2 Notes before I get into the week ahead.
1. Francisco Elson
What got into this guy yesterday?? Elson played his finest game as a Buck yesterday. As a matter of fact I dug around a little and I’d say this was the 4th finest game of his career. (Dude had 21-10 against the Lakers once!) If he’s “The Zombie” then yesterday he was one of those I AM LEGEND zombies that ran around all over the place like Michael Johnson. How many inbound passes has Elson stole in his career? That had to have been his first one right? But for all you Bucks fans who insist he should be starting ahead of Gadz while Bogut is out…please. And I mean puhhhleeaaasse. Elson isn’t very good. This will be the high point of his season. He falls down more than Dwyane Wade, but takes 5x as long to get up. He is a capable third string center. Gadzuric is a crappy second string center. I’ll still take Gadz over him. They both seem to think they can hit turnaround jumpers though, which is confusing to say the least. Gadz is a much better energy guy though and just an all around better player. I’d say the only thing Elson does better than him is be large. Kudos to Francisco on that.
2. Ramon Sessions
I’ve given my two cents on the Michael Redd injury so I’ll refrain from dipping back into that pool but I forgot to mention how this will impact everyone’s favorite second string point guard. We all remember earlier in the year when he averaged nearly 16 and 6 with Redd out. I’d expect him to get the same opportunity now and have similar results. I know I’m excited to see him get additional burn. He looked real good last night and was noticeably more aggressive after Redd went down. For what it’s worth the Bucks are 7-4 in games where he reaches 7 assists this year, with the losses being close games to Toronto, Orlando, Atlanta and Cleveland.
January 26th vs. Minnesota (14-27)
Break up the T’Wolves! They have been on fire in the month of January. Who would have thought they would improve so much after dumping legendary coach Randy Wittman. McHale has guided them to a 10-12 record since taking over. He probably doesn’t get why everyone dislikes Kevin McHale the GM. If Bogut returns on Monday that will coincidentally be the second time this season that he makes a return from injury against the Wolves. That game was a three point shooting clinic put on by the Wolves as they finished 13-22 en route to a 2 point win. Rodney Carney of Memphis fame was especially productive that game going off for 22. He’s averaging 10 points a game this month, which equates to the best month of his career. For fun here’s a quote from Rashadmccants1.com about Rashad himself.
“Once you open it up and start to read it, you find out things that you’ve never really seen or heard before. And I think that really describes me.” – Rashad McCants, comparing himself to reading The Bible
January 28th @ Indiana (16-27)
Most of the season Indiana has been looked at as a hard luck team. They’ve had a BRUTAL schedule and lost a ton of close games this year, signs of a hard luck team. Well I’m just going to say they aren’t very good. I don’t care about all the excuses that are being made for them, they aren’t good. Every year Troy Murphy puts up numbers on bad teams, probably because he is bad. Same with Mike Dunleavy. At least before the Pacers could stay in the news when their players got arrested, now they are putting together a collection of school boys and losses both. They are no longer even the butt of a joke, just the butt of the league. Congratulations I guess. The moustache homage last week was funny though. This is the kind of road game the Bucks should win though.
January 30th @ Toronto (17-28)
Jermaine O’neal trade rumors and Jose Calderon’s free throw streak. That sums up what Raptors fans have to look forward to for the rest of this season. The Craptors aren’t likely to make a run at the playoffs. Not with the antics of Jamario Moon. I’ve been saying for over a year now that they need a real player at the 2 or the 3. Seriously, like anyone that can play basketball would do. Is this that hard to fill? There is no one in the D-League that is better than Moon or Joey Graham? They played Anthony Parker at the 1 last week while Calderon was out, it’s like training camp all over for them again. Another one of those bad team road games the Bucks need to win to get into the tourney.
January 31st vs. Atlanta (26-16)
As usual the Bucks will be shorthanded against Atlanta. Well they’ll be shorthanded against everyone for the rest of the year, but each game against the Hawks this year someone has been missing. What got into the Hawks bench the other night? Damn. It’s pretty unlikely they’ll match that effort, but the Hawks starters are still a handful. Al Horford will probably be back for Saturday, and he was lethal earlier this year when Bogut was out. Bogut-Horford should be an intriguing match up. Atlanta is definitely good enough to come into the Mil and take one, so the Bucks will need to bring their A, B, and C game and roll them up into one on Saturday.