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About that Milwaukee trip…

Essentials

  • Teams: Detroit Pistons at Milwaukee Bucks
  • Date: January 22, 2014
  • Time: 8:00 p.m.
  • Television: FSD

What to look for

The Milwaukee Bucks came into the season expecting to compete for a playoff spot. They made a few moves in the offseason that led them to believe they would field a competitive roster and give Eastern Conference teams some trouble.

Talk about completely misjudging your talent and situation.

Milwaukee collected spare parts from teams that were either fringe playoff contenders or NBA doormats, and simply assumed those pieces would help them earn a postseason berth.

In doing so, they failed to account for obvious issues that could potentially arise with the roster they constructed. Indeed, acquiring a few rotation guys from different teams with varying degrees of success is hardly an ideal recipe to follow when constructing a playoff team if the players are not great fits.

In fact, it can look real ugly when that thought process becomes reality. The Bucks are living proof. They brought in Brandon Knight to play point guard despite the fact that he is less than stellar at running a team.

He is an inefficient scorer and has a tendency to see plays develop a bit late, which kind of matters at that position. On a team with other creators that anticipate defensive looks, this would be a mere blip on the radar, but in Milwaukee, it’s tragic.

Knight is surrounded by players are that singularly minded on getting shots up, which makes for an interesting dynamic. It’s like watching a team full of J.R. Smith prototypes; it might be entertaining in a train wreck sort of way, but hardly a winning formula.

Caron Butler has always favored isolation plays from midrange because it allows him to get his shot off against defenders given his size.

On a good team, he is likely facing the second or maybe third-best perimeter defender of the opposition. In Milwaukee though, teams are devising actual schemes to stop him and well, the result is a 35.9 percent field goal percentage for the season.

O.J. Mayo has gone through a bit of the same transition as Butler in 2013-14. Last season, Rick Carlisle put him in situations that fit his skill set. Mayo played the role of scorer, spot-up shooter and playmaker on a team of high-intellect players, and that helped him sign a three-year $24 million deal with Milwaukee.

Also, he played next to Dirk Nowitzki, which will help just about everyone look better. On the Bucks though, he has not been able to replicate that success because of the team’s construct.

Place a bunch of low-percentage scorers together and they are bound to collectively struggle. Not so coincidentally, they own the worst offensive efficiency in the league.

That is hardly the lone thing limiting Knight and company this season. There is far too much indecisiveness on the team and also, the Bucks seem to be imploding. They have the worst record in the Association and the team’s lack of identity has become an issue according to Mayo who shared his thoughts with Charles F. Gardner of the Journal Sentinel:

It’s hard to get a rhythm when you don’t know what’s going to happen for you night in and night out. You may get 6 minutes, 30 minutes. There’s no staple to what we’re doing. You can hang in there, compete and keep it close.

If you don’t have a backbone to what you do, whether it’s going to be a defensive thing, an up-tempo thing, a pound-it-in-the-paint thing, a drive-and-kick thing. We’ve got to find a staple as a team.

If you thought things were bad from the players’ standpoint in terms of identifying what type of team they are, the sentiment is actually shared by the coaching staff. Larry Drew had this to say to Bucksketball’s Jeremy Schmidt:

When you bring in 11 new faces and you’re trying to learn them and they’re trying to learn you and you’re trying to find out what works, just trying to find chemistry. What you have. And then you mix in dealing with the injuries and having to shuffle things around, it’s not an easy situation. But I knew that coming into it, as far as all the changes that would be made and all the faces. Not knowing exactly what I had and what would work and what wouldn’t work, but I stay committed. I stay committed to trying to find solutions with what we do have. And as we move further down the line we’ll see what direction we’re going to go.

The Bucks might be the opponents for the Detroit Pistons tonight, but if anything, it sounds as though they have to figure themselves out first. Until they actually do so, it stands to reason Milwaukee will not be involved in any compelling matchup.

Read about the Bucks

Bucksketball.

38 Comments

  • Jan 22, 20149:09 pm
    by Jay

    Reply

    So Brandon Jennings right now…

  • Jan 22, 20149:13 pm
    by James

    Reply

    Just a hired gun, still doesn’t run the team very well. He truly needs a Larry Brown type of coach. And exactly why did Josh Smith even suit up tonight, DAMN this teams body language and effort are awful.

  • Jan 22, 20149:52 pm
    by Hook Shot

    Reply

    We are stuck with Cheeks and Dumars at least until the end of the season. On another note, I don’t think Durant can keep up his torrid scoring. He needs help. Dumars should be on the phone with them to see of we can get Lamb and Peery jones. 

  • Jan 22, 20149:53 pm
    by James

    Reply

    LMAOFFFFFFF. Monroe gets stripped, beat up the floor and scored on by a guy SLOWER THAN HIM?????

