot cover the paint well at all--not a defensive presence whatsoever)

F-Villanueva (young, injured often, and a horrible line drive jump shot from deep -- this guy doesn't seem to get it -- take the ball inside where you're effective and much more efficient, Charlie. Charlie doesn't guard well at all, either.)

F-Patterson (terrific energy and toughness, it seems; horrible FT shooter and a liability in late game situations as a result)

G-Williams (too often injured and not a very good passing point guard at all who is a major defensive liability---should be a 6th man on any good team)

G-Redd (great offensive player with limited defensive prowess---injury plagued to the max this season)

G-Boykins (fun to watch, but he's not efficient shooting the ball AND that is the only strength he has. He's a defensive liability due to his height deficiency and is not a creator for teammates whatsoever)

G-Bell (a good backup guard forced to start too often on this roster)

F-Ilyasova (a young talent that has the potential to be a good scorer in the NBA, but he's far from prime-time right now)

F-Noel (could be a nice bench player in the future, but athleticism alone does not make a good basketball player. I've not seen much basketball skill from this guy at all. Wonderful jumper and runner. Perhaps, track and field or NFL would be better suited for Noel.)

F-Skinner (solid backup in the NBA frontcourt---he's _not_ starter material on any good NBA team)

G-Greer (incomplete)

F-Markota (incomplete)

C-Gadzuric (an embarrassment for an NBA player)

C-Reiner (incomplete)

F-Simmons (injury nightmare so far--the guy's ankles were a mess last season and made him a shell of what he could have been)

So........................ the Bucks need not a new coach as much as they need a decent collection of NBA talent. This team is a 40-45% winning ratio team at best until individuals like Bogut, Villanueva, and Williams take it upon themselves to improve their games by working on post moves, inside mentality, and pass-first tendencies, respectively, on the offensive end.

Larry Harris has assembled a roster of tons of 2nd round talent and Stotts is supposed to wave a magic wand here and make this hodgepodge of athletes a perennial playoff contender? Sorry, but not even the best blogger could do that.

At February 15, 2007 at 11:17 PM, Blogger laserbomb said...

I don't know if Larry K can do it either, I don't know who they should get that's better, but after the other 30 coaches in the league there must be one other man or woman in the world who can run some defensive drills and make a decent rotation better than Stotts.

Maybe he was screwed by the injuries. Let him have his third chance with someone else. How many people even get two chances? This guy was a George Karl disciple, not exactly a John Wooden disciple. When he's as old as Karl, he might even look scarier than Karl looks now. As uninspiring as Redd, Bogut et al can be, Stotts takes that cake.

I know it's a tough division, but if you can't stay ahead of those Pacers someone needs to feel the fear of possibly being taken out back and shot.

At February 16, 2007 at 2:32 PM, Blogger laserbomb said...

10-day contract for Pippen? http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/news/story?id=2767861

Hey, the Waiter could probably still start for this team. I'm all for making a circus out of the rest of the season.

At February 16, 2007 at 2:34 PM, Blogger laserbomb said...

Oh wait- yeah, Pippen's going to come back to play for a 50-loss team.

At February 16, 2007 at 9:21 PM, Blogger The Ghost Runner said...


That's the very excuse I was making in defense of Stotts last year. I felt like everyone was overrating the talent on the team, and I thought he was doing a decent job of getting them to a .500 record.

But this year its different. Put aside the lack of talent question for a minute. That may be true. But the Bucks are breaking down in areas that have nothing to do with talent. That's what bothers me.

Effort, intensity, consistency, concentration, motivation, defensive coordination... These are the hallmarks of good coaching. And the Bucks aren't getting any of them. If the Bucks are meant to lose, their meant to lose. What I can't stand is the way they're losing.

At February 20, 2007 at 1:01 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Utter nonsense about defense being only a matter of effort, compounded by ignorance of college programs and the chief means of great college coaches to motivate defensive playing. You mention Bobby Knight, while failing to not his my way or the highway approach which meant a fair share of highly recruited players had to find other schools. No NBA coach has such latitude or even close to it. When 3 or more of the top 8 are out, a coach can't even threaten the bench. Finally, why do you think the coaches of the Bucks in the preseason delayed full instruction of the offense for defensive prepartation far beyond the initial planning? Because they as opposed to a loud kid with a blog knew they lacked defensive talent to a large degree. Maybe the extra work didn't produce, or maybe without it the defense would be even worse (nad yes, it would be nice to put things in context, such as the difference between the 30th defense and the median one is about 6 points allowed--learn about the range of difference in the NBA prior to pontificating. Let's put it this way whatever his faults, Stotts is a better head NBA coach than you are an NBA commentator.

At February 22, 2007 at 7:33 AM, Blogger The Ghost Runner said...

I love it. This comment section is finally starting to heat up.

Not a bad case you're making, anonymous. Not totally persuasive, though, given the Bucks results. To a certain degree, you're right, you need some level of skill to play defense. But is it a stretch to presume that the players on the Bucks have the prerequisite athletic skill? They're in the NBA after all. If so, then I would suggest that what seperates after that has to be technique, scheme, and desire... all issues of coaching, are they not?

(BTW, I'm glad the Bucks worked so hard on defense in the preseason. Can't say there's been much payoff though. I got a chuckle out of that.)

Finally, while I like your passion for Bucks basketball, you don't need to resort to personal attacks on your friendly "blogmaster". Not that it bothers me all that much, but its really a waste of time and it lowers the overall dialogue. I mean, who cares if I'm a genuine basketball expert? I neither claim to be nor deny that I am, so it neither undermines the arguments I make nor supports yours. In other words, its beside the point.

I guess what I'm saying is stick to logical persuasion and we'll all have more fun.

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