Glenn Robinson returns: Bucks – Pacers Preview

(Photo by David Sherman/NBAE via Getty Images)
(Photo by David Sherman/NBAE via Getty Images)

Will Glenn Robinson and Coolio be at this game?

Obviously.

It’s Y2K night, which feels a lot more like 90s night, but that’s okay. Whatever it takes to get everyone reminiscing about Glenn Robinson. The oft-criticized, now fondly remembered shooting forward from the very good but not quite great Bucks teams of the late 90s and early 2000s will make an appearance before the fourth quarter. He’ll be around signing autographs at some point in the evening and he’ll probably thank the crowd for showing him great love.

People will see him and think back about how fun those Bucks teams were, but they’ll also think back to conversations everyone had about Big Dog in 1998. There was talk about how he was a poor ball-handler, how all he did was shoot jumpers and hated playing defense. There was constant discussion of his socks. There were comparisons to Grant Hill and Jason Kidd, two players taken after him who went on to have superior careers that bounced them around the NBA. As reliable as Robinson was for 20 points every night, he was just as reliable to be criticized by Bucks fans.

But ultimately, Bucks fans still liked him. He was just an easy scapegoat. He wasn’t as smooth as Ray Allen and wasn’t seen as the leader Sam Cassell was. He was around the longest and seemed to have the most flaws. So when Bucks fans were sad or mad, they often cursed Robinson’s name and salivated at the thought of Tim Thomas taking his place.

Well Thomas eventually took his place and delivered about half the production at twice the price. The Bucks haven’t really found another Big Dog since that one left. Richard Jefferson, Corey Maggette, Desmond Mason, Keith Van Horn, Carlos Delfino: Plenty of forwards have come and gone since Robinson departed, but few last more than a couple of seasons in Milwaukee.

So while Robinson had his faults, kudos to him for doing one of the things most difficult in the NBA: Lasting.

What to Watch For: Bucks

O.J. Mayo will continue to round out of being round and into a more basketball conducive shape. His now infamous defensive gaffe is all anyone remembered from his first game back, but Milwaukee’s going to need all the shooting it can get to stick with the Pacers on Saturday. He’ll have to play some kind of role.

More importantly, Ramon Sessions will make his return to Milwaukee. He’ll give Milwaukee a legitimate creating and scoring guard off the bench, something the Bucks did not have in Gary Neal or Luke Ridnour.  Sessions has never been and still isn’t much of a 3-point threat, which has limited his effectiveness and minutes ultimately, but he finishes well and draws a fair share of fouls. Next to Mayo or Brandon Knight, he could be interesting.

Really, the hope is that he doesn’t take too many minutes away from Nate Wolters and is modestly effective at keeping the Bucks offense running smoothly.

What to Watch For: Pacers

Evan Turner is new. His numbers this season (17.4 points, 3.7 assists and 6.1 rebounds per game) are inflated thanks to Philly’s breakneck pace, but he’s shown he’s at the very least, a slightly below average NBA player who can be effective for stretches. How he’ll mix with Lance Stephenson will be interesting. Their styles match a bit, but neither is a great 3-point shooter, with Stephenson being capable and Turner being terrible.

In general, it’s always interesting to see how anyone interacts with Stephenson, but it’ll be even more interesting to see a possible insurance policy mesh with the famously erratic guard from Brooklyn.

Everyone else on the Pacers is great and will dominate Milwaukee.

Logistics

Time – 7:30 p.m. CST

TV – FS Wisconsin

Radio – 620 WTMJ

Injury Report

Bucks: Carlos Delfino (foot surgery; out), Larry Sanders (face surgery; out)

Pacers: None (what’s that like?)

Projected Lineups

Bucks: 

PG Nate Wolters

SG Brandon Knight

SF Khris Middleton

PF Ersan Ilyasova

John Henson

Pacers:

PG George Hill

SG Lance Stephenson

SF Paul George

PF David West

Roy Hibbert

Choose the form of the Destroyer: Roy Hibbert

 (Photo by Ron Hoskins/NBAE via Getty Images)
(Photo by Ron Hoskins/NBAE via Getty Images)

Hibbert will dominate the Bucks on Saturday night, but he’ll do so while scoring about 15 points and grabbing only around eight rebounds. The Pacers may pound it inside to him initially, thanks to a Bucks front court that lacks quality centers or much depth, but they’ll probably move away from that quickly. That’s the nature of the NBA today.

But he’ll still vie for best player on the court as he turns away Bucks players daring enough to drive into the paint towards the rim. I suspect Milwaukee will shoot less than 45% at the rim on Saturday night and that Hibbert will be the main reason why.

Prediction: Pacers 102 – Bucks 83

Categories: Game Previews

I watch the Milwaukee Bucks often and write about what I see…

1 Comment

  1. I always liked Robinson, even when the pitchforks were out. Like you said, he delivered 20 ppg, no small feat in the NBA. Two things working against him were a) the #1 pick pressure and b) being compared to Larry Bird coming out of college. I don’t know why as Robinson wasn’t even the ball handler Paul Pressey was, let alone Larry Bird. Fans wanted dazzling highlights, and Robinson was a guy who knocked down a lot of midrange jumpers. Still, much respect to him. Oh how I miss those briefly successful days. I’d give anything to lose the conference finals on a last second miss.