Bucks Charlotte Bobcats @ Milwaukee 11/20/09
Bucks play another outstanding game tonight as they turn away a directionless Bobcats team 95-88 Friday night at the Huey. The Bucks are now 7-3 for the season (good for 5th in the conference) and 6-1 at home. Box score here. AP recap here.
1. Be Thankful for Brandon Jennings
A Karmic Shift has occurred. Not sure how it happened but after suffering through years of lackluster effort and constant rebuilding, the Bucks have finally seemed to put it all together. We here at Bucks Baseline have been through it all, the injuries, ownership hijinks, salary dumps, coaching changes, pissing off the Chinese government, you name it but on June 25th, when the Bucks selected Brandon Jennings with the 10th overall selection, our luck finally changed.
Just six days ago, on November 14th, Jennings officially started “beasting it” (as our friend “eddie” likes to say, lol!) by dropping 55 points on the Golden State Warriors. Brandon came into tonight’s game with the Bobcats ranked 9th overall in the NBA in scoring and bettered his 24.8ppg average by dropping 29 on the Bobcats (boo-yeah!) on 12-23 shooting from the field. Jennings looks so smooth and natural out there scoring easy basket after easy basket. It seems that his quickness, combined with his left-handed shot and total belief in his game just throws opposing defenders off. No part of Brandon realizes that he shouldn’t be this good this fast! I think he’s an All-Star this season for sure. Basically, he’s the complete and total opposite of Charlotte’s PG combo (Raymond Felton/D.J. Augustin) as those two guys look completely mechanical and have no confidence in their jump shots. I think maybe Larry Brown has been over-coaching them. Glad I’m not a Bobcats fan! It would be tough to watch those two guys try to lead a team for 82 games, that’s for sure. In fact, maybe we should call them “Matthew” and “Fox” because they’re totally LOST (LMAO!).
2. Future’s So Bright We Gotta Wear Shades
Did I mention that the Bucks took out the Bobcats tonight despite playing with three of our starters? That’s right, Andrew Bogut (16ppg/9rpg), Michael Redd (career 20ppg) and our best defender, Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, all sat out with minor injuries. Can you imagine how easily we would have dismantled this lottery bound Bobcats team if we had our full roster? What’s best is that during the 3rd quarter (when the Bucks stretched out to a 16 point lead) I had a little time to compare salary cap situations between the two teams. Did anybody realize that the Bobcats are basically capped out until 2013? Ha! Hey MJ, Isiah is on the phone, he wants his cap management strategy back (lol)! The best part is is that the Bobcats don’t even have any All-Stars or potential All-Stars on that expensive roster. Stephen Jackson, Boris Diaw and Gerald Wallace are nice veteran complementary players but neither of those guys will ever sniff an All-Star game before 20-year-old Brandon Jennings does. Oh, and those three Bobcats players are owed a combined $90 million over the next four seasons (YOWSA!) while 25ppg scorer Jennings is only owed $10 million. Just shows you that the teams that drafts well will always beat the ones who don’t. And yeah, MJ, at least Isiah knew how to draft (HA!).
Our other young players played very well tonight as well. Hakim Warrick came off the bench tonight to play 31 minutes in Bogut’s absence and scored 16pts and grabbed 9 boards. He looked a little bit like a younger, more energetic, $3 million a year Gerald Wallace. Our 2nd round selection, PG Jodie Meeks played some nice minutes in relief of Ridnour and Jennings by dropping 8pts (7 more points than that combined outputs of Bobcat lottery picks Gerald Henderson and Augustin).
Have to say that the Bucks immediate future (with the return of Redd/Bogut/a Moute) and long-term future (just $19 million in guaranteed salaries as of July 2011) look amazing. Timbuk3 said it best: The Future’s So Bright (I Gotta Wear Shades).
3. Tale of Two Coaches
Scott Skiles and Bobcats coach Larry Brown share a lot of similarities. They’re both former PGs who are known for their emphasis on defense. Both have been accused of over-coaching in the past. This season, Skiles seems to have turned it around though as the entire Bucks team looks loose and the offense looks as liquid-fluid as we’ve ever seen. The Bobcats meanwhile look like they are thinking through every possession. You would have thought that Charlotte would be less mechanical after trading Mr. Roboto himself, Emeka Okafor, during the summer but they look even more unnatural this season without him. Sucks to be them.
The Bucks look like a guaranteed Playoff team come this Spring and when Bogut & Redd come back into the lineup to join the League’s newest Superstar Brandon Jennings, LOOK OUT! Everybody have a great weekend, enjoy the win and be thankful that you aren’t a Charlotte Bobcat fan.