- Charles Gardner reports from the Bucks media luncheon that a nagging ankle injury will prevent Andrew Bogut from playing in the Bucks' final two preseason games. Bogut originally hurt his left ankle at the Olympics in August after landing awkwardly on Kobe Bryant's foot. And while he appeared to be back at full strength last Wednesday in Guangzhou, Bogut reinjured it on Friday in Beijing. And then he reaggravated it again on Tuesday in practice. In other words, Bogut's ankle hates China. It's still hoped he'll be ready for Tuesday's opener in Chicago.
- Gardner also got a pretty good quote from Joe Alexander, discussing his potential dunk contest plans:
"I'll jump over the Fonz statue."
- ESPN has their Bucks preview up, with just one of ten panelists predicting playoffs. The lack of optimism isn't too suprising--though the fact that Ric Bucher is the guy predicting good things seems a bit weird. I also find it a bit interesting that more experts thought the Bucks would finish third than fifth in the Central (4-2), though I suppose that mostly suggests how little they think of the Pacers and Bulls. Oh, and in the right sidebar you'll notice BrewHoop's snide little contribution.
- Gery Woelfel writes that the Bucks are getting used to a new concept this fall: accountability. For now Andrew Bogut is saying all the right things about Skiles' more disciplined approach--even when he was the one to get benched on Friday.
"I think what he did was great,’’ Bogut said of Skiles. "I was held accountable, and that was the first time I’ve been held accountable as a Milwaukee Buck.
"I’m not taking anything away from anybody else (past coaches), but I definitely respected what he (Skiles) did. It was a wake-up call, that no matter who you are or what position you play, nobody’s spot is certain.’’
- While the rest of the Bucks were in China, Charlie Bell stayed at home to rehab his surgically-repaired ankle. Charles Gardner writes that Bell is now back at practice and expected to play in the final two exhibitions.
- Freije lives! Camp invites Ron Howard (not that one) and Kevin Kruger were waived on Monday, but at least they got a free trip to China out of it. With T.J. Cummings having gotten the axe before the trip, that leaves former Vandy big Matt Freije as the last of the scrubs standing. We like Freije around these parts--he blatantly has the homeless man's Dirk Nowitzki thing going on, he played well in Vegas and over the past few weeks, and Charlie says he's a cool dude. Unfortunately for Freije, Damon Jones' expiring contract is currently occupying the final roster spot, and it seems like the Bucks are hanging on to Adrian Griffin's non-guaranteed deal as well.
- Jim Paschke, continuing his streak of blogging brilliance from China, offers up video from Joe Alexander's high school jersey retirement.
- The Bratwurst wonders what will become of Damon Jones. Brett's guess that Jones gets bought out is a reasonable one, especially given that Tom Enlund threw out that scenario recently as well. The JS really doesn't speculate about that sort of thing randomly, so I'd assume that idea was coming from either the Bucks or Jones' agent. If the Bucks wanted to save some money they could just cut Griffin, so I'd just as soon suggest they hang on to Jones until the deadline, when his expiring deal could be used more productively with something else
- The lack of up-to-date preseason stats has been annoying me lately (even Bucks.com hasn't been updated since last Wednesday), so I was pleased when Ty recently linked to this site.
- Ersan Ilyasova was back stateside last weekend, impressing in a pair of exhibition games between his FC Barcelona side and the Lakers and Clippers. In Barca's 108-104 loss to the Lakers on Saturday he came off the bench to score 15 points along with six boards in 21 minutes. Then on Sunday Ilyasova filled up the box score to the tune of 20 points (8/14 fg), 14 boards and two blocks in 29 minutes of a 114-109 loss the Clips. It's worth noting that the Clips rested Chris Kaman, Baron Davis and Marcus Camby on Sunday, but notching 35 points and 20 boards in 50 minutes of action against NBA teams is none too shabby. Keep it up, Ersan.
- TrueHoop spent some time learning what it's like to be a referee. Great stuff.