- Check out a WSSP interview with John Hammond. If you're trying to read the tea leaves here, it didn't come across as though the Bucks are thrilled with the idea of going over the tax to keep Charlie Villanueva. Hammond also mentions the possiblity of using the Bucks' first rounder to make a cost-saving move, which seems pretty inevitable at this point.
Just as importantly, Hammond said he expects Michael Redd to be ready to go by training camp. That echoes Gery Woelfel's report yesterday on Redd's impending surgery, which is scheduled to take place on March 3.
Redd said he envisions the recovery period to be "between five and six months’’ and that he has every reason to believe he’ll be ready for training camp in October.Unfortunately it's still going to be virtually impossible to trade Redd until he's back on the court, and Redd's return at the start of the season would mean the Bucks won't be able to claim any insurance money--80% coverage only kicks in once a player has missed 41 straight games with the same injury. But to be clear, this is still very much good news. Best of luck with rehab, Michael.
Redd, who had been waiting for the swelling to subside in his knee before having surgery, also disclosed surgery will be done only on the ACL and that the MCL tear will "heal on its own.’’
- Good news on the Charlie Villanueva takes