The Milwaukee Bucks faced the same problem against the Kings and the Jazz in their past two games that they faced at the beginning of the season last year. They were the favorites! They need to be underdogs, need us to write them off before the game gets started.
Fortunately they are playing a team with Chris Paul and Blake Griffin tonight.
Things could get ugly.
Divert your attention for a moment though and read what David Thorpe had to say about what improvements Jon Leuer could make going forward. The Bucks rookie has impressed as a one-on-one defender and shooter six games into his rookie season, and Thorpe sees reason to believe his intelligence will help him move past some early mistakes he’s made. If things get ugly early for Milwaukee against the Clippers, don’t be surprised if Leuer is on the court when the Bucks make an inevitable run back to respectability this evening. He has a way of doing that.
If things do get out of hand, don’t expect it to mimic Thursday night’s pattern. The Clippers don’t pose quite as many problems on the glass. Despite the presence of Griffin and DeAndre Jordan, the Clippers are the third worst defensive rebounding team in the league and the fourth worst offensive rebounding team. Yes, it’s early, but that’s what the numbers have reflected os far, and outside of the aforementioned Gribbin and Jordan, the Clippers lack prolific rebounders. If that holds up, then, oddly enough, this is the sort of game in which the Bucks could really use Andrew Bogut to protect the basket, but the kind of game where they shouldn’t quite miss him as much as a rebounder.
And while Milwaukee can always use whatever Bogut gives them as a scorer, there’s at minimum, faint reason to believe we’ll see another strong performance tonight from California native Brandon Jennings. Okay, that’s more speculation than anything else, fueled in part by the memory of a strong run he had against the Clippers in March of 2010, but I’ll hold on to my belief simply because I have so precious little else with this team right now.
Unfortunately, the Bucksketball staff won’t be around to get grades up immediately this evening, so you may have to check back in late tonight or early Sunday morning. But we’ll make up for it. I promise.
Your thoughts on tonight are always welcome below.