Bucks Diary

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Buck Droppings: Bucks opener for grinders only


The Bucks offense is still not in synch. Not even close. But last night they rode their defense and a spectacular performance by Michael Redd, as well as a coming out party for Yi Jianlian, to victory.

The Bucks offensive efficiency during their 40th Home Opener was an anemic 86.3. Ugohlee. Luckily, their defensive efficiency was a staggering 77.0. That's lockdown good. Well...

The Chicago gang that couldn't shoot straight

Actually, if I'm being honest I have to mention that a good deal of the Bucks defensive success was a product of the Bulls shooting. Last night it was horrifyingly bad. The Bulls had plenty of open jump shots, yet they rarely came close on any of them. And I don't mean they "kind of missed", or were "just off". Jump shots by Luol Deng, Kirk Hinrich, and especially Tyrus Thomas, were missing so badly they were often making loud thudding sounds when they hit the Bradley Centre rims... and I'm not exaggerating. Thomas launched a hand grenade in the fourth quarter that missed so badly, and thudded so loud, it must have put a crack in the backboard. But it led to the line of the night from Johnny Mac... "That was a 12 footer that Thomas left 18 feet."

If this is the new Redd, start to smile Bucks fans

Michael Redd is showing signs of becoming a leader and an all-around basketball player. This is great news for Bucks fans.

Redd has always been a scorer. In the last two nights he has also become a playmaker and a rebounder. The play that really stands out in my mind happened on Friday. Redd had the ball on the left wing. Bogut was loitering in the weak side post. Redd vigorously implored him to make a lane cut. When he did, Redd hit him with a beautiful chest pass that Bogut turned into a three point play. That's leadership.

Quiet contributor

I'm constantly blasting Desmond Mason for lack of production. He didn't produce much last night either (see Eff48 boxscore below), but he certainly made a positive difference for the Bucks. With Mason on the court, the Bucks were +24, best on the team. He harassed Luol Deng into a terrible shooting night, he got out on the break like a gazelle, and he was a calming influence on Yi Jianlian.

Yi outclasses Tyrus Thomas

Tyrus Thomas and Yi Jianlian are both lottery picks. They both play the same position. And they are both considered, to varying degrees, "works in progress". Based on last night's game, Thomas has much further to progress than Yi. Unlike Yi, Thomas cannot shoot (at all), dribble, or pass. He's basically an athletic banger and nothing more. And last night Yi even outrebounded him (.25 reb/min vs. .21 reb/min), and matched him in blocks (2 to 2), both areas which should have been Thomas' matchup advantage.

A good week for Bell

Charlie Bell had his feelings hurt during summer negotiations with the Bucks. But he hasn't let it spill over onto the court. Over 3 games he has stepped up his production from last season, and he has been very effective manning the backup point guard position. Props to you, CB. Keep it up.

Bucks Diary Eff48 Scoreboard

Bucks

Redd...31.6
Williams...27.4
Yi...24.7
Bell...19.8
Mason...10.2
Villanueva...10.2
Gadzuric...6.8
Bogut...5.3
Simmons...-(2.6)

Bulls

J. Smith...44.1
Gordon...23.3
Nocioni...22.9
Duhon...15.9
Sefolosha...14.1
Wallace...12.4
Deng...11.5
Thomas...5.1
Hinrich...-(5.8)

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