Thursday Bucks Notes

  • Everything about the Bucks' 87-80 win last night (Alex's recap):
    • Video / box score / AP recap. While Larry K has made his share of rookie coaching mistakes, you have to appreciate his willingness to take accountability.

      "They said they were going to get the ball into me a bit more. It's definitely good to hear a coach say that, it gives you confidence," Bogut said. "If I take 20 shots, I'm pretty sure I'll make 50 percent of them or more, so the more shots, the better."

      Bogut was 8-of-14 from the field against the Hawks and had 14 points in the second half.

      "We've gotten a little more creative with ways to get him the basketball. I think early in the season it's one thing to talk about, 'Hey, let's throw the ball inside and give Andrew an opportunity early in the season," Krystkowiak said. "Shame on me for doing so -- if he didn't produce the first two or three times down the floor, often times we'd go to another option."

    • Tom Enlund writes that Larry Krystkowiak was pleased with his defense for a change.

      "It was a great defensive effort," said Bucks coach Larry Krystkowiak. "We were really scrambling around. I just thought it was tremendous. It boils down to some effort. There wasn't a whole lot of scheming, just good old-fashioned playground basketball where we're trying to keep guys in front of us."

    • For the Atlanta perspective, check out Sekou Smith's take at the AJC. Smith's one of the best in the business.
    • The Bratwurst loved seeing the Bucks go big with CV at the three.
  • Steve Luhm over at the Salt Lake Tribune goes boldly where few Bucks fans dare to go: a playoff prediction! Luhm might feel a little differently if he'd seen the Bucks in December, but there's no doubting the Bucks have been playing some of their best basketball of late as Bogut, Bell and Simmons have become consistent contributors. The Bucks currently stand 10th in the East, 2.5 games behind the Nets for the last spot with the Pacers 1.5 games ahead in 9th. Perhaps more importantly, they've played seven fewer home games than New Jersey.  

    Milwaukee?

    Andrew Bogut is emerging as one of the East's top centers, while the three-guard rotation of Michael Redd, Mo Williams and Charlie Bell is hard to beat.

    When Redd completely recovers from a thigh contusion and small forward Desmond Mason returns from a thumb injury in a couple of weeks, I think the Bucks will start a run that carries them into the playoffs.

  • Rob Peterson, our favorite NBA.com blogger, writes about the emergence of Bogut and Chris Kaman.

    They both possess one skill that separates them in any way from their contemporaries (the same could be said for Utah's Carlos Boozer at the power forward position): ambidexterity. Kaman and Bogut use both hands equally well around the hoop. As a matter of fact, I'll say I've never seen a center use both hands as well as Kaman does. (If you've seen someone better, e-mail me. I'll listen.) And unless you've seen them shoot free throws (Kaman's better at it than Bogut) I'll even venture to guess that you may not know which is their strong hand.

    Bogut kindly rewarded our praise from yesterday by putting up his third consecutive 20/10 night, finishing with 21 points, 10 rebounds and four blocks including 8/14 from the field. The Hawks simply aren't big enough to keep Bogut from getting shots close to the hoop, and unlike the previous two games the Aussie came up big late as well, putting in a righty hook inside a minute left before sealing the game with a dunk from a nice Bobby Simmons inbounds pass. Add it up and his January numbers are now 18.3 ppg, 9.9 rpg, and 1.2 bpg on 61.8% from the field.

  • Here's a shocker: Royal Ivey is OK with coming off the bench. Good to know, Royal. Ivey has started a fair number of games over his NBA career given his middling talent level, but clearly he wouldn't be in the league if he had an entitlement issue. Still, he's done about as well as Bucks fans could have hoped when Larry Harris took a flier on him late in free agency with a one-year minimum deal. My favorite part of the article is his description of Kobe Bryant:

    "Kobe is one of the greatest players to play this game; he's a tough guard," Ivey said. "He's strong; he's 6-7. He's witty; he's smart. He's always on the prowl."

    Indeed, the only thing more dangerous than Kobe's driving ability? His wit.

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