Last night’s loss in Utah proved how important LARRY SANDERS! has become to the Milwaukee Bucks. The defense looked lost, couldn’t box out and played like a shell of its normal, slightly above average self. The absence of Sanders was eerily reminiscent to the absence felt when Andrew Bogut would miss games. I applaud Sanders for his incredible emergence this season, but I also fear that the Bucks have become, again, dependent on the health of their center to win games. As we all know too well, that’s a risky position to have so much invested. Here’s your recap of the week that was:
“Hearing they are VERY active right now. Marc Stein reported today that Samuel Dalembert is one guy that they are actively talking about (and what an incredible game he had last night trying to show his value). But he’s not the only one — Monta Ellis, Ersan Illaysova, Beno Udrih are all available. Even Brandon Jennings at the right price.”
Ho hum. Brandon Jennings wants a max contract extension because of course he does.
On Saturday, Sanders was profiled by Hunter Atkins of The New York Times. Atkins compares Sanders career trajectory to that of Tyson Chandler and says that Sanders wants to collaborate with Chandler on a film project. So, uh, yeah. There’s that.
More Larry news. On Wednesday, Bradford Doolittle of ESPN released his ratings of the top-10 interior defenders based off the same formula he used to rate the top-10 perimeter defenders last week. Sanders is rated as the top interior defender in the NBA and second place, Marc Gasol, isn’t even close to him. Doolittle’s full blurb:
“This is a case in which the best shot-blocker also appears to be the best overall defender. Not only does Sanders lead the league in blocks, but he also ranks first in efficiency against isolations. Additionally, Sanders ranks sixth in regularized adjusted plus-minus (RAPM) and fifth in Synergy Sports Technology’s points per possession allowed.”
This video is worth watching just to hear Ersan say, “flying balloon.”
On Monday, Lori Nickel of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel wrote a nice feature about Jim Boylan and how surviving cancer has affected his outlook on coaching. It’s a good read.
Samuel Dalembert was the definition of an outlier Tuesday night as he scored 35 points and grabbed 12 rebounds in only 27 minutes. Here are a couple fun stats from the Elias Sports Bureau about his game:
- He’s the first player in the shot-clock era to have that many points and that many rebounds in that few minutes.
- That was Dalembert’s most points in any of his 754 regular-season games in the NBA; his previous best was 27, for Sacramento in 2010. No other player in NBA history has even gone 600 regular-season games into his career before his first 30-point game. The next-highest total is 584 games, by Fred Roberts, on Apr. 2, 1991, also for the Bucks. (Roberts did have a 30-point game in the 1989 playoffs.) Only three other active players have scored a regular-season career-high in points at least 750 games into their career: Chauncey Billups, Andre Miller and Ray Allen.
And here’s Zach Harper and Matt Moore of CBS Sports talking about Dalembert’s historic night.