2008-2009 Milwaukee Bucks Season Preview
2008 Milwaukee Bucks preview from MadduxSports.com. In addition to the free previews Maddux also provides FREE NBA DAILY PICKS.
Last year’s Milwaukee Bucks (26- 56) looked like they might be competitive. As the season started, the team was playing some sound “D” and challenging teams, going 7- 4 at the start. They put together a five-game winning streak, beating Cleveland, Dallas and the L.A. Lakers. But as the All-Star break came along, the team was a dismal 19-34. They stopped playing defense and had no team cohesiveness. The Bucks won four of their final 24 games. For head coach Larry Krystkowiak, it was a frustrating time. Although hired to improve the “D,” as had been the case with his two most recent predecessors, he was unable to do so. In the end, the team was dead last in the East.
This was a club that seemed to let opponents shoot and hit at will. However, their rebounding numbers were good, and they rarely turned the ball over. The list of guys who could not defend included Michael Redd, Charlie Villanueva, Yi Jianlian and Mo Williams. The club’s defensive efficiency was the worst in the NBA. On offense, things were a bit better. They were third in offensive rebounding and 22nd in offensive efficiency.
There’s a new GM, John Hammond, and a new head coach, Scott Skiles. Two rookie forwards, first-round pick Joe Alexander and second-rounder Luc Mbah a Moute, could help upfront. Forward Richard Jefferson came to the team in a deal with the Nets. Alexander and Jefferson look to offer a good number of points, while Luc Mbah a Moute has great shot blocking potential.
Center Andrew Bogut has developed steadily over the past three seasons. He averaged 9.8 RPG and 14.3 PPG last season. With Jefferson and Alexander joining the team, the Bucks should see an improved work ethic and more points scored from the floor. Jefferson’s 22.6 PPG was the 10th best scoring average in the NBA last season. Alexander, the eighth pick in this year’s NBA draft, averaged 16.9 PPG and was an All-Big East selection. Forward Charlie Villanueva proved to be a good point producer.
The backcourt is anchored by Michael Redd. Redd, who averaged 22.7 PPG and hit 44% of his shots from the field, was ranked eighth in the NBA in scoring. He’s got a quick release, which serves him well but his three-point accuracy has dropped off over the years. Point guard Mo Williams, who knocked down 48% of his shots from the field and 86% from the charity stripe, averaged 17.2 PPG and 6.3 APG. The primary problem with the Bucks’ backcourt is that they put up too many shots. Milwaukee would be better served by working the ball inside more. Jefferson in the frontcourt may allow them to do that.
Dead last should not be the case this season, but, still, the Bucks will not be in the playoffs. A fourth-place finish in the Central looks promising. New GM Hammond and new coach Skiles are looking to change the team mindset. There should be some immediate progress this season and even more the following year. But it will take time.