A wishlist for the Bucks second half

Tonight, the Milwaukee Bucks are back in action against the Washington Wizards. It will likely be a thrilling match between a team that refuses to rebuild and a team that can only rebuild. It’s too bad the NBA doesn’t engage in the hijinx like the average television sitcom from the 1990s.

Under those circumstances, we might see a coach swap that would leave Scott Skiles coaching the last team he ever wants to coach. In a sitcom, this would help him learn something about himself. In real life, he would end up fighting JaVale McGee’s mother to the death.

But I digress. Here are my wishes for the second half:

One way or the other, I’d love to know what Brandon Jennings is

I can live with it if Jennings completely regresses to the player he was for the majority of his first two seasons in the second half. I certainly can live with it if Jennings suddenly starts playing like he did the first 25 games this season the rest of the way. I can’t live with the ups and the downs though. It’s too much for me to handle. I’d love to know if this guy is legit or not. And I’m sure the Bucks would too.

Whether Jennings is a blossoming young point guard or just a useful point guard probably goes a long way towards dictating the future of the franchise. If his second half is like the majority of his first half, that would be nice, but it also might mean we get one more run with this basic team next season. If he bottoms out, things could go up in flames. That could happen either way, but I think another failure to prove himself makes it that much easier.

Another Drew Gooden triple-double

That was pretty fun, remember? Gooden’s been working so hard this year, even if his best intentions don’t always bear the best results. But if we’re going to watch Drew Gooden, a completely immersing Gooden experience would be worthwhile for at least one game this half. More off the backboard self passes.

More no-look everything. More pump faking to get free throws. More of everything until Gooden gets himself another triple-double.

Something from Larry Sanders

It’s looking more and more like we should know what to expect from Sanders. Basically, some Dan Gadzuric 2.0 stuff. Little more talent, little more control over his body. Probably not as good in general as Gadz in his prime. We won’t ever have to worry about a $40 million deal with Sanders. But it would be great if he could land himself some consistent minutes over the next couple months.

The lack of practice time has hurt him almost as much as the rookies. He isn’t really getting much opportunity to get better this season. He needs that opportunity. But if he can keep showing flashes on the court and combine that with just enough court sense, I’d be thrilled and I’ll hold out hope for another year that he could be better than Gadz.

A Trade

I’m a simple man, with simple desires. Last trade deadline was a lot of fun for most everyone and less fun for me. It’s more fun when the team you follow is more active. Two years ago was a blast. Obviously I’m not encouraging the team to do something insane or make a move just for the sake of making a move. But if something cool came along and the Bucks were the talk of the day again, I’m always down with that.

Direction

More than anything, I wish for this. I want there to be a clear direction that this team is heading in. Another season like last one and this one won’t do for me and I’m sure it won’t for you. But lets say something insane happens and the Bucks make a major move pushing them firmly into the playoff race. I can live with that, even if I don’t desire it. Getting enough talent in Milwaukee to make the Bucks a contender for the sixth seed I can live with.

Heading the other way would be fine too. Shipping out Andrew Bogut and/or Jennings? I can handle that, so long as it indicates there is a new plan in place. All I’m looking for is some sort of clear direction. Enough with the stop-gap moves. I’m confident we’re all done being excited about the Stephen Jacksons and Corey Maggettes of the world. Acquiring young players that can improve.

Or make a major move for a big piece.

Just do something and make us feel like you have a plan.

Jeremy Schmidt writes the Milwaukee Bucks blog Bucksketball.com. Follow him on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook.

Jeremy Schmidt writes the Milwaukee Bucks blog Bucksketball. He founded it in…

19 Comments

  1. In about a month I’d like to see either Jackson playing 30 mins at least per game if he’s not traded and if Bucks have chance at playoffs, otherwise i wanna see Tobias getting 30 mins and let him get experience while the Bucks lose. I think he’s gonna end up being a solid starter for them in the future

      •  @MatthewSchwendinger Who is the Bucks #1 assistant coach that would take over for Skiles if he gets the boot? Do we know that he would play Jax any more mins.
         
