Bucks Diary

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Bucks look like the Pittsburgh Pisces

I know I keep saying this, but last night's effort was sickening. No one except Gadzuric seemed to even care, and he looked like a spaz (Why does he shoot so much? That's not his role. Besides, he couldn't beat my four year old niece in H-O-R-S-E. The Bucks should fine him if he shoots anything that isn't a dunk).

This is about the sixth non-professional performance of the season. I don't get it. When he played, Coach K brought a lunchpail to every game. Why does he tolerate the kind of efforts we saw from so many players last night?

I'm not going to limit myself to generalities, either. I tivoed the end of the game just so I could call specific guys out for their disgusting play. I do so below.

4:03 4th Quarter
Bucks 98 Pistons 115

The game is still theoretically in reach, but you couldn't tell by the Bucks effort. They look like a YMCA team. The Pistons point guard brings the ball down against decent pressure from Royal Ivey. The wing player on the left makes a cut and frees himself from Awvee Storey and receives the pass just inside the arc on the left wing. Meanwhile, on the other side of the court, the Pistons run a casual double stacked pick on Charley Bell, but Bell's effort at getting around it is so nonchalant, he just kind of trails his man and allows him to get free cutting across the free throw line... in perfect position to receive a pass without any interference from Bell.

Now, this next part is not an exaggeration. The ball is still on the left wing. Bell's man is in the lane between Bell and the ballhandler as I described. Again, this next part is unbelievable but true... BELL REMAINS BEHIND AND ABOVE HIS MAN, MAKING NO EFFORT AT ALL TO GET BETWEEN HIM AND THE BASKET.

Are you able to picture this? If not, here's my caveman rendition of the play. I couldn't believe it. Did Bell lose track of where the basket was, or what? How can you explain such a thing? It was so disgusting. It was as if Bell was ALLOWING the guy to score.

Bucks 98 Pistons 117

Next Piston possession Detroit runs the most rudimentary pick and roll at the top left hand part of the key. Ruffin's guy sort of picks Royal Ivey. Ivey and Ruffin switch, but Ivey's reaction to the screen is so lazy he's caught out-of-position high when Ruffin's man cuts to the basket. Ivey's original man sees this and makes an easy bounce pass to Ruffin's original man who is cutting to the basket. Uvey is way out of position and just kind of flails at the pass. Meanwhile, Yi Jianlian is in the lane, on the ball side, and in perfect position to defend the play, except he somehow let's Ruffin's guy get right past him for a layup. Unbelievable. By the way, Charlie Bell was in the lower opposite box, in perfect position to prevent the layup, and HE DOESN'T MOVE A MUSCLE.

Bucks 98 Pistons 119

On the Bucks ensuing possession, Royal Ivey throws a pass from just inside half court to one of the Palace popcorn vendors about 16 rows behind the basket. Pistons ball.

The Pistons point guard comes down and gets a screen from Ruffin's man. Inexplicably (AND THEY DO THIS ALL THE TIME AND IT DRIVES ME NUTS) the Bucks decide to switch on the screen when there was no need to at all, creating a ready-made mismatch for the Pistons to exploit. Great Coaching. Great strategy. Switch on everything.

Anyway, whoever the hell the Pistons point guard is, he dribbles the ball maniacly in the lane, nearly loses it, gathers it back, throws a wild pass to another Piston right of the key, this guy fumbles the ball, and then is forced to literally push the ball to Walter Herrmann in the corner for a wide open three. Swish. Mind you, during the entire hot potato sequence, at least 4 Bucks could have gained possession with the most minimal of effort. No one bothered. And by the way, it looked like half the Bucks were playing zone and half man-to-man. Or maybe half of the guys just didn't care.

That's how it went all night long, and that's basically how its been all season long, especially on the road. I'm sick of it.


At February 23, 2008 at 1:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is it the coach? Player leadership (or lack thereof)? I can't imagine how the word "playoffs" have been in discussions regarding this team up until the last home win over Detroit! I noticed all the same lack of effort you did and is totally pathetic given the salaries these guys make. I'd be interested in hearing your "fix" for this team - it would likely be material for a 10 part series!

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