After two games it’s been easy to sum up the Bucks exhibition season thus far:
The Bucks come up short after a lot of fouling and free throws.
In another choppy, foul plagued game, the Bucks came out on the short end of the stick Wednesday evening in Detroit, losing 113-104. This one was another tough one to get to for me, I don’t have a radio and NBA.com was not streaming the audio of this game, so I was again unable to catch any of it. But the box score again reveals a few things:
- Brandon Jennings is going to make some things happen, even if those things are not always good. Jennings final line included a team leading 18 points, a team leading six assists, a (can you guess what the next two words are?) team leading six steals and (one more time) a team leading five turnovers. While we all know Scott Skiles is not going to stand around and watch his point guard turn the ball over five times, the six assists are nice. Without watching the game it’s tough to gauge the six steals, as they could be of the Allen Iverson play the passing lane and ignore my man variety. This sort of thing could be masked as long as Luc Richard Mbah a Moute and Andrew Bogut are in, so it’ll be interesting to see who Skiles will try and match Jennings up with as the season progresses. It’s evident Skiles seems some things he thinks Jennings needs to work on though:
“The issue he has right now he is keeping people in front of him — Bynum was going right by him.”
- The Bucks health still appears to be in order after two games. After the game there was little talk about Bogut’s back and Michael Redd’s knee. Bogut played the entire first quarter before sitting out the rest of the (meaningless remember) game. Redd put in about 20 minutes before shutting it down for the night. The only casualty the Bucks have had thus far? Joe Alexander, who has missed both exhibitions with a sore hamstring. The injury could be taking Alexander out of the running early for the starting small forward job. Mbah a Moute has started both games so far.
- As for the other starting spot that appears to be up for grabs? Nothing too consequential happened to push it in anyone’s favor tonight it appears. Ersan Ilyasova failed to grab a rebound in 22 minutes while putting up 14 points. Hakim Warrick had another strong showing off the bench with 12 points and six boards and Kurt Thomas, while putting up decent numbers, was a disastrous minus ten in the plus minus category. Warrick is looking like a solid instant offense option off the bench, but I think Skiles is going to look for a little more muscle up front to start the game. I thought Warrick had the inside track coming into camp, but despite tonight’s less than stellar showing, I think Thomas may get a hard look if Ilyasova doesn’t show more on the glass. I (and everyone else I assume) expect Ilyasova to come around by the time the season starts on the boards. His rebounding numbers in Europe were amazing and there is no reason to believe he won’t be as good in the league (except that Europe kind of … um… sucks I think is the word I’m looking for). With regard to likelihood of starting opening night, my power forward rankings look like this:
- Ersan Ilyasova
- Kurt Thomas
- Hakim Warrick