        Personally I would like to see Jax and “X player” traded for a young big man with SOME offensive potential.
         
        But really I don’t see a playoff bubble team that would want a veteran swingman and have young talent the Bucks would want.
         

        • MatthewSchwendinger

           @Wombat02 MONCRIEF! How awesome would it be to see the ex-Buck coach them. IDK.
           
          In my own opinion the best young big man out there is Kyrylo Fesenko, the free agent. Maybe Tiago Splitter (but he’s hurt). No way we’d be able to get Cousins (or some young talent like that) from the Kings…then again they did take Salmons from us….
           
          “But really I don’t see a playoff bubble team that would want a veteran swingman and have young talent the Bucks would want.”
           
          ^^I really agree with the 2nd part of this. I feel like if we just cut Larry Sanders or Jon Brockman, they’d clear waivers and no one would want them. Perhaps I’m wrong though. I could see a few teams out there take a chance on Jackson…someone like the Nets, Hornets, or Hawks (If they trade Marvin Williams like they’ve been toying with). ^^

  2. I’m completely with you Jeremy.  Seems like the Bucks want to be good and want to make the playoffs.  But the Buck’s “wants” don’t seem like realistic expectations, especially with Bogut not in the lineup.  
     
    I agree with most of your wishlist items.  We need to figure out if Jennings wants to be in Milwaukee and is worth a long term deal.  Otherwise they need to deal him while his value is still high (which I don’t think it will be for too much longer). 
     
    I’d hate to trade Bogut, but if we’re going that route, we might be able to get someone impressive back for a long term rebuild.  From a realistic perspective Bogut hasn’t been the same player since the catastrophic injury in April 2010.  I love his defense.  Love it.  But for a franchise center he’s still very poor offensively and is injury prone.  If the Bucks can get value for him with young players, they should jump on it and hit the reset button. 
     
    We need to see what Sanders and Harris are capable of.  I’d love to see them get some extended minutes in the next few weeks as the playoff hopes dwindle. 
     
    I doubt we’re going to sign Ilyasova to a contract after this season.  We should trade him now while his value is still high.  As much I respect Jackson for his work ethic, much like the Bucks, he has no idea who he actually is and how he plays.  I’m sure the Bucks will find a way to get rid of him by pairing Jackson with one of the aforementioned trade options. 
     
    And something that hasn’t mentioned anywhere:  I think the Bucks need to think about getting rid of Scott Skiles.  I think his methods are no longer working with the players.  I appreciated the work ethic from players from the beginning but his methods no longer seem to be working.  With the Bucks effectively starting 2 point guards (Jennings and Livingston), a SG/SF (Delfino), Ily and Gooden (both PF) the Bucks need to play an up tempo game regularly.  Yes, the Bucks are scoring more points but at the cost on the defensive end.  I think it’s time to make a change. 
     
    Finally, John Hammond needs to be sent packing as well.  We all admired his pick of Brandon Jennings years ago but that’s about all the good he’s done.  Let’s look at all the first round draft picks since that time:
    Yi Jianlian (passed on Corey Brewer, Brandon Wright, Joakim Noah, Spencer Hawes, etc)
    Joe Alexander (passed on DJ Augustin, Brook Lopez, Brandon Rush, Anthony Randolph, Robin Lopez, Roy Hibbert, JaVale McGee, JJ Hickson, etc)
    Brandon Jennings (a good one!)
    Larry Sanders (TBD)
    Jimmer (traded for Tobias Harris) (TBD)
     
    And the Bucks have made terrible decisions in the free agent market.  Drew Gooden, John Salmons, etc.  I think there’s a need for a fresh start.  In my profession (granted, not related to sports) , there’s no way I would still have a job if the only good decision I made was 3 years ago.  Time to make something happen.