  • Jan 22, 20149:54 pm
    by I HATE LOSING (Predicting A Strong Finish)

    Reply

    Classic example of why Greg need to shoot that jumper….the do gave him space…he didn’t bite on the spin or pump fake…and he took the ball right away from Greg….

  • Jan 22, 201410:00 pm
    by I HATE LOSING (Predicting A Strong Finish)

    Reply

    I really want to win this game….but we are match 2′s vs there 3′s…. we need to make our 3′s

  • Jan 22, 201410:07 pm
    by I HATE LOSING (Predicting A Strong Finish)

    Reply

    I’m not even mad…sometimes it happens this way…bucks are jacking and making

  • Jan 22, 201410:16 pm
    by James

    Reply

    Good ole Jennings, the gift AND the curse!

  • Jan 22, 201410:17 pm
    by James

    Reply

    Quick question, would you whether have Middleton or Singler?

  • Jan 22, 201410:18 pm
    by James

    Reply

    Rather that is

  • Jan 22, 201410:34 pm
    by microjfox

    Reply

    Singler. I would be good with Monroe for Henson and butler.

  • Jan 22, 201410:34 pm
    by smitty

    Reply

    Go Bucks! Hahaha

  • Jan 22, 201410:35 pm
    by I HATE LOSING (Predicting A Strong Finish)

    Reply

    Props to the Bucks….. we need to either defend the 3 better or make more… when 6-13 for 3s in the 2nd half…Pistons went 1-10 for 3s
    Singler and Bynum gave us nothing….
    Still believe in this team

    • Jan 22, 201410:44 pm
      by Jopl

      Reply

      I do too unfortunately.   It is either all or nothing with this team though.   The bench either completely sucks or is productive.  Smith and Jennings are either stars or jacking up bad shots.  They need defense, better coaching, consisticy and better ball movement.   It shouldn’t be this hard.

  • Jan 22, 201410:36 pm
    by James

    Reply

    I would take Henson and/or Butler, Middleton for the infallible Monroe.

  • Jan 22, 201410:36 pm
    by I HATE LOSING (Predicting A Strong Finish)

    Reply

    Buck went 6-13 3s in the 2nd half

  • Jan 22, 201410:39 pm
    by I HATE LOSING (Predicting A Strong Finish)

    Reply

    We need a scoring Wing…we are one position away.
     
     
     

    • Jan 22, 201410:49 pm
      by gmehl

      Reply

      Sober up my man. We are more than one position away. We need a starting caliber SG, SF and a better coach. Now to get that SF we all know its going to take Monroe to get it so we’ll then have to get a C/PF for then bench to come in an spell Drummond or Smith. We need waaaay more than just one player.

      • Jan 22, 201411:12 pm
        by I HATE LOSING (Predicting A Strong Finish)

        Reply

        You want perfect teams…a scoring Wing that can defend fixes a lot of problems….we have no one that a threat to do what Butler did… we need a guy that can stretch the defense but also can get his own shot and defend the perimeter.we were in control of the game until Cheek pulled…Josh and Jennings..
        But it’s not worth debating over we either need to make more 3s or defend that shot better…we come into the games vs different teams are they all are doing the same thing….

      • Jan 22, 201411:41 pm
        by Frankie d

        Reply

        Right…you have a need so you dump your best, or at worst, second best player to maybe fill a hole.  In the meantime you have tied the team’s future to one of the demonstrably dumbest players in league history – how else can you explain his insisting on taking bad shot after bad shot over the course of a ten year career? – and that player only has 2-3 “good” years left before his knees betray him.
         Don’t forget…he will be a ten year vet after this season.  What is the shelf life for a dumb but athletic nba player who is one of the worst shooters in league history?  Good shooters and smart players sometime hang around for a while after their hops and quicks leave.  Guys like smith have fast and ugly falls, once the rest of the league figures out they can’t run and jump anymore.   Especially when that is all you ever brought to the court.
        yea…that makes perfect sense.  Extraordinarily sound logic.  Trade the good young guy who is years from his prime.  Keep the ten year vet who is one or two years away from seeing his career take a dramatic downturn. 
        Brilliant…just brilliant.

        • Jan 23, 201412:01 am
          by gmehl

          Reply

          Frankie it sounds to me like your anger is wrongly directed at me. It should be directed towards Dumars who is the one who painted us all in the corner we are in now. To tell you the truth i’m not a huge fan of either Monroe or Smith. Both have there warts and I’m not going to even get into a who should be traded battle because we’d be here forever. 

  • Jan 22, 201410:40 pm
    by James

    Reply

    The Bucks are simply better in my opinion, talent and coaching.

