Whether it’s accurate or not, you often hear Kevin Garnett being referred to as a bully. Well, last night the Boston Celtics did what bullies do â€“ they humiliated a weaker, defenseless opponent. The Milwaukee Bucks experienced the equivalent of having their lunch money taken and then stuffed in a locker as Boston held them to just 56 points â€“ a record low for the shot clock era (Boston scored 87). It was an absolute defensive clinic by the Celtics who just imposed their will on the Bucks. “That’s about as humiliating a defeat as you’ll ever see,” a disgusted Scott Skiles said after the game. “They got us on our heels and took our competitive fight away from us. We pretty much just gave into it.” … How bad was it for the Bucks? Earl Barron (10 points) was the only Milwaukee player who finished in double figures. John Salmons, who seems to exist only to put the ball in the hoop, failed to record a single point … Read More »
December 30, 1990. Scott Skiles made NBA history by dishing out an NBA-record 30 assists during the Magic’s 155-116 victory over the Nuggets. In addition to the dimes, Skiles also managed to score 22 points, grab six boards and steal the ball twice. When you think about it, his 30 assists and 22 points make him directly responsible for at least 82 points.
For the most part, NBA teams will do one of two things when it’s high-pressure time to get a bucket: (1) High screen-and-roll with their best playmaker and their best big man, (2) Iso for their best 1-on-1 scorer. Or, if you’re the Spurs, you might run an actual play that requires more than two guys to move. But it’s those first two options that make the Bucks so tough to figure out when it came to identifying a go-to guy. Read More »
While everyone has anointed the Heat as the Eastern Conference frontrunner (I believe they are), and the Magic, Celtics and Bulls as the best bet to challenge them, one team has slowly solidified its status as a contender: the Milwaukee Bucks. They didn’t have max money to shell out on free agents, but that hasn’t stopped them from having a brilliant offseason – even if it has gone largely unnoticed. Read More »
On just about every level of basketball, a coach’s fate is largely determined by the expectations preceding him. For proof, look no further than the Atlanta Hawks and Milwaukee Bucks.
It’s been a couple of weeks since coach Mike Woodson‘s Hawks waxed Scott Skiles‘ Bucks in Games Six and Seven of their first-round playoff series, and yet today it’s Skiles whose team is considered moving in the right direction, while Woodson is unemployed and his former team faces a mini-rebuilding summer. It worked out that way because the Bucks overachieved beyond preseason expectations that they’d be one of the worst teams in the NBA, while the Hawks fell short of expectations, looking like they didn’t belong on the court with the Eastern Conference’s elite after eliminating Milwaukee.
So with Skiles’ job secure for the foreseeable future, what do the Bucks have to do this offseason to stay on the right track? Read More »
You knew it was going to happen sooner or later. No matter how old Tim Duncan gets, no matter how many steps he’s supposedly lost, no matter who else is supposed to be the go-to guy on his team, TD is going to take over games in the playoffs. In last night’s Game 2 against Dallas, kind of a must-win for San Antonio after they’d dropped the series opener, Duncan scored 10 of his 25 points in the fourth quarter — including eight in a row during a key stretch when the Mavs still had a chance — to steal Dallas’ homecourt advantage and take their heart at the same time … Read More »
Unlike this year’s NBA playoff bracket, where both 8-seeds are legitimately feisty and each conference has up to four teams that could realistically make the Finals, the NBA awards season is turning out to be pretty predictable.
In turning themselves around from a Lottery team to a tough playoff out, the Milwaukee Bucks have thrived on a commitment to defense. While high-volume scorers Brandon Jennings and John Salmons currently get the headlines, it’s guys like Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, Ersan Ilyasova and Kurt Thomas whose unsung efforts on the defensive end will ultimately give the Bucks its best chance at upsetting the Atlanta Hawks in the first round. Read More »
He’s not even the most famous second-round draft pick on his own team, but Luc Richard Mbah a Moute is a classic example of the crapshoot reality of the NBA Draft.
While injured All-Star Michael Redd is the Milwaukee Bucks’ signature second-round success story, Mbah a Moute is the one who can help the team make some noise in the playoffs right now. And unlike Redd, the UCLA product wasn’t even a marquee star in college; it was something of a surprise that he was drafted at all when he was taken with the 37th pick in 2008. Read More »
Even more than MVP, the Coach of the Year award needs a criteria makeover. Because while it’s kind of ridiculous in retrospect that Shaq only has one MVP when he was the most dominant game-changing basketball player in the NBA for several years, it’s patently ridiculous that Jerry Sloan was never deemed the best coach in the League over any of his two decades-plus run in Utah while continually placing his team in the title contending picture. Read More »