Skiles Getting Most from Bogut-less Bucks


by Andrew Coughlin


Injured center Andrew Bogut will wait and see whether or not he will avoid surgery on his ankle.  The oft-injured Buck would rather not have surgery on the ankle and would like to return to the team as soon as possible.  Milwaukee could use him too.  If not on offense, certainly as a defensive presence down low.  Ann if the Bucks have to go without the center for longer than the suspected 8 to 12 weeks, then they will need froncourt help as they look to compete for the seven and eight seeds in the Eastern Conference playoff race.


The team has been doing fine in Bogut's absence, however.  Head Coach Scott Skiles is getting this scrappy bunch to play about as well as can be expected.  Mike Dunleavy, Shaun Livingston, Ersan Ilyasova, Jon Leuer and Beno Udrih are not the kind of names in a playoff bound supporting cast that fans would likely hear.  Yet, they are supporting this team and they are pushing good teams to the brink night-in-and-night-out.

The Bucks have the point guard play as Brandon Jennings emerges as a star.  He does need to show a little more consistency, especially since he has been looked to carry this team in Boguts departure, but his pass first mentality is being spread to the other players. (Take a glance at the box score after a game and look at the team assists.  The number is consistently in the 20s.)

If you watch this team play, you can see the unselfishness as the ball gets passed around the court until someone has an open look.  Smart shot selection and team assists are powering this team to suceed above and beyond expectations.  The losses still come though.  And it should be noted that the recent home losses have come against quality teams; teams that, when you look on paper, just have superior talent.

But thats why Milwaukee fans are watching.  A game against the powerful Miami Heat or the venerable L.A. Lakers is not an automatic loss as it probably should be.  These guys are playing hard every night and fans can thank their coach for the effort he is squeezing out of his players.


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