  • Jan 22, 201410:45 pm
    by gmehl

    Reply

    This loss I feel will do more good than harm. I am so angry that at the halfway point of this season I’m already hoping we lose every game. Someone needs to lose there job due to a loss like this.
     
    On a funny note I can’t wait to see what Jennings says to the media. You can tell that kid soooo wanted to win this game to stick it up his former team but instead got his pants pulled down.

  • Jan 22, 201410:47 pm
    by I HATE LOSING (Predicting A Strong Finish)

    Reply

    They are not better Butler got hot…they had some tough 3s…. but that’s out weakness… we just have no answers for it

  • Jan 22, 201410:48 pm
    by Hook Shot

    Reply

    Did anyone read the previous article regarding Jennings? He appears to suggest he is shooting poorly because he doesn’t look for his shot first?  We gotta get rid of This guy. 
     
     
     
     this 

  • Jan 22, 201410:55 pm
    by James

    Reply

    I am one who thinks our TALENT is overvalued/overrated. 

  • Jan 22, 201410:59 pm
    by James

    Reply

    PG= clown show, SG= unproven rookie/juggernaut journeyman, SF = out of position, bad shooting PF, PF= Out of position, slow, non-athletic, no defense playing center, C= 2nd yr inexperienced athletic freak. Not the best team in tonight’s game.

    • Jan 22, 201411:25 pm
      by I HATE LOSING (Predicting A Strong Finish)

      Reply

      Buck pg Knight who you all bitched about last year(accept for bk) Btw: Jennings is having a better season….g/F rookie inconsistent unproven…Henson is not more talented than Drummond..Udoh is not more talented than Monroe …and Ilasova is having a worse season than Josh Smith…
      So stop it…

      • Jan 22, 201411:31 pm
        by I HATE LOSING (Predicting a Strong Finish)

        Reply

        I still think Monroe is gone

  • Jan 22, 201410:59 pm
    by I HATE LOSING (Predicting A Strong Finish)

    Reply

    Jennings played the game he needed to play…the problem with the Pistons is that it never seems like a full team has good night’s or games all at the same time…one person plays great and the others fall apart..
    Btw: when we had the on the ropes…checks made some poor subsitutiins and they got right back into the game

  • Jan 22, 201411:02 pm
    by gmehl

    Reply

    From here on out I will be happily be cheering Cleveland, New York, Boston and Philly. As of today the east looks like this:
    33-7 Indiana
    30-12 Miami
    22-19 Atlanta
    21-20 Toronto
    21-20 Chicago
    20-21 Washington
    18-22 Brooklyn
    19-25 Charlotte
    17-25 Detroit
    15-27 Cleveland
    15-27 New York
    15-29 Boston
    14-28 Philadelphia
    11-32 Orlando
    8-33 Milwaukee
     
    I can easily see Cleveland and New York over taking us if we keep playing the way we have. Seems to me the only way up is to go down from here on out and one person is to be blamed for it.

  • Jan 22, 201411:30 pm
    by James

    Reply

    If Jennings and Smith were such great talents, tell me why the Pistons were the only teams to entertain having either one of them? I acknowledged Drummond is the best shot at Stardom between the two teams. After that, its a toss up, our team has no more overall talent than the Bucks. Now, stop it!

    • Jan 23, 201412:11 am
      by I HATE LOSING (Predicting A Strong Finish)

      Reply

      You bastards wanted a better PG than Knight Jennings is a better PG than Knight…also for the Record Jennings has no shooters to kick it when he does breakdown the defense…I said before and i’ll say it against the only PG that could have a high level of success on this team is Chris paul… Josh is struggling at SF…. every other team in the league would have had him at PG from the start…
       
      No defending cheeks
      … but either way I just want the Pistons to win

  • Jan 22, 201411:38 pm
    by Smitty

    Reply

    Might as well trade Jennings, Smith and Stuckey and start over.

    • Jan 23, 201412:13 am
      by I HATE LOSING (Predicting A Strong Finish)

      Reply

      I agree build around Drummond…

  • Jan 22, 201411:40 pm
    by grizz3741

    Reply

    This season is so .. over … and while the Bucks suck … our season is a worse one because we actually started with some talent .. far from a perfect team .. but .. whatever Cheeks and Dumars are doing to lead the Detroit Pistons is a great example of how to FAIL.. my greatest fear now is that we will get less than a fair return on trading Monroe for junk… Stick a fork into this team … and would fire Cheeks NOW in the hope that we could get better .. because little chance  is greater than no chance

  • Jan 22, 201411:50 pm
    by James

    Reply

    Agreed ^^^^^^^^^

  • Jan 23, 201412:04 am
    by gmehl

    Reply

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