Tag:Ben Wallace
Posted on: December 3, 2008 6:10 pm
Edited on: December 3, 2008 6:14 pm
 

Milwaukee Bucks: Week 5 (0-4)

(sigh) Winless for the week... 7-12 for the season... Last place in the division... only better than the Wizards and Bobcats in the east.... (Sigh)

I can Hardly beleive the Bucks were not able to eek out at least 1 win. I will not beat up on my team though because, the truth is, there is a lot of upside to this Bucks team. We can not deny the impact of the injury to Michael Redd(who returned saturday against the Cavs); the adjusting to a new system under a new coach, Scott Skiles; and the 3 games Andrew Bogut has missed last week, hopefully he will return tonight against the Bulls). All this is compounded with the rather ruthless schedule thus far like: 4 game weeks all of November, playing 10 of 17 games on the road, and a 4 game road trip that ended with a back-to-back with later being a home game against the LeBrons Cavaliers. Excuses, excuses, excuses... Well the schedule will get a tad bit lighter and at least the Bucks will get to play consecutive games at home.

Mil @ Orl
Man this was a heart breaker. I was impressed with Andrew Bogut taking it to Dwight Howard scoring 16 point in the 1st half of play. I was thinking the rest of the crew would step up for the 2nd half but then Bogut went down as well as the Bucks chances for winning this game. Howard went on to pour on 20 second-half points, took over the boards and controled the paint for the duration of the game. Howard played free safety on Ramon Sessions and got to him every time he drove the paint in the second half - thus, 7 points on 3-14 shooting, but seesions did contribute 8 assist, 6 rebounds and 2 steals to circumvent his lack of scoring. We can through in that we already had not Luke Ridnour and no Michael Redd for the game too.

So we lost

Final 108-101

Mil @ ATL
Another possible win. Another attribute to the value of a 7-footer playing solid defense and rebounding the ball. No way does Al Horford go for 21 points,  9 rebounds, 3 blocks and 2 steals, if Bogut plays; But the the Hawks took advantage and fed the ball to the post heavily. Joe Johnson ran decoy all game atempting only 12 shots but dishing out 9 assist by handling the ball and drawing double teams. Mike Bibby hung around the 3 point line all game and when his defender went to help he knocked the shots down - 18 points, hitting four 3 pointers. Marvin WIlliams did the same except he was in the paint and was able to get to the free throw line 10 times and only miss once. Ronald "Flip" Murray ran around, like a chicken withhis head cut off, and put in 16 points.

Despite all that the Bucks still kept it close. Richard Jefferson dropped 25 points - but when you take 20 shots and get to the line 10 times thats kind of expected. Ramon Sessions also was a big contributor, while playing heavy minutes for a limited Ridnour, he dropped 21 points. Charlie Villanueva 19 points were well appreciated.  What was not was his poor defense; I swear everytime Chuck took the bait on those double teams, which puzzles me because its not like he's going to block a shot. Dan Gadzuric earned some of the $6 mil that he's getting this year, and started for thte injured Bogut.

So the Bucks hung in there but did not have the muster to steal this on either...

Final 102-96

Mil @ Det
What a penalty for Allen Iverson not start against the Bucks for missing practice....

"We talkin' about Practice... Practice!, Not a game, not a game... Not a game, but PRAC-TICE"

Anyway, it wasn't like the Pistons were going to need him much. The Bucks are Andrew Bogut-less, Michael Redd-less, and starting a gimpy Luke Ridnour. So, this game was wachable, though, because Iverson did play; Richard Hamilton, Rasheed Wallace, and Tayshaun Prince played too; Richard Jefferson shot the ball a lot, got a great dunk, and Sessions drove the lane and made some sweet layups.

AND

DAN GADZURIC earned some of that $6mil he's getting this year and dropped 10 points, grabbed 12 rebounds, swatted 3 shots and was a perfect 4-4 from the freethow line in his 32 minutes of play!

too bad the Bucks lost

Final 107-97

Mil vs Cle
Coach Skiles choose the following starting lineup...

C - Gadzuric
PF - Villanueva
SF - RJ
SG - Sessions
PG - Ridnour

Charlie Bell and Andrew Bogut wer both out with injuries and Michael Redd made his return from his ankle injury. I can Imagine that Luc Richard Mbah a Moute did not start because Skile figured Redd would provide enough scoring from the bench. Thing is, Ben Wallace is going too punk Chuck V at the 4 spot (which he did) and it may have been better to bring in Chuck V against Anderson Varejao to draw some fouls and get to the line (Big Ben has never been foul prone).

The Bucks got Killed on the boards getting out rebounded 53-38. Zydrunas Ilgauskas dropped 23 points and grabbed SEVENTEEN ! (17) rebounds - another testiment to the void of having no Bogut leaves. I mean, Bogut is 6th in the league in rebounding with 10.9 per game. The Bucks never led at any point in this game. At Half time the Bucks were down by ten. Then at the end of the 3rd the got within 5 points. In the 4th they pulled within 2 point twice but anyway they lost.

