Fear the Deer? Not at the Palace...

Essentials

  • Teams: Milwaukee Bucks (2-10) at Detroit Pistons (5-8)
  • Date: November 25, 2013
  • Time: 7:30 p.m.
  • Television: FSD

What to look for

Life in Wisconsin is hard these days. Ryan Braun was suspended for PED use after emphatically chastising baseball’s drug testing program, thus sidetracking the season of the Milwaukee Brewers.

The Green Bay Packers have not won in a month because their superstar has been sidelined due to a broken left collarbone. The Pack have been forced to watch the NFC North fall apart and fail to capitalize on it because Aaron Rodgers cannot suit up.

And lastly, the Milwaukee Bucks are dreadful. Last season they had arguably the most undisciplined backcourt in NBA history (Allen Iverson and Jerry Stackhouse have to also be in the discussion) with Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis taking turns putting shots up.

Bucks management conducted a sign-and-trade for Jennings and allowed Ellis to walk in free agency. As a result, the team has gotten worse, much worse. Larry Sanders is currently on the shelf dealing with a thumb injury and consequently, the team is missing one of hits best players.

Typically, teams struggle whenever one of their top talents goes down but in the case of Milwaukee, figuring out just who is their best player is difficult proposition. Here are the options to choose from:

  • Caron Butler
  • Larry Sanders
  • O.J. Mayo
  • Ersan Ilyasova (aka James Franco)
  • Gary Neal

Take your pick. The inability to settle on one player highlights the lack of talent on the roster. The Bucks have very little to offer in terms of skill and also, their schemes accomplish very little in terms of helping them maximize whatever “advantages” they may have.

For instance, they run a lot of pick-and-rolls and pick-and-pops to create favorable matchups for their players, but the guys on the roster are not particularly skilled offensively. Ilyasova is great as a stretch-four when he pulls away big defenders from the hoop and dribbles past them for scores.

Mind you, he needs a good point guard to set these plays up for him and well, he does not have one.

Butler and Mayo are above average offensive players for the most part but they thrive off beating defenders in one-on-one situations where there is little defensive help coming their way.

Because the Bucks do not have any real great players or terrific offensive concepts, their wing players tend to see a lot of guys in their grills. Put it all together and Milwaukee’s offense turns into the Kobe System.

Kobe Bryant is a terrific offensive player and has put in numerous years of hard work into his craft. That allows him to make some of the most difficult contested shots and in turn, that encourages him to continue taking them.

The Bucks take contested shots, but lack the Black Mamba. In what is surely not a coincidence, Milwaukee boasts the second-worst offensive efficiency in the league. They complement their overall ineptitude with bad overall defense.

They do a poor job of closing out on shooters (Ilyasova is particularly subpar on this front) and post players do well against them because they are quite slow when it comes to sending help down there.

Thus, Milwaukee is not exactly a quality opponent by NBA standards. There is actually a possibility that things might get ugly for the road team tonight at the Palace of Auburn Hills.

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Tags: Milwaukee Bucks THN-MIL

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