We realize we've been bad about posting notes of late, but we'll try to make it up to you:
- This is a very last-minute announcement, but I'll be appearing on Charlie Bury's Sunday Afternoon Show this afternoon at around 3 pm central time. You can stream Charlie's show over at Marquette Radio. I promise to be long-winded and awkward.
- No denying that Larry Krystkowiak blew it at the end of the game last night. Check out our reaction as well as what The Bratwurst and Bucks Diary had to say.
- Bucks VP Ron Walter and CFO Mike Burr are generally behind-the-scenes types, but they're slowly becoming infamous among hardcore fans wondering who--aside from Herb Kohl and supposedly Larry Harris--is pulling the strings in the front office. Now Gery Woelfel is talking too.
Yet, despite an angry and dwindling fan base, Bucks management has inexplicably sat on its hands and refused to make a single trade.
On the surface, the blame for the Bucks’ inactivity would be directed toward general manager Larry Harris, who is in the final year of his contract. However, below the surface, there are some NBA officials who are convinced Harris’ hands are being tied by owner Herb Kohl and some of his closest associates in the organization, among them Ron Walter, the team’s vice president-alternate governor, and Mike Burr, the chief financial officer.
Whatever internal squabbles the Bucks might have, they need to be resolved because their fans deserve a much better product on the basketball court.
Whether Woelfel really needs to cite "league officials" or he's just stating the obvious is probably besides the point. The Bucks lack the expiring contracts to capitalize on teams like Memphis looking to drop salary, and Charlie Villanueva is the only young player they're actively looking to shop. Still, the team has been desperate for help at small forward all season, and even a minor trade could have provided a major boost when Desmond Mason went down. Instead, all indications are that the Bucks will sit on their hands until the summer, with Larry Harris being the fall guy. While we know Herb won't fire himself, it's disappointing to say the least when key guys like Walter and Burr don't seem subject to the same accountability as the GM that they give very little freedom to.
- Last week, Brett at The Bratwurst broke down why the Bucks will make the playoffs, and he now writes why the Shaq trade might alter that prediction.
Doesn’t it make sense that the Bucks can catch either Atlanta or New Jersey and hold off the rest of the East? The Bucks might not be the best team, but they have a very realistic shot against the other contenders. For all the complaining about the Bucks roster, most of these other teams have it much worse.
Of course the only problem is that should the Bucks get the 8 seed, they will be the answer of a trivia question for a long time: "Who was the worst team (by record) to ever get a playoff spot in the NBA?"
- Better Basketball takes a look at how not to double-down the post. I hope you're watching, Desmond.
- Sadly, the Ramon Sessions watch is over now that he's been shelved with a broken hand, but David Noel is picking up the slack. Last night Noel had 27 in a 113-104 win over Albuquerue, and last week he pumped in 23 points, five boards and six assists in Tulsa's 117-105 win over Austin on February 2, a day after racking up 28 points, eight rebounds, and five assists in a 113-100 win. He's now averaging 19.7 ppg, 5.6 rpg and 4.0 apg on .495/.457/.571 shooting.
- Truman Reed is keeping busy over at Bucks.com. He writes that Desmond Mason is glad to be out of a cast and on the court again and takes a look at assistant coach Bill Peterson's work in helping develop Steve Nash and Dirk Nowtizki. If you could develop Mo and Yi the same way that'd be really convenient, Bill.
- ESPN's John Hollinger puts Bogut on his all-sleeper team.
He plays for the Bucks, so by definition he gets no attention. But amid another disappointing season for his team, Bogut has shown solid improvement. The third-year center from Australia draws offensive fouls by the bushel, but this season he's been a better defender in other respects too; his added muscle has made him stronger in post battles.
And offensively, he's finally showing a low-post game -- helped along by one of the best left hands among NBA big men. The results? Career bests in PER and points and rebounds per 40 minutes.
- Our friends at Hardwood Paroxysm report on Groundhog Day in Milwaukee. Love that picture.