Fan Story
The real sad thing about this HOME game is that they showed LeBron clips at the Bradley Center before the game started. Then when the Bucks were making a move in the forth quarter there was No cheering, No Rallying, No Chanting. IT WAS PATHETIC. It was nothing like the comeback game against the Wizards earlier this season. For that matter, its not even like what I remember from all the many many many times I went there from elementry to high school; From Terry Cummings and Alvin Robertson; to Todd Day and Eric Murdock; to Glen Robertson and Ray Allen (after that I moved from Milwaukee). I remember being there at the 2000 playoff when Reggie Miller broke out hearts and we lost game 5 at home (back when the 1st rd was only 5 game series); And next year, at game 6 of the ECF, when we pushed Allen Iverson and the 6ers to game 7.

Anyway, those teams equally sucked but we always cheered them on.

LOOKING FORWARD
Tonite we face the Bulls at Home and we need some "get back". They were able to pull one on us during te season opener but not this time. Plus they played last night and the Bucks had 3 days off - they should be able to run them out the Bradley center.The only other game this week is against the Bobcats Friday. The Bucks need these 2 badly becasue Sunday they start a 3 game West Coast Road Trip Starting with the Lakers, then the Suns  and Finihsing up with the Warriors.

Being optimistic the Bucks can use the momentum from the Bulls and Bobcats to possible steal 1 from the Lakers. If we have All our starters for this week we should get at least a 3 game winning streak going

 

Snap and Roll I'm outta control!!!!

Posted on: October 16, 2008 6:36 pm
Edited on: October 16, 2008 9:24 pm
 

2008-2009 Central Division Preview

This year we hope that the Central Division ascends above the Pistons and Cavaliers battling for supremacy. With a Rejuvination Eastern Conference the Bulls, Bucks and Pacers are teams with great mixtures of youthful talent, veteran leadership and playoff potential. Barring no big injury woe, the Pistons and Cavs will still top this division but the gap is closing and the other three teams will make a push for the 7th and 8th playoff spots.

This is how I see it all falling...

 

1. Cleveland Cavaliers

Thats Right! The Cavs(aka the LeBrons) no doubt have the best player in the league on their team in LeBron James. He is the heart and soul of the Cavs, a leader, and a freak of nature. Two years ago we seem him take a less talented team all the way to the NBA final, pretty much single-handedly. We also know that King James has been begging for help and I think he has gotten those role players that will get the LeBrons, I mean, Cavs over the hump.

At the trading deadline last year we seen a couple of fair acquisitions in Ben Wallace, Delonte West and Wally Szczerbiak. Ben Wallace, though not the player of old (just a player thats getting old) still is able to provide solid foul free defense, grab 8-10 rebound per game and, since no one will be covering him on defense, get a few open looks under the basket. I Dont think there is much to argue on the value of rebounding and defense. Delonte West and Wally Szczerbiak are not the starters they hoped for but are the kinds of players King James needs to be surronded by i.e. jump shooters.

This summer the Cavs stole Mo Williams from the Milwaukee Bucks(probably the Bucks way of getting rid of a bad contract by the previous GM). Nonetheless, this was great for the Cavs because the get the PG that Delonte West is not and that Daniel Gibson will never be. Basically they are getting that "Larry Hughes" type of scorer that got them to the Finals in 2007. The difference here, with Williams, will be his consistancy and ability to be the stand-in leader/scorer in case LeBron needs to take a week off (gets injured) - like he was able to do last year for the Bucks in Michael Redd's absence.

 

Looking at the cavs as a whole, the pieces of this puzzle are fitting well. Most importantly they have a "true PG" with Mo WIlliams a piece that been missing for years in Cleveland - and that puts guys like Boobie Gibson, West and Wally on the bench where they belong. Its not that they are bad players but they are one dimensional and a great asset ON THE BENCH. At Center, Zydrudas Ilgauskas is a consistant player in the paint, he's no great shot blocker but he does have a nice mid-range shot (14.5 PPG on his career) and at 7'3, 8-10 RPG is a piece of cake. The one worry is his in ability to play big minutes, he averages less that 30 MPG and he's 33 yrs old, which will put Anderson Varejao and Wallace on the floor together. I dont see a big issue because the Cavs have a lot of shooters on their bench, which means tripple teaming LeBron will be risky. Now I know there will be none believers but thats what the Cavs will count on and that should lead to a nice 1st month record.

 

2. Detroit Pistons   

The Pistons are looking the same in terms of their starting line-up. Chauncey Billups, Richard Hamilton, Tayshaun Prince and Rasheed Wallace are a bonafide nucleus for 50+ win season and a trip to the conference finals. This year the same question that has been lating around for 4 years now is still on the gym floor of the Palace - WILL THEY MAKE IT BACK TO THE FINAL. Now I wil not be a party pooper because they is really no reason not to see the Pistons doing what they have been doing for about 7 years now. I do still think that the rise in talent out east will bump them down in the win column but not necessarily from title contention.