  3. I’m completely with you Jeremy.  Seems like the Bucks want to be good and want to make the playoffs.  But the Buck’s “wants” don’t seem like realistic expectations, especially with Bogut not in the lineup.  
     
    I agree with most of your wishlist items.  We need to figure out if Jennings wants to be in Milwaukee and is worth a long term deal.  Otherwise they need to deal him while his value is still high (which I don’t think it will be for too much longer). 
     
    I’d hate to trade Bogut, but if we’re going that route, we might be able to get someone impressive back for a long term rebuild.  From a realistic perspective Bogut hasn’t been the same player since the catastrophic injury in April 2010.  I love his defense.  Love it.  But for a franchise center he’s still very poor offensively and is injury prone.  If the Bucks can get value for him with young players, they should jump on it and hit the reset button. 
     
    We need to see what Sanders and Harris are capable of.  I’d love to see them get some extended minutes in the next few weeks as the playoff hopes dwindle. 
     
    I doubt we’re going to sign Ilyasova to a contract after this season.  We should trade him now while his value is still high.  As much I respect Jackson for his work ethic, much like the Bucks, he has no idea who he actually is and how he plays.  I’m sure the Bucks will find a way to get rid of him by pairing Jackson with one of the aforementioned trade options. 
     
    And something that hasn’t mentioned anywhere:  I think the Bucks need to think about getting rid of Scott Skiles.  I think his methods are no longer working with the players.  I appreciated the work ethic from players from the beginning but his methods no longer seem to be working.  With the Bucks effectively starting 2 point guards (Jennings and Livingston), a SG/SF (Delfino), Ily and Gooden (both PF) the Bucks need to play an up tempo game regularly.  Yes, the Bucks are scoring more points but at the cost on the defensive end.  I think it’s time to make a change. 
     
    Finally, John Hammond needs to be sent packing as well.  We all admired his pick of Brandon Jennings years ago but that’s about all the good he’s done.  Let’s look at all the first round draft picks since that time:
    Yi Jianlian (passed on Corey Brewer, Brandon Wright, Joakim Noah, Spencer Hawes, etc)
    Joe Alexander (passed on DJ Augustin, Brook Lopez, Brandon Rush, Anthony Randolph, Robin Lopez, Roy Hibbert, JaVale McGee, JJ Hickson, etc)
    Brandon Jennings (a good one!)
    Larry Sanders (TBD)
    Jimmer (traded for Tobias Harris) (TBD)
     
    And the Bucks have made terrible decisions in the free agent market.  Drew Gooden, John Salmons, etc.  I think there’s a need for a fresh start.  In my profession (granted, not related to sports) , there’s no way I would still have a job if the only good decision I made was 3 years ago.  Time to make something happen.

    • MatthewSchwendinger

       @patrickLA I agree with a lot of this comment by Patrick. I hadn’t quite realized what Hammond passed up for some of those picks. I don’t think Kohl would get rid of him though. Sadly, I just don’t see it happening. Skiles should for sure though, i think my patience has ran out UNLESS of course he’s turned this sinking ship around and we miraculously go on a hot streak and climb in at #7 or #6.
       
      Drew Gooden has impressed me this year, he’s stepped up in absence of Bogut. Those games when Brandon sucked he was pulling down 10+ Rebs & 20+ points.
       
      I feel like we’ve said this a lot about Bogut before, but who wants to inherit an injury-prone, $20+ million contract?
       
      I think we should trade Ersan while he’s hot and get something good for him. I bet we could get a late first rounder OR maybe a promising up & comer (Anthony Morrow? The Nets want Stephen J if they want Dwight).

      •  @MatthewSchwendinger Agreed.  Gooden has played quite well, even while playing out of position. 
         
        A healthy Bogut has the opportunity to take an average team to a championship contender.  2 years on his contract isn’t bad for a player of his caliber.  Bucks just need to find a team that wants to go all-in for the next few years like Miami, Philadelphia, OKC, Clippers, Houston, or Portland.
         
