Bucks nearing pre-season finish line in Ohio

Just two games remain in the Bucks exhibition season.  Tonight, Milwaukee takes on the Cleveland Cavaliers in Columbus, Ohio.  The very same Columbus, Ohio in which Michael Redd has reportedly been holed up in every since re-injuring his knee last January.  Will Redd be in attendance this evening?  Jim Paschke reported on Sunday during the Bucks radio broadcast (H/T: Frank Madden) that he’d be meeting up with his teammates while they were in town, but there’s been no word on whether or not we’ll see Redd tonight.

Either way, it’s not a big deal, but for both sides I’d like to see it.

With regards to Redd, it keeps up his good guy image.  If he comes around and shows that he’s supporting his teammates even though most people assume the team has moved on from him, it’s a classy thing to do.  We’ve seen a few of these situations play out with bitter public disputes about how both organizations and the player handled it, but the Bucks and Redd have both taken the high road over and over.

The organization can benefit from having Redd around tonight too.  As much as it makes Redd look good, it reminds us all that they are trying to do right by him and are supporting him.  If Redd wasn’t invited, it really could seem like the team is trying to wash their hands of a guy who has suffered two ACL tears within a year and is working hard to rehabilitate himself.  That would be an extreme viewpoint obviously, as the team has been very vocal in their support of him, but anyone can take whatever message they choose out of any situation.

Ultimately, it’s not a big deal either way.  The writing has been on the wall for some time that both sides are heading in separate directions and we’ll forget about it all Friday night.  But who doesn’t like seeing nice things happen?

Other things I’ll be looking for tonight:

  • We’ll finally get to see what the Bucks front court tandem of Andrew Bogut and Drew Gooden can do with some significant minutes together.  The Bucks bigs only played around 10 minutes together in Minnesota as Gooden was getting the most of the night off for rest.  They’ll both get over 20 minutes this evening though and they’ll come against a pretty mediocre Cleveland front line of Anderson Varejao and J.J. Hickson.
  • With a significantly less crowded back court, Ramon Sessions will certainly get more opportunities in Cleveland than he did last season in Minnesota.  For now, he’s the Cavs first guard off the bench behind another former Buck, Mo Williams.  I’ve always been very interested in Sessions.  It seemed like he never failed to put up terrific statistical games in Milwaukee, yet at the same time it never seemed like he had a strong grasp on a spot in Scott Skiles rotation.  Whether or not he’s able to carve out a solid role for Cleveland will be interesting this season.
  • Jon Brockman is still out and it looks as though the Bucks will still be without John Salmons and Corey Maggette for this one, but there’s certainly a lot of optimism that Salmons will be back Friday.  Gery Woelfel recently reported that Maggette is only 80%, but you know how I feel about those numbers.  If I had to guess, I’d say he’s going to be ready for the opener next week, but we’ll just have to wait and see.  This looks like one opportunity for Chris Douglas-Roberts to steal the show before he returns to the bench role he’ll be playing this season.  I’m hoping for a very productive night out of him.

Jeremy Schmidt writes the Milwaukee Bucks blog Bucksketball.com.  Follow him on Twitter. Then become a fan of Bucksketball on Facebook (click in the sidebar).

Categories: Game Previews

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