Supplemental Buck Droppings: Defense falters in Denver
I prop the Bucks for their improved defensive efficiency (pts allowed/possession * 100) and they go out in their next game and lay an egg. So typical.
After posting a sterling defensive efficiency mark of 96.4 for the preseason, last night in Denver the Bucks' defensive efficiency actually sank lower than last year's abysmal mark (which was 109.6), as they posted a 110.6 DE. I know Denver's got a high octane offense, but that won't get it done, guys.
Villanueva comes alive!
I thought twice about disrespecting Charlie Villanueva in my weekend post, but I went ahead and did it anyway. I knew when I wrote it, though, that Charlie has a habit of sleepwalking through the preseason and then turning on the jets as the regular season approaches. He seems to be doing it again.
Last night he had his first terrific game of the '07-'08 season. In 28 minutes of floor time, he was an absolute basketball playing Jesse, posting an Eff48 of 49.71. To quote Tiny Elvis, "That's huge, man... huge". If Charlie V brought it like that every night, and he could, he would be an All-Star.
Simmons does not heart Melo
Two years ago I was at the Bradley Center when Bobby Simmons nearly fouled out in the first quarter trying to defend Denver's SF Carmelo Anthony. He nearly did it again last night! In 8 minutes of playing time, Simmons picked up 5 fouls. There is obviously something about Melo that brings out the hack machine in Bobby Basketball.
Bogut looks like a Road Warrior
I know Andrew Bogut is a naturalized and not native born Australian, but with his new haircut, he looks exactly like one of the bad guys from the original Road Warrior movie. I must say its a huge improvement over the Maynard G. Krebs, post-bohemian look he sported last season. A huge improvement.
Ruffin, Ivey playing their way into the rotation
This summer, Bucks GM Larry Harris signed PF Jake Voshkuhl to a one year $3.0 million deal, then he inexplicably matched Miami's multi-year, $3.6 million per offer to G Charlie Bell. As an afterthought he signed PF Michael Ruffin and G Royal Ivey to one year deals worth $1.03 million and $743,000 respectively.
To this point, the low wagers are clearly outplaying their more expensive counterparts. Both of the low wagers bring high energy and a surprising amount of per minute productivity to the Bucks, whereas Bell and Voskuhl are probably more talented yet less productive players.
Last night Michael Ruffin was 1 for 3 for 3 points in 20 minutes of action, but because of his scrappy all-around play, he recorded an outstanding Eff48 score of 33.60. Ruffin's physical play is also the perfect antidote to the Bucks soft duo at the power forward position, Yi and Villanueva. Voshkuhl, meanwhile, seems to have fallen out of favor with Coach K, having recorded his third "DNP Coach's Decision" last night in 6 preseason games.
As for Royal Ivey, if you throw out his one bad game of the preseason, he's a consistent 20+ Eff48 performer off the bench, and he is a very tough defender. By comparison, Charlie Bell never seems to have an Eff48 score above 15 in any game, and he is a much less effective defender than his reputation would suggest.
Correction: The original post cited Bell's contract at 5.0 million per year. Wrong. Its 3.6 million, as Frank pointed out. Frank was also correct in pointing out that Bogut was in fact born in Australia... to Croatian immigrants. So the logic of the observation still stands (he's not a product of the unique Aussie gene pool), but the facts are in error.