- Recaps of Monday night's 96-93 loss in Sacramento: Alex / JS / Sacramento Bee. Pretty drab game all around I thought.
- Bogut especially looked sluggish early on before getting it going a bit in the second half. Meanwhile, Brad Miller looked lively, draining outside jumpers much of the night.
- Salmons was the player of the game for me--scored efficiently and made Redd work for his points all night long.
- The bench had some nice moments, including Charlie Bell's brief rediscovery of his shot late in the third. But leading 76-66 early in the fourth, Bell and Ivey's turnovers sparked a 12-0 Kings run when the Bucks could have put them away.
- Tom Enlund writes that the Bucks loss was compounded by their inability to fly home to Milwaukee after the game. Travel delays in the Midwest meant they spent the night in Sacramento and were flying today.
"We’ve got a couple hour time difference and a four-hour flight to get into Milwaukee," said coach Larry Krystkowiak after seeing his team drop its fourth straight game. "So we weren’t going to get in until the middle of the night anyway. It might not be such a bad thing for us to get a normal night’s rest in Sacramento...but then spending most of the day getting back. We have to turn it around and play Orlando on Wednesday night so that’s not much time."
The Orlando game on Wednesday will be a good insight into the team, as they can't really be expected to win against the 16-6 Magic, but a blowout loss at home could be an ominous sign of things to come. While Orlando has lost two in a row, they've been the class of the East so far and have compiled a staggering 11-2 record on the road so far this season. A win would speak highly of the team's character, but at this point it's probably unreasonable to expect more than a good effort.
- Enlund also writes that Andrew Bogut was contrite after the Blazers' loss.
"Guys have to remain professional," center Andrew Bogut said. "Being an NBA player isn't all about the glamour of the nightlife and playing in front of thousands of people. It's about getting wins, too. I don't think we realize that yet but we're a young team and we're trying to get better. These last two games have definitely been an improvement from where we were in Golden State.
"Every team has problems and bumps in the road . . . and has guys that maybe think they're not playing as much as they should or that there are guys who are playing too much. It's a matter of being professional. . . . You just have to keep working hard and being professional."
- Quote of the week though goes to Mo Williams, also after the Blazers game: "This ain't cool."
- Ramon Sessions has cooled off a bit since his hot start to the NBDL season, averaging 15 ppg, 5.3 rpg and 4 apg on just 27% shooting in his last three games (all losses). That was after averaging 31.3 ppg, 7.0 rpg and 6.3 apg in his first three games. The one bright side is that he's had only one turnover in his last three games, compared to a whopping 19 in his first three. While it's expected Sessions will spend the season in Tulsa, his promising start isn't entirely insignificant given the poor play of Charlie Bell early in the season. If Bell is eventually dealt and doesn't bring another PG in return we could see Sessions promoted to third string PG on the big club. Hopefully Bell's shot comes around (it looks a bit better in Sacramento) because I don't see an Ivey/Sessions backup PG combo as anything to be excited about.
- The Bratwurst looks at Yi's recent struggles.
Maybe he’s tired (which is a little disturbing in itself this early in the season) or perhaps he’s not as athletic as advertised.
There is one major indicator that the problem is the latter — 82games.com shows that Yi has been getting a simply massive number of his shots thrown back in his face. According to them, 25% of his dunk attempts and fully 41% of his other "close in" shot attempts have been rejected.
David Thorpe at ESPN mentioned the block thing last week as though it was a new thing, but Yi's been struggling mightily around the hoop all season. A couple weeks ago after the Dallas game I mentioned that Yi's inside eFG% was an atrocious .308, compared to a rather stellar .500 on jumpers. His inside numbers have actually improved since then to the slightly less awful .375 while his jumpshooting has tailed off a bit to .462 (still respectable). You can imagine that teams are more aware of his outside shooting ability now, so it's good that the Bucks are showing a little bit more resolve to give him the ball in different spots. Still, don't expect the Bucks to throw him the ball every time he gets position. Post touches generally have to be earned, and it seems like Mo and company (with good reason) still don't particularly trust Yi's abilities down low. I agree with Brett that his athleticism may be slightly oversold--strength is part of the problem and NBA savvy certainly also a factor, but the bottom line is he's also not an explosive pogo-stick type leaper, nor does he have strong hands. He's extremely fast and has a good first step for his size, but when he gets close to the hoop you don't get the sense he's going to just go straight over guys.
- TrueHoop talks to Stephen Turanski, a 14-year old from New Jersey with alopecia who has become a big fan of Charlie Villanueva. Elie Seckbach has a great video of CV talking to kids in LA. And c'mon Elie, it's not "Villanova."