Jennings to start opener

JS: Jennings will start opener
We all know Skiles wasn't going to start Brandon Jennings just because it would make the Bucks entertaining...even if that's what most of us were hoping. And given the learning curve faced by young points, it would have been perfectly understandable to bring the rookie on a bit more slowly.  So the fact that Skiles is willing to roll the dice with his lottery pick in game one says a lot about Jennings' progress and, perhaps more importantly, how hard he's worked in practice thus far.  Then again, Skiles was pretty vague in his explanation of the move, so maybe he just wants to get the kid on the court to start the learning process.

"I felt like both guys played really well in the preseason in most of their minutes," Skiles said. "It's just my call. Even when I talked to Luke, it's not like I could give Luke five set reasons.

"It's something I'm electing to do, start him from opening night and see what happens. It will then depend on how he plays, how we play all those issues."

Jennings' task was certainly simplified by having only Luke Ridnour and Roko Ukic as competition, but the list of 20-year old starting rookie PGs is fairly short.  Even with Jennings as a starter, it's likely Ridnour gets 20+ mpg on many nights, as you know Skiles won't hesitate to lean on the veteran when Jennings hits his inevitable rough patches.  He certainly had his fair share in the preseason, which you might guess from his 33% shooting from the field and nearly three turnovers/game in 26 minutes.  Jennings' endurance has also been brought up a number of times in Vegas and the preseason, so I'd be surprised if he gets 35-40 minutes in the near term.  Either way, it's exciting to know we won't have to wait for Jennings to get his chance to prove himself.  

New York Times: Jennings, an N.B.A. Trailblazer, Encounters Bumps in the Road
Karen Crouse at the NYT has a short feature on Jennings' transition from Europe to the NBA.

Jennings’s birthday was Sept. 23, and he celebrated by staying up late polishing his game. He texted Sampson, who lives less than a mile from him, at 9 p.m. and asked if he would meet him at the gym, and they worked deep into the night.

So far Jennings’s decision-making has impressed his coaches. He moved into a condo less than a mile from the Bucks’ training center in St. Francis, Wis., far from downtown Milwaukee and its beckoning nightlife.

Woelfel: 30 wins
Gery Woelfel checks in with his preseason thoughts.

Hunt: Alexander not coming back?
Michael Hunt seems pretty certain Joe Alexander's team option will not be picked up by the end of the week, which would make the '08 lottery pick an unrestricted free agent next summer. Is Hunt editorializing or does he know something? It seems like it might be the latter.

The Alexander pick stands on its own as a mistake. Even if he somehow develops late as he did at West Virginia, he will do it elsewhere. Not that there was a debate before, but the fact that Alexander is out until maybe mid-January assures that the Bucks will take the unusual move of not extending a lottery pick's contract.

Hardwood Paroxysm: Central Division
Rob Mahoney dishes on the Central, including among other things the Bucks PG spot:

The Bucks now have honorable intentions, but we can’t expect things to get better overnight. For one, the point guard situation should be the league’s running punchline. I love Jennings more than most, and to me he has star written all over him. But I’m positive of the fact that he’s not ready to play the lead for a playoff team, no matter how uncompetitive the bottom of the Eastern Conference is.
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