        I’m not saying I think Skiles and Hammond will be gone, but I wish they were and I hope it’s considered.  Time to restart.  I’d take many bad years for a chance at some good years.  Endless mediocrity is not the path to success. 

    •  @patrickLA That moran Larry Harris Drafted Yi Jianlian get your facts straight- But I do agree with the Joe Alexander draft I remember being furious when we drafted him. 

    •  @patrickLA Hammond has actually made more good moves than bad ones, he was exec of the year just 2 years ago, managed to flip Richard Jefferson for a bunch of magic beans that turned out to be a playoff team that probably would have been in the 2nd round if it weren’t for Bogut’s injury.
       
      His job is to acquire ppl that he thinks will help the team, when the Bucks made the playoffs in the fear the deer season, they had no1 who could get to the line, so Hammond keeps the same team minus Ridnour and adds Gooden who draws fouls and is a good FT shooter for big man, and Corey Maggette who is a foul magnet. It’s not really Hammond’s fault that Skiles did not like Maggette and gave him basically no minutes, and because of that he was forced to trade him and Salmons and acquired Beno Udrih (who should be getting more minutes once again that’s on Skiles) and Captain Jack who may be past his prime but is still the 2nd best player on the Bucks roster right now and should be getting playing time.
       
      Hammond has made alot of moves and most of them were good ones, the guy knows what he’s doing and it’s not his fault that the moves he’s making aren’t being supported by the coach

      •  @Teddddd Yeah, he did make what seemed to be good moves at the time.  Maggette for Charlie Bell and Dan Gadzuric, looked awesome on paper but not in reality.  Then resigned Salmons (not so good, but that was a lose-lose situation either way, fans would have hated him for not resigning Salmons). Then traded Maggette and Salmons for Beno, Jackson and Livingston.  I’m more sold on getting rid of Skiles than Hammond.  I generally like Hammond and most of his moves have seemed quite good on paper.  As good as he’s done, he’s also made some big mistakes, Joe Alexander being the worst in my opinion.  I think you’re right though, Hammond likely isn’t the primary person to blame for the pieces not fitting together properly.  We needed inside scoring, he brought in Maggette, etc.  He finds the hole and fills it and has been pretty flexible in trying to make moves to help the team.  Skiles, on the other hand, is too rigid and inflexible.  He’s the same person we brought in years ago and seems unwilling or unable to change his ways.

    •  @patrickLA 
       
      “Yi Jianlian (passed on Corey Brewer, Brandon Wright, Joakim Noah, Spencer Hawes, etc)”
       
      That falls under the previous GM, Larry Harris. Not Hammond’s fault. And even in defense of Harris, we already had a young, starting center in Bogut. Adding Noah or Hawes would have gotten them all in each other’s way, not to mention Noah refused to workout for Milwaukee and said he didn’t want to play there.
       
      “Joe Alexander (passed on DJ Augustin, Brook Lopez, Brandon Rush, Anthony Randolph, Robin Lopez, Roy Hibbert, JaVale McGee, JJ Hickson, etc)”
       
      A horrible pick, and any one of those PFs you mentioned should be in a Milwaukee uniform right now, minus McGee.
       
      “Brandon Jennings (a good one!)”
       
      Should say “(TBD)”
       
      Larry Sanders (TBD)
       
      I promise I’m not parroting Jeremy when I say Gadzuric Part II: The Empire Strikes Back. Please God, let this kid learn how to play with his brain and soften up those hands! I had a dream where he turned into Sergei Ibaka Part II: Electric Boogaloo.
       
      “Jimmer (traded for Tobias Harris) (TBD)”
       
      “I feel very confident about this guy. Easy to forget that he’s only a rookie in a shortened season, because unlike Sanders, looks like he knows what he’s doing out there.

  4. I’m completely with you Jeremy.  Seems like the Bucks want to be good and want to make the playoffs.  But the Buck’s “wants” don’t seem like realistic expectations, especially with Bogut not in the lineup.  
     
    I agree with most of your wishlist items.  We need to figure out if Jennings wants to be in Milwaukee and is worth a long term deal.  Otherwise they need to deal him while his value is still high (which I don’t think it will be for too much longer). 
     
    I’d hate to trade Bogut, but if we’re going that route, we might be able to get someone impressive back for a long term rebuild.  From a realistic perspective Bogut hasn’t been the same player since the catastrophic injury in April 2010.  I love his defense.  Love it.  But for a franchise center he’s still very poor offensively and is injury prone.  If the Bucks can get value for him with young players, they should jump on it and hit the reset button. 
     
    We need to see what Sanders and Harris are capable of.  I’d love to see them get some extended minutes in the next few weeks as the playoff hopes dwindle. 
     
    I doubt we’re going to sign Ilyasova to a contract after this season.  We should trade him now while his value is still high.  As much I respect Jackson for his work ethic, much like the Bucks, he has no idea who he actually is and how he plays.  I’m sure the Bucks will find a way to get rid of him by pairing Jackson with one of the aforementioned trade options. 
     
    And something that hasn’t mentioned anywhere:  I think the Bucks need to think about getting rid of Scott Skiles.  I think his methods are no longer working with the players.  I appreciated the work ethic from players from the beginning but his methods no longer seem to be working.  With the Bucks effectively starting 2 point guards (Jennings and Livingston), a SG/SF (Delfino), Ily and Gooden (both PF) the Bucks need to play an up tempo game regularly.  Yes, the Bucks are scoring more points but at the cost on the defensive end.  I think it’s time to make a change. 
     
    Finally, John Hammond needs to be sent packing as well.  We all admired his pick of Brandon Jennings years ago but that’s about all the good he’s done.  Let’s look at all the first round draft picks since that time:
    Yi Jianlian (passed on Corey Brewer, Brandon Wright, Joakim Noah, Spencer Hawes, etc)
    Joe Alexander (passed on DJ Augustin, Brook Lopez, Brandon Rush, Anthony Randolph, Robin Lopez, Roy Hibbert, JaVale McGee, JJ Hickson, etc)
    Brandon Jennings (a good one!)
    Larry Sanders (TBD)
    Jimmer (traded for Tobias Harris) (TBD)
     
    And the Bucks have made terrible decisions in the free agent market.  Drew Gooden, John Salmons, etc.  I think there’s a need for a fresh start.  In my profession (granted, not related to sports) , there’s no way I would still have a job if the only good decision I made was 3 years ago.  Time to make something happen.
     
     
     

  5. MatthewSchwendinger

    My stars! Have you guys noticed the upcoming stretch too? Boston, Atlanta, Orlando, Philly, Chicago, and the red-hot Knicks. Holy hell. What IF we go 0-7 all in close games. Would you start making some serious trade calls for picks, etc. ?
     
    i’m hoping we don’t lose those games of course I really want us to turn it around and make a run, I am just saying, what if…

    •  @MatthewSchwendinger  Trade deadline is March 15 so I’m sure the Bucks will find a way to be out of the playoffs by then.  Bucks will likely be 15-25 when that 7 game stretch is done (March 9th).  After that, we’ll just have to wait for the fireworks.  Look on the bright side – at least it’s a short season.

  6. Here’s what i’d like to see: Total meltdown to get a top 5 pick….not #9 or #10.
    This team is going nowhere without a re-bulid.And I’d like a GM other than Hammonds. Although, let’s be honest: He has done sooooo poorly, he’s DUE to hit it big. Drafting Brandon was no great feather in his cap.
    The odds say he’s gotta pick well this time. As for jackson and beno—bah-bye. Big dough. No show.
     

    • MatthewSchwendinger

       @flyingking we knew what we were getting with Beno, a backup to Jennings who might only play 12 mins or so when he needs a breather. Its just unfortunate that he had a big contract.

  7. I wasn’t clear. I don’t expect anything in return for Beno or Jackson. I’d just like to get their salaries off the books.
    They’re the second and third highest paid players on the team.