I never like to wake up to a message like that. “Are you going to be ok?” was the message that awoke me today. The first thing that went through my mind was that Ramon Sessions had been traded. No that rumor has been dead for a week or two now. The second thing was that Larry Harris had been rehired. No no, this is not a nightmare, it’s real life. I asked why, but tossed my phone aside. I would have to look this up myself. It buzzed again but I was determined. I went to espn.com, nothing on the homepage though. That meant little possibility of a trade. Then I remembered last night’s game. JSonline will have my answers. And then there it was….
Emotions are conflicting inside of me.
Michael Redd is the premier scorer on this Bucks team, like it or not. That fact was never more obvious than in the first month of the season when Redd was hurt. The team had little from behind the arc and didn’t have what I call an “offensive stopper”. Every team that is worth anything has someone who can get them a bucket when they need one. When momentum is shifting teams need a guy who can hit the “SHUT UP” shot. Redd was that guy for the Bucks. He’s the most viable threat from behind the arc they have. After him it’s probably Charlie Bell, but he is not someone you want in there for more than 20 minutes a game. This month Redd’s been filling it up to the tune of 24 a game on 45% shooting. He’s even rejecting shots like Mutombo (2 this month alone!). Redd is THE guy on the Bucks.
But what has that meant?
Redd has been THE guy for for the last 5 years. The Bucks have made the playoffs once in that time frame. They have had some of the worst seasons in Bucks history. This has not all been Michael Redd’s fault by any means. By now everyone knows Redd’s shortcomings, he’s not a great defender, he doesn’t do a lot of other things besides score, and he holds the ball a lot on offense. To put it simply, Redd is a star portraying a superstar.
I personally have been advocating a Redd or Richard Jefferson trade for some time, due largely to the cap relief it would provide and picks/prospects the Bucks could net in return. Obviously that will be rather difficult now that Redd is apparently going to miss a lot of time. But I do see this as a perfect opportunity to start over. If Redd is going out the same time that Andrew Bogut is returning to the lineup, it’s time to hand the keys to ‘Drew. He got the large contract this off season and he’s been the most important defensive player and rebounder on the team all year. And when I say he’s been the most important defensive player I mean that in the most vivid way. For this season’s Bucks playing defense without Bogut has been akin to trying to lock a door, only without the luxury of a lock. They have been trying to keep the door closed, but it’s hard to hold back opposing offenses with Dan Gadzuric manning that door. This is the chance for the Bucks to turn the team over to Bogut offensively and see what he can do.
Earlier this year when Redd was out, Bogut was not overly assertive. Scott Skiles even had a talk earlier this year with Bogut about being aggressive. This may be because Bogut still felt like this was Michael Redd’s team, and with him out it became Richard Jefferson’s team. The Bucks have been perimeter oriented since Kareem walked out that door Bucks fans. Someone needs to let Bogut know it is time for a change. If that message gets across to him and the big man gets fed…then I’ll be ok.