Sunday, February 8, 2009

The Week Ahead (Feb 8th-14th) The Injury Edition

Everyone associated with the Milwaukee Bucks needs to watch out. The injury bug is out for blood it appears. Yes, for the Milwaukee Bucks last week was difficult. What began as a possible launching pad into the playoffs, spiraled into a tough realization that once again a season will be wrecked due to injury. The Bucks woke up last Sunday sitting on a two game winning streak for the first time in over a month. Their focal point, Andrew Bogut, had returned and the schedule had softened. It seemed as though the allusive lady luck had finally touched down.

Then they ventured to New Jersey…without Andrew Bogut. There were rumors that his injury may be more than back spasms. The rumors become news on Wednesday when it was announced Bogut would be out for 8 weeks. Tough as that news was to swallow at least the Bucks had been down this road many times this season. They hadn’t won without Bogut and Michael Redd in the lineup, but made an attempt to counteract the Redd injury by acquiring Keith Bogans on Thursday for Tyronn Lue. It seemed like an okay move at the time. Lue was riding the bench and the Bucks had been searching for perimeter shooting and defense ever since Redd was ruled out for the year. Bogans is a guy who provides both of those things in small doses, and gives a little more size to a Bucks team that has painfully small guards.

Then Luke Ridnour broke his hand. 4 weeks. Lady Luck must have taken a Sunday flight out of Milwaukee. The Bucks are now left with one point guard, six wings, three bigs, and a guy with six fouls to use every night. Gadzuric doesn’t really warrant a position; he just is six fouls to be used on a nightly basis.

The positives this week? That one point guard left is Ramon Sessions. Sessions punched Detroit in the mouth over and over Saturday night, earning 21 trips to the line and totaling 44 points. On top of that he dished out 12 assists and snatched five rebounds. He was a beast. Charlie V. is just as much of a positive. I’d say Charlie V. continued his trend of strong play, but can we even call it a trend anymore? We’ll just say Charlie V. was doing his usual thing, and then some, putting up 33 points and grabbing seven rebounds. These two are looking hella good over the past month and a half.

The negatives this week? Aside from everything I listed before the last paragraph, Richard Jefferson. I’ve been singling him out for most of the season and I think I’ve got a pretty good case. I know with Charlie V. and Sessions doing serious damage that it’s hard for RJ to put up numbers, but really? Since Redd has gone down RJ has gone over 20 points just one time. If John Hammond trades him he should win executive of the year, (even though he did trade for him originally) anyway, onto the week ahead…

February 9th vs. Houston (31-20)
At least this games at home. The Rockets are a pretty punishing team inside with Yao, Luis Scola, Ron Artest, and Carl Landry. Those guys had a field day against the Bucks on New Years Eve…and that was when Bogut was playing. This one could be ugly folks. The Rockets really should be a top 5 team. Not only do they have guys who are immensely talented, but they have a ton of great role players. Scola, Landry, Brent Barry, Aaron Brooks, Diekembe Mutombo, Shane Battier, and Chuck Hayes are all great glue guys. They all have specific roles and skills and do them very well. I realize that their three main guys are rarely healthy at the same time and that is what is holding them back, but with all those role players I think they should be doing better than they are. I guess 31-20 isn’t all that bad though. Speaking of Chuck Hayes, I was watching a game earlier this year on TNT and Reggie Miller was tearing him apart. He made it seem like the Rockets should have called a time out every time they got a stop on defense when he was in the game, just to make sure he didn’t play on the offensive end. I can’t imagine what seeing a guy like that would be like. Dan Gadzuric Dan Gadzuric Dan Gadzuric.

February 11th vs. Indiana (20-31)
I still don’t get how T.J. Ford put up 34 against the Bucks. Two games later he put up 36 on the Knicks, which doesn’t count the same, but at least it removed the Bucks from his record book. When he first started on the Bucks I predicted he’d one day average 11 assists a game. He now averages five. Why does this little guy shoot so much? I see that his percentage is pretty good (.445) but how effective can a team be when he’s putting up 12 shots a game? The Pacers play pretty up-tempo, so if he’s at five assists now, he’ll probably never average more than six again in his life. Sad. He even has shooters around him and a go to guy in Danny Granger. Danny Granger has been so monstrous this year. He’s like one of those creatures you put into an empty two liter bottle of soda with water and just watch it grow to like 10x its size. That has been his season in a nutshell. He’ll put 40 on the Bucks on Wednesday, I can already feel it. You heard it here first.

I’m just hoping that I don’t break anything going to the games this week.

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