2009-10 Milwaukee Bucks Season Preview
The Milwaukee Bucks (34- 48) have been a fifth-place club for the past five seasons. During that time, they have never broken .500. However, despite last season’s record, the Bucks actually put in a decent season under new head coach Scott Skiles. Skiles turned what was the NBA’s second-worst defense into the 15th-best, which in one season was a vast improvement. A major problem for Milwaukee last year was the injury bug, which greatly weakened the team when Michael Redd and Andrew Bogut were sidelined for more than half the season.
The frontcourt will be minus power forward Charlie Villanueva (16.2 PPG, 6.7 RPG, 0.7 BPG) and that means that four-year center Bogut (11.7 PPG, 10.3 RPG, 1.0 BPG), who missed more than half of last season with various injuries, will be the anchor upfront. He’ll have to stay healthy for the frontcourt to thrive. Forward Luc Mbah a Moute (7.2 PPG, 5.9 RPG, 1.1 APG) was an able defender last year in his first season. He could have a break through season. Three young frontcourt guys, Hakim Warrick, Joe Alexander and Ersan Ilyasova, all have the potential to post breakout numbers and become premier players.
At guard Redd (21.2 PPG, 3.2 RPG, 2.7 APG), who played just 33 games last season, returns as the team’s leading point scorer. He must be healthy for the Bucks to win. Rookies Brandon Jennings and Jodie Meeks are considered to be point and shooting guard material respectively. Last year, Jennings went to play European ball right out of high school and after one year is a Buck. He has no college experience. Meeks, who comes to the pros after playing three years with Kentucky, possesses an accurate shot. Vets Charlie Bell (8.4 PPG, 1.9 RPG, 2.2 APG) and Luke Ridnour (9.6 PPG, 3.0 RPG, 5.1 APG) offer fine shooting chops at backup spots.
Last season, this team proved to be fine on “D.” Their strongest area this season will be on the wing, stopping shooters by utilizing Skiles tenacious techniques. Guard Charlie Bell is a solid defensive player and former Toronto player Carlos Delfino, who looks to be the team’s sixth man, will be a major defensive force. The weakest area is in the backcourt at point guard. With Sessions gone and 20-year-old Jennings, a fine but untested talent, playing his first NBA season, the point could be an adventure.
This season the Bucks, who won eight more games last season than they did in 2007- 2008, may take a step backwards. Small forward Richard Jefferson’s 19.6 PPG will be missed as the vet is now with the Spurs. Additionally, the Bucks are waiting for salary cap cash to be freed up for 2010- 2011. This season will be one with less scoring, possibly fewer wins and a look towards the near future. The club will most likely finish last in the Central Division and once again sit out the post season. Next year, with a few deals, some more experience, and a solid core, the Bucks could be in the playoffs.