Part Two: Haiku Reviews 2010-11

Ersan Ilyasova

Continued to scrap
One of the walking wounded
Lost his long ball touch

Every NBA player needs a card to play that makes him unique.  Ilyasova’s appeared to be his combination of scrappy play with a solid touch from three-point range.  After last season, Coach Scott Skiles talked of his hopes that Ilyasova would turn into a 37-38% shooter from three.  That didn’t pan out.  Ilyasova took a step back as a shooter, falling to sub-30% from deep.  Going forward, that’ll be where Ilyasova must straighten himself out.  He was among the team’s leaders in charges taken, but he’ll never be the defender Mbah a Moute is at the four, and his rebounding is no better than average.

Brandon Jennings

Question of import:
Did his development stall?
Most pressing issue

Watching Chris Paul terrorize the Lakers is frustrating as a Bucks fan.  Size wise, Paul is no bigger than Jennings.  Maybe he’s a bit thicker, but he seems to have a sense ingrained in him about what to do and when to do it.  Jennings may not have that, but he could still be an effective player.  Some are jumping ship on him already, others are giving him a bit more string.  But after his third year, we’ll probably have a fairly good idea about whether or not Jennings is the right guy at the point guard position for the Bucks.  This will be a huge off-season for him.

Corey Maggette

On a losing team
Designated driver was
Pulled over as well

Brought in to even out the Bucks free throw numbers, Maggette largely did his thing.  Per 36 minutes, he attempted 8.4 free throws per game — in line with his 8.7 per game numbers per 36 for his career.  But he had trouble earning consistent minutes down the stretch, as Skiles went largely exclusively with John Salmons and Carlos Delfino at the wings.  Maggette had his moments before that — the game at Golden State comes to mind — but for whatever reason, he could never earn his coach’s trust.  Milwaukee may look to move him this summer, but it doesn’t appear that he’s pressed the issue just yet.  He was largely regarded as a positive teammate and got praise for just being a good guy.  In the NBA though, that’s not enough.

Luc Mbah a Moute

Offense of three years
Still a work in progress. But
Defense is fine tuned.

In his third year, his offensive numbers were eerily similar to those of his rookie season.  His playing time at the four was squeezed when the Bucks were at their healthiest and when Carlos Delfino was out, Mbah a Moute had to fill in at the three quite a bit.  This was fine defensively, but offensively, it was as bad a fit for him as ever.  He’ll be a restricted free agent whenever the off-season starts, we’ll see how much Milwaukee values his defensive contributions then.

Michael Redd

A touching comeback.
After so long, could move on.
A hopeful future.

Redd went out scoring 11 points in Oklahoma City.  He wasn’t able to lead the Bucks back from the depths they sunk to this season, only earning modest playing time until the team was officially eliminated.  His injuries have taken a lot out of him physically, but he still seems to have the same positive attitude that’s gotten him this far.  I don’t doubt that Redd can stick on a team’s rotation next season, but he’ll need to figure out his three-point shooting.  He made just four of 17 this season and struggled last season as well.

John Salmons

Oh my the struggles.
Crumbled under contract’s weight.
Needs to build back up.

When blame is being divvied out, Salmons has been more than willing to take his share.  And he’s more than deserving of that same share.  He spent most of the season with a sub-40% field goal percentage, a disastrous number from a player that was assumed to take on the biggest role offensively on the team.

Larry Sanders

Long with many tools.
Now, dangerous shot-blocker.
Leaves us wanting more.

Sanders minutes fluctuated, presumably with his attention to detail.  There were time when we’d see Sanders catch a tongue lashing while on the court from Coach Skiles and times in which he was pulled, instructed and re-inserted immediately.  It was a learning season for him.  But he seemed to be getting better all the time.  He’s always willing to taken an open 18-foot jump shot, the next steps for him are making those more often and building an attack move off of that.  If he can take those two steps in cohesion before next season, there may be a lot of minutes available for him.  He’s already a premier shot-blocker.

Brian Skinner

Always good soldier
Two games, no attempts.
Still, had a cool beard.

Skinner hung around Milwaukee and got a job when the team was a little thin up front.  He drives a huge Hummer and looked capable during the pre-season.  Seems unlikely he’ll ever have a regular NBA job again though.

Garrett Temple

Had chance, mixed results.
Bright guy, quick learner. Had flaws.
Errant shot. Could stick.

Temple seemed to get it while he was out there.  He just couldn’t get his shots to fall with much regularity while with the Bucks.  That was a problem for him wherever he was in the NBA this season.  He shot less than 30% on the year, that’s not going to cut it for a fringe player who looks like he’ll be makings his bones on defense.  That’s all well and good, but even the best defenders must be below average offensive players.  Not completely abysmal offensive players.

Jeremy Schmidt writes the Milwaukee Bucks blog Follow him on Twitter. Become a fan on Facebook (right sidebar).

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  1. Looking forward to see Jennings’ further development. He is a tough, well-focused player, but lets his youth get the best of him too often. He keeps trying to turn into Allen Iverson while Coach Skiles wants him to be like himself or someone like Jason Kidd. If management wants to continue to build around Jennings and Bogut, Jennings needs to go that “Kidd” route.

  2. @Ted
    The problem is, first, AI is seriously overpaid, we already have several guys with bad contracts that we’ll be eating for 4 more years. Next, AI took a step back this season, especially with all of the injuries. Third, who do we trade for him that Philadelphia will want? The conversation will start with Bogut and Jennings, and without one of those two guys, no deal for the Sixers. Fourth, we already have a logjam of players at the SG and SF spots.

    I say give this core one more year together. If they don’t make the playoffs, it will be time to blow it up and probably keep just Bogut unless Jennings has a great year. If they both take a step back, feel free to trade them away.