This picture was too funny not to post. Gary Dineen/NBAE/Getty Images
Don't look now, but Michael Redd could be on the verge of a rare personal milestone: a double-double. Redd last accomplished that feat on November 24, 2004 in a road loss to the Suns, and while there's unlikely to be champagne flowing in the locker room if/when it happens next, it would be another indicator that the all-around game that Redd promised in camp is now more than just talk. In the Bucks' home opening win over the Bulls on Saturday, a slimmed down 07/08 version of Redd led the Bucks in points (27), rebounds (nine), assists (five) and steals (three). And to show he wasn't messing around he followed that up with a tidy 17 point, seven rebound, six assist performance in 32 minutes of the Bucks' blowout of the Raps last night.
Of course, we didn't always talk about a Redd double-double like it was Halley's Comet. Redd managed a pair of double-doubles playing mostly as a sixth man in 01/02, and in his breakout year of 02/03 he had an eye-popping six (sarcasm alert). He followed that with two in 03/04 before notching his last double-double in the fall of 2004. Then again, in fairness Redd hasn't turned into Allan Houston (he of the career 2.9 rpg, 2.4 apg in 33 mpg) either. As his rebounding has dropped off, Redd has improved his scoring every year, transforming himself into first a standout shooter and more recently a premier all-around scorer. Last season Redd managed eight rebounds in a game twice, both Bucks wins: in L.A. against the Lakers (along with 45 points, five assists and four steals) and at home against the Wizards. He tallied his season high of six assists twice, in a road loss to the Wizards and a home loss to the Pacers. And in 07/08 he's matched or exceeded both of those numbers after just four games.
And while no one will be confusing him for Scottie Pippen, Redd has become a good role model on both ends for the new-and-hopefully-improved Bucks. The team spent the month of October both focusing on defense, and perhaps because of that even their offense--easily their strength a year ago--looked ragged and out of sync in the first ten quarters of the season. But the past two games have seen the Bucks beat the Raps and Bulls by holding them to just 78.5 ppg, not bad considering Milwaukee didn't hold an opponent under 80 points even once in 82 games last year. Redd did his part, consistently pressuring his man on the perimeter and crashing the boards on his way to a combined +41 differential in the two games. While you never want to make too much of such a small sample, the effort and results have been undeniably positive signs for a team that was near the bottom of every defensive category last year and entered this year hoping to be merely mediocre. And after looking wary of trusting his teammates in the opening two losses, Redd has also suddenly begun making the extra pass and working to keep his mates involved offensively, something he alluded to a month ago:
"If I get 10 points in a game, and seven assists and five rebounds...now, commentators and people will say he's having an off-year because he's not scoring as much. But my career is not predicated on just scoring, I've got to get wins. I'm not worried so much about scoring. I've shown I can get 50 or 60 a game. And it still may happen.
"But my focus this year is winning. I learned a lot from Jason Kidd this summer. Jason Kidd was tremendous as far as watching him and...he didn't shoot a shot in the first four games and we blew everybody out. He didn't care about scoring. He's a terrific talent. So I have trust my teammates in the same manner."
So Mike, did Jason teach you anything about triple-doubles?