Bucks Diary

Friday, February 29, 2008

Responding to reader comments


I always say I want this to be a site for the highminded Bucks fan, then I get a series of excellent comments and just let them rot. Sorry. (By the way, "excellent comments" are not synonymous with "comments that agree with my point of view". Absolutely not. Always bring it at me... I'm often wrong. And if you go back, I'm often self-contradictory, too. But bring it strong with reasoning. No need to get emotional, like Sonny from The Godfather).

Q: Why did Yi die after his Xmas masterpiece?

A: The trite answer is his legs got tired. But that's too simplistic. To believe that, you have to believe in "sudden fatigue syndrome". And I don't necessarily think teams have played him differently... (a) he wasn't playing well enough to game plan him; and (b) that doesn't explain why he hasn't been rebounding.

No, I'm afraid the opposite occured. I think his big Xmas game was the fluke, not the other way around.

The problem with Yi is twofold. (1) He has "Ralph Sampson" disease. The guy is 7'1'', playing a game that rewards height, and yet he refuses to use it to his advantage. He has to work on post moves and limit his outside shooting for the time being. (2) I think he played a bit too long in an environment in which things were too easy for him. He's a rockstar among the Chinese. That guy who played for Dallas never was. You have to assume at some point he dominated. Yet he's not dominating now. That's sometimes a hard pill to swallow... your pride. He's got to come to grips with the fact that he isn't likely to have easy baskets here. He's got to get crafty and tough.

Q: Are you really satisfied with guards who can't defend?

This is a good point. I said a couple of posts ago that we were okay at the 1 and the 2. But I didn't mean to suggest we had Hal Greer and Walt Frazier. And, actually, as much as I like Mo Williams, I'm beginning to suspect that perhaps if we had a better defender at the 1 we wouldn't have such a consistently high Oppo 3pt FG%. That's killing us. Plus, we need more ball pressure from the point.

What I meant was, those guys have some value, and I'm afraid that if you trade them you will get garbage in return. The Bucks will almost certainly trade Redd, and I'm afraid of what will come back.

Q: Did you see the post on WoW about Carl Landry?

Yes. In fact, earlier this season I was looking around for hidden assets, and I saw Landry's numbers. I was impressed. At that time his playing time was so minute I figured it must be an abberation, but apparently it wasn't. That guy looks for real.

The cruel fact of the matter is that Landry, a second round afterthought, may add more value to Houston than Yi, a lottery pick, will to the Bucks.

Q: Are the defensive problems scheme related or personnel related?

I've been kicking this around in my head forever. Sometimes I think the problems are scheme related. For instance, why do the Bucks switch on soft picks? Doesn't that just create mismatches? And why do they trap so often? The traps don't lead to many turnovers... they just seem to lead to scoring opportunities for the opposition.

But then I watch the Celtics and begin to think our problems are personnel realted. Maybe our guys just don't like defense. After all, the Celtics don't seem to have that many better athletes, yet they play stifling defense. Their reactions are so much crisper and more aggressive and more intelligent than the Bucks... maybe their guys understand and enjoy defense and the Bucks simply don't.

I need to put more thought into this one. All I know for sure is we haven't played decent defense in Milwaukee since the 1980s. And this is a town that would support a team that relied on defense, so it doesn't make any sense.

Q: How would you fix the Bucks?

You give me way too much credit. I don't have any foolproof plan to fix this team. But like any fan, I have a few suggestions.

And the first would be: Go a little hardhat. I think the Bucks have put far too much emphasis on "athleticism". I think its overrated. Were the Celtics of the 80s "athletic"? Not that I recall. What about the frontline of the Bad Boy Pistons? Not really.

I think this team needs a serious dose of ugly. We've relied on cute for too long. We need guys who want to roll up their sleeves, play defense, and hang out in the lane. We need more meateaters and fewer perimeter players is what I'm trying to say.

Gotta go. I'll have more thoughts tomorrow or Sunday.

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