Now there was suppose to be a 'shake up' in the Detroit but all we got was a new head coach, Michael Curry, and a big question mark, Kwame Brown. Now I will remain optimistic about Browns production because with Antonit Mcdyess, Jason Maxiell and Amir Johnson, he probably will not see more than 12 MPG. With that said, much will not be asked of Mr. Brown and he'll have an opportunity to ease his way into the Piston system and rotation.

The measure if succes for the Pistons will be the group of young bench players they have - Maxiell, Johnson, Rodney Stuckey and Aaron Afflalo. Last year we got so see promise in all of those young guys, particularly Maxiell and Stuckey, who both had solid playoff performances. The core group of the Piston will need to be able to not play heavy minutes during the regular season in order to make a ligetimate push in the playoffs. So the questions this year will be weather that group can produce with increased minutes and should the load from that group.

I look for the Pistons to be in the Conference Finals once again but I also expect the regular season number to take a dive.

 

3. Milwaukee Bucks

During the off season the Bucks did some very needed retooling with their players and organization. We seen Mo Williams and Yi Jianlian depart, a new GM, a new head coach (former Bulls Coach Scott Skiles) and 2 new starters, Richard Jefferson and Luke Ridnour.

I have High expectation for the new look Bucks. The Bucks picked Michael Redd and Andrew Bogut as the center pieces to build around and added the high flying RJ to the mix. Andrew Bogut was thought to be a 'flop' as a 1st round 1st draft pick but now that has halted with his great stride he made last season. I do not see any reason why that trend does not continue and with Coach Skiles and RJ on the team I see Bogut averaging 10 pts, 10 reb, 2blk and 1steal per game.

Redd and Rj will be the designated scorers on the squad and with Redd chucking them up from deep and RJ slashing teams with be having fits on defense. If you ask me, this Scoring Duo will be second to only Carmelo Anthony and Allen Iverson but theses two (and team) will play defense.  They both averaged almost 23 ppg last season and that should carry on. Their biggest asset will be that they both are still willing to pass(Redd 3.4 APG RJ 4.2 APG) and that will allow Bogut and Chuck V to get touches and keep opposing defensive honest.

Now Charlie Villanueva we chosen over Yi to stay with the Bucks and he has to prove himself this year. He was distrought over Yi getting the starting nod over him last year. Then went on a tear near the end of the season proving he's more than a 7 foot with a jumper but that has to transcend to this upcoming season. I think the Bucks selected the right player, seeing that they gave up Ford in order to acquire him in 2006 - he will breakout or he will be out.

I truly do not know where to place the Bucks just yet. As we know, Coach Skiles is very regimented(probably why Ramon Sessions is not in the rotation yet) and, as we seen, million dollar babies are sensitive these day but if these are the right players to buy into Skiles system I can see them in the playoffs this season as the 8th seed.

 

4. Indiana Pacers

This is another team that has suffered do to past bad executive decisions. Last year the found faith in Danny Granger and Mike Dunleavy Jr and decided to shape a team around them. They also ridded there team of another cancer, Jermaine O'Neal, and got a PG that they are not scared to let play (Jamal Tinsley is not injured). The Pacer did a good job this off season of bringing in other nice young talent like Brandon Rush, Jarret Jack, Roy Hibbert and Maceo Boston.

Expectation for the Pacers are pretty high the season due to how the poured it on late last season. They definately have the talent pool to make a serious push into the playoffs. I do not really know what to expect fromthis group. They have a bunch of jump shooters and will have a field day from downtown - maybe the eastern conference version of last years Warriors. Not saying T.J. Ford is a Baron Davis but he really is the onlt inside scorer they have. SO I expect a lot of drive and kick type plays but hope fully they dont foul Ford too hard and harm that delicate spine of his. Now they have the young Roy Hibber but he will need time to adjust to the league and will not be much of a factor.

One reson not to discount this team is due to the fact that all the roles are filled.

Granger and Dunleavy are a 20-20 scoring duo - Check
TJ Ford is True Point Gurad that can find the open man and score when needed - Check
Jeff Foster and Troy Murphy are solid rebounders who are not afraid to bang in the paint - Check
Rush, Jack, Shawne Williams and Rasho Nesterovic are capable solid bench player - Check


5. Chicago Bulls

As the rest of the both feeder in this division, the Bulls also did som soul checking this off season. Well not really but they did really hit the lottery with the lottery draft pick and selected Point Guard Derrick Rose, 1st round 1st draft pick. Of the bat that calls the beavy of guards they have into question. They still have Kirk Hinrich, who was defensive 1st team 2 years ago. They Still have Larry Hughes and his monsterous contract. Still got Ben Gordon who was recently sign a 1-year deal and Thabo Sefolosa who is one of the few guards in the NBA who can play defense.

I do not have a lot to say on the Bulls because its obvious that they are still in the rebuilding stages. They have Plenty of scorers and Jump shooters the likes of Luol Deng, Andres Nocioni and all their guards. Then you look at their front court and you see yound and very athletic young talents like Joakim Noah, Tyrus Thomas and even Aaron Gray. Nothing is sorted out - but the are deep in the talent pool.

What I expect to see is that the Bulls to use the season to determine who they can use to build around Derrick Rose  -

I know, NO BRAINER!

 

 

 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com