Saturday Notes: Free tix for Monday, Woelfel at camp, the Skiles show, and Hollinger's pessimism

  • Reminder: you can get free tickets to Monday night's preseason home opener. Game time is 7 pm. Adam Rose at Bucks.com offers some insight into what to expect.
    Skiles told the media that the team has been installing its offense at the start of each practice and right now they have enough in to play a game. He still expects to add more before Monday night, but he’ll evaluate things following the Minnesota game. "We’ll put in a little more before the first game and we’ll see how it goes," Skiles said. "We’ll see how it’s working and we’ll add or subtract accordingly depending upon what we think is fitting with our personnel and how things are going."
  • As expected the Bucks are close to signing another one year Bradley Center lease shortly.  There continues to be chatter about developing land around the BC to add another band-aid to the situation, but even BC Chairman Ulice Payne knows it's not a long-term solution.
    "It cannot ensure the survivability of the Milwaukee Bucks," Payne told business leaders at a breakfast forum sponsored by the Business Journal of Milwaukee.

    Asked about a new arena for the National Basketball Association team, Payne said: "The question of a new arena is a community question. It’s not a Bradley Center question."

    He added: "Someone has to take the lead. That’s not the Bradley Center’s job."
    OK, Milwaukee, who's going to step up and do something? [crickets chirping]
  • Gery Woelfel reports on one of the annual rites of fall: the Milwaukee Bucks talking about defense.
    "To be honest with you, I didn't see any bad defenders out there ( in practice) today. There's no reason why we can't be a good defensive team. "Our goal is to be one of the best defensive teams in the league.''
    Ambitious? Absolutely. Likely? Well, maybe not. But the major difference is that unlike previous seasons, the Bucks actually have a coach who's known for getting defensive results. In Skiles' four full seasons as an NBA coach (he has also coached parts of four other seasons), his Bulls and Suns teams finished 1st, 7th, 2nd and 1st in points allowed per 100 possessions--the best metric for defensive efficiency. That's in stark contrast to the Bucks, who have been busy the past two decades setting new standards for defensive futility. Consider:
    1. The Bucks were dead last in defensive efficiency last year.
    2. The Bucks haven't finished better than 20th in defensive efficiency since 99/00.
    3. The Bucks haven't finished in the top half of the league in defensive efficiency since 1991. The starting lineup that year? Jay Humphries, Alvin Robertson, Fred Roberts, Frank Brickowski and the Jack Sikma/Dan Schayes combo at center. Something's gotta give.
  • Marc Stein might be feeling good (or at least better than most) about the Bucks' chances, but John Hollinger?  Not so much.
    The sum of it all is that, basically, I don't get it. Milwaukee has capped itself out for three years and stuck itself with several midcareer players who are almost certain to decline in coming seasons, and for what? The chance to go 38-44 and get swept in the first round of the playoffs? Have they sunk so far that this is the new standard of success?
  • Brett Ballantini has a very thorough season preview over at SLAM.
  • Joe Alexander has been out with an abdominal injury.  Meanwhile, Charlie Bell is still feeling the effects of summer ankle surgery
  • Tom Enlund tries to pin down the Scott Skiles Experience.  Part of that might involve seeing more of Malik Allen than you'd prefer.  Somehow the idea of Charlie Villanueva getting 30 mpg doesn't seem realistic under Scott Skiles.
  • Bucks.com has some clips from media day.  Of note: Tyronn Lue continues to go cornrow-less.
  • By now you know that the Bucks have a new D-League affiliate, and BrewHoop fave Matt Moore  sheds some more light on the Fort Wayne Mad Ants with this interview of Mad Ant president Jeff Potter. The whole thing is worth a read, but perhaps the most relevant bit of info concerns Luc Richard Mbah a Moute:
    RU: One guy that I think might get time in Fort Wayne is Luc Richard Mbah A Moute. He's classic D-League, a big man unrefined. A lot of talent, but needs more bulk and needs playing time. Have the Bucks mentioned him at all to you?

    JP: No, not yet. And I watched him in Milwaukee and I'm almost halfway convinced that they might keep him up there. He reminds me a lot of Afflalo in Detroit. Smart, tough as nails, can go in and play D, he just looks like the Scott Skiles type of player. Down here he can improve his offensive game I think. He's somewhere he can do that and also get used to the speed of the game.
  • A pretty good starting point for all things preseason: Bucks.com's training camp page.  While the trip to China might be a bit of a drain travel-wise, the two games against the Warriors will both be televised on ESPN2.  Which means that the Bucks have more preseason games on national television (2) than regular season games (1).  According to my time zone math, the first game will be shown at 7 am CT on October 15 with the second coming at 10:30 pm CT on October 17.

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