2012 Player Capsules: Luc Richard Mbah a Moute

When Luc Richard Mbah a Moute was drafted by the Milwaukee Bucks in 2008, he joined an organization that had recently undergone an overhaul. The John Hammond/Scott Skiles era had begun. Ramon Sessions, Michael Redd, Richard Jefferson, Charlie Villaneuva and Andrew Bogut were ready to show the league that defense truly didn’t matter. Unfortunately, that master plan didn’t work and now, five years later, LRMAM is the only player from that team still on the Bucks.

The amount of overturn says something about both the Bucks’ struggles to find year-to-year consistency and LRMAM’s ability to quickly find a role. His combination of quickness, length, and awareness allowed him to become the go-to defender for Skiles. After his rookie year he became widely regarded as an elite defender. His offense has improved a great deal since his rookie year, but he is still a liability on that side of the ball.

Last year, LRMAM’s knee gave him continuous troubles and it showed in his lateral quickness and movement. His defensive numbers weren’t too impressive. The Bucks gave up only 3.5 fewer points per 100 possessions when LRMAM was on the court according to 82games.com. The problem with stats like this (and pretty much any defensive stat) is that there’s only so much LRMAM can do to offset the horrible defenders around him.

To get a better understanding of LRMAM’s defensive prowess, Brew Hoop’s Steve von Horn has started a series documenting LRMAM’s performance against the league’s best wing players. His most recent post about LRMAM vs. Lebron does an excellent job of showing LRMAM’s impact on the game.

On offense, LRMAM finished last year with a .510 FG% on 6.1 attempts per game. It’s a significant improvement in efficiency due to his increased attempts around the rim. As John Hollinger points out, LRMAM shot 66.7% in the basket area and just 20.8% outside of it. This tells us what we already knew: in order for LRMAM to be successful on offense, he, like Larry Sanders, must live around the basket to clean-up missed shots and draw fouls. Neither of them has any business taking jump shots.

If LRMAM is indeed fully healthy this year, then we know he’ll be a valuable piece to a Bucks team desperately in need of defense. The real question for him is if he will be able to bring a further improved offensive game and become an asset on both ends of the court for the first time in his career.

Categories: Player Profiles

Jon Hartzell is a writer/producer at NBA.com who likes the Bucks.

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