Preview Sort Of Thing: Milwaukee Bucks
October 23rd, 2008

The Milwaukee Bucks and their new head coach Scott Skiles are an eclectic mix. Recent Skiles-free Bucks teams have been capable of repeated instances of really bad defence, whereas recent Skiles-led Bulls teams (last year excluded) have been one of the best defensive units in the NBA. Make no mistake about it – Scott Skiles can coach defence. He really can. He even made Michael Sweetney and Eddy Curry into decent defensive players, briefly. In theory, therefore, a union of the two will bring the much-needed defensive improvement to an offensively strong Milwaukee line-up. Or at least, that’s one way to look at it. Alternatively, Milwaukee might have just hired a coach that them away from their strengths, further exposing the flaws in their personnel. This could go either way. For every Skiles strength, there is a Skiles flaw. While he’s shown that he can teach help defence to those players previously written off as futile, he also has a small offensive playbook. While he can coach guards onto better things, he can’t get the same results from big men, yet seemingly insists that he can. For every young player that thrives under his guidance, one more will be alienated and underwhelming. And for every amusing sarcastic comment he makes to the press, he’ll make someone hate him. Perhaps mercifully, the Bucks don’t have too many young players. Their identity as a veteran team looking for something to push them back into contention was cemented this summer, when they dealt the closest thing that they had to a promising youngster – Yi Jianlian – as the primary piece for an in-his-prime Richard Jefferson. In free agency, the Bucks picked up Skiles’s favourite, Malik Allen, as well as other veteran backups Tyronn Lue and Francisco Elson. Trading away Mo Williams saw […]

Posted by at 6:29 AM

The Celtics compared to the Bucks
August 3rd, 2007

Consider what recent fortunes have been like for the Boston Celtics and Milwaukee Bucks. Last year, both of these teams pulled the incredibly-unsubtle-tank-job routine, rivalled only in blatantness by that of the Minnesota Timberwolves. So obvious was it that then-Celtic Ryan Gomes essentially admitted to the tank job in an interview, saying, and I quote: “I probably (would have played), but since we were in the hunt for a high draft pick, of course things are different,” Gomes said. “I understand that. Hopefully things get better. Now that we clinched at least having the second-most balls in the lottery, the last three games we’ll see what happens. We’ll see if we can go out and finish some games.” Say what you really feel, Ry. Both teams put most of their eggs in one basket, trying their best to lose out, hoping for one of the top two spots in this year’s draft, and thus a chance at Greg Oden or Kevin Durant.┬áBut both were the victims of bad karma, and failed to move up, ending up with the fifth and sixth picks respectively. From there, Boston has gone on to trade for two All-Stars, one of whom is arguably the most talented player of his generation still in the back end of his prime. They are left with plenty of work to do, yet they have become instantly vaulted towards the top of the Eastern Conference and into title contention. Whereas Milwaukee is mired in the middle of a soap opera. Enough has been said about Boston and what they’ve done, but Milwaukee and GM Larry Harris seem to have been overlooked somewhat. After a poor 2004-05 season in which they finished with a disappointing 30-52 record, the Bucks beat long odds to win the lottery, and also had maximum […]

Posted by at 1:30 PM