2010 Haiku Review: Forwards

I reviewed the 2009-10 Milwaukee Bucks centers on Monday, today we knock out the forwards.

[table id=17 /]

Darnell Jackson

A D-League terror,
Minutes in a useless game.
May have a future

A late season waiver wire acquisition, the Bucks thought enough of Jackson to claim him even though he could not be on the playoff roster. This was before Andrew Bogut’s injury, but they could have used another end of the rotation big for the playoffs even then. This indicated at the time that the Bucks would likely be interested in seeing if he could contribute going forward and reports that he’ll be in Vegas with the Bucks summer league team would confirm that suspicion. In two D-League games this season, he averaged 33 points and 11.5 rebounds, so there must be at least SOMETHING to Jackson’s game. Brandon Jennings also Tweeted about his dance moves, which is fun to hear about.

Hakim Warrick

Thundering dunker,
Positionless defender.
His hands, they betray.

It seems like ages ago that Warrick was being talked about as the possible steal of the off-season. After a strong pre-season, Warrick only showed flashes of productivity. He’s a man without a position. Too small to body up to big power forwards, but too slow to hang with threes. There was some hopeful talk last summer about Warrick spending time at the three, but his shaky ball-handling and unreliable jump shot quelled those hopes quickly. Warrick was a prolific dunker and probably has a role in a third of the Bucks highlights this season, but he just couldn’t hold up enough on defense to get much of a role. Before being shipped to Chicago, he was shipped to the end of the bench.

Luc Richard Mbah a Moute

A stout defender.
Jumper a work in progress,
His future still bright.

The body of a three and the game of a four. Mbah a Moute’s an important part of the Bucks going forward, but in a weird way. If he’s starting at the four, that severely limits Milwaukee’s options offensively. If he’s starting at the three it does the same. But he’s the Bucks best defender not named Andrew Bogut and probably could make an All-Defensive team as early as next season. That’s why it is so crucial Mbah a Moute develop a spot up jumper at minimum. He worked all off-season last year on it and actually shot 8% worse from 16-23 feet this season. He’s likely looking at a bench role where he’s coming in to match up with the other team’s scoring threats at certain times in the game. If he can knock down jump shots with some consistency next season though, that only helps his cause. Milwaukee may be able to get by with him playing some three, assuming they have a good ball handler at the two and capable offensive threat at the four.

Ersan Ilyasova

Shoots threes, pounds the glass;
On occasion, flings too much.
His ceiling is high.

Despite being labeled by some a “chucker”, Ilyasova had a terrific first season back for Milwaukee. He was one of Milwaukee’s most consistent rebounders and showed flashes of being able to do so much more. After a strong start to the season, his three-point shooting numbers tailed off badly in March and April, perhaps due to some tiredness. Unfortunately, this off-season doesn’t include much rest of Ilyasova, as he’ll play for Turkey in the World Championships. Coach Skiles has said he thinks Ilyasova will round into a 37 or 38 percent three-point shooter, in addition to improving taking the ball to the hoop. As a post up player, Ilyasova offers little, but his work ethic is good and his effort is always high. It’s tough to put a ceiling on Ilyasova, but at the same time, I don’t want to declare him the next Dirk Nowitzki. He’s good and he’ll get better, but it’s tough to tell where he levels off at this point. My favorite thing about Ersan Ilyasova is that he’ll be making less money than Charlie Bell in each of the next two seasons. Talk about value.

Carlos Delfino

Was what defined his season.
Can he take a step?

A role player cast in a role too prominent for his own good, Delfino went through peaks and valleys all season. Delfino could probably do the Bucks much better in a sixth or seventh man role, maybe the role that Jerry Stackhouse occupied this season. He’s a good fit in Milwaukee, his defense is above average and he’s versatile. The problem with Delfino is it’s difficult to tell when he’ll show up. He had multiple months in which he shot under 40%, but then strung together a January where he hit nearly 50% of his shots and averaged 13 and 6. He’s not quite a good enough three-point shooter where he can be a designated shooter, but his other tools make up for that. His contract is only guaranteed for $500,000 next season, but becomes fully guaranteed at $3.5 million if he’s not waived or traded by June 30th. My prediction is that he’ll either be part of a package before the draft or be back next season. Whether he’s a starter or a reserve next year will go a ways towards deciding how much of an improvement the Bucks will make next season.

Categories: The Off Season

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