Bucksketball Podcast

The odd February struggles of Brandon Jennings

| January 29, 2013

Category: Bucks Player Features

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Checking the calender Brandon? February is coming. Could this be the year Jennings maintains productivity throughout the month?

For some reason, Brandon Jennings has been a terrible player in February. It’s been a pretty consistent thread throughout his three seasons.

2011-12: 15.1 points, 5.2 assists on 33.6 FG% and 26.8 3FG%
2010-11: 11.4 points, 3.9 assists on 34 FG% and 24 3FG%
2009-10:  10.7 points, 5.5 assists on 30.7 FG% and 31.1 3FG%

Each season brought its own unique set of challenges to February for Jennings. In 2010, he was  rookie coming off a difficult two months, attempting to lead a team back into the playoff picture with the help of a very good center and eventually, a very good wing. But the rookie wall is a thing and it’s possible he encountered it: he did have a much better March.

In 2011, Jennings was not far removed from a broken foot that kept him out for all but two January games. He struggled with some consistency throughout the month, but again had a much improved March after a better amount of time had elapsed since his injury.

Last season, like every other NBA player, Jennings dealt with the difficult lockout schedule. Coming off arguably the best month of his career in January, Jennings’ numbers tanked. Many suspected it had something to do with either his lack of inclusion on the All-Star team or Milwaukee’s messy breakup with his friend Stephen Jackson. Whatever the case, he once again bounced back with a strong March.

Three seasons, three bad months of February. Three better months of March.

Today is January 29.

Jennings was again left off the All-Star team, despite his best case and the absence of Derrick Rose in the Eastern Conference. Jennings figures to at least receive consideration to replace the recently injured Rajon Rondo, along with Brook Lopez, David West, Deron Williams and Josh Smith.

Whether or not it’s the lack of All-Star appearances or the lockout or the rookie wall, Jennings seems to be positioned to break his string of bad Februarys. Both the Bucks record and roster to open February appear as good as they’ve been since he’s been on the team. And while the team’s schedule isn’t simple all month long, Jennings will have a strong chance to keep himself right through the first half of the month with a game in New York, where he’s traditionally played well, and against the Magic, Pistons, Wizards and Sixers.

This Eastern Conference, it’s a gift that never seems to stop giving.

And if Jennings slumps once again? Well, it’s a Leap Year. Only 12 games in February this season.

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About the Author ()

Jeremy Schmidt writes the Milwaukee Bucks blog Bucksketball. He founded it in January of 2009 because he hated his job. It’s like basketball, but with Bucks instead of basket. I know ... I’m sorry. He might come off as a bit negative, but I'm really not so bad. He just wants the Bucks to succeed, so he points out areas where they are coming up short. Someone has got to do it and he's ornery and opinionated enough to take on that task. He isn't sure if this should be in third person or not. Contact him at Jeremy@Bucksketball.com if you must use e-mail.

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  1. Kevin says:

    Like you said, he’s had (somewhat) legitimate reasons for his drop-offs in February every season so far. The rookie wall in his first season, the broken foot in his second season, and being “snubbed” from the All Star team last year.

    I don’t see the last one as a legitimate excuse, obviously. Getting snubbed is one thing, but to essentially pout and start to not give it your all because of it is going a bit too far.

    Hopefully the same thing doesn’t happen this year, assuming Deron or Brook are picked over him.

  2. Patti says:

    I don’t think Jennings slump last year was ALL because of the All Star snub, but it played a part in his thinking at the time. He was thinking and talking a lot more like SJax than BJ at the time. It’s a business…I need to play for a big market team…He got his head on straight though.

    If he carries his recent intensity into February it’s going to be an exciting month. He’s got that determined look in his eyes LOL

    Go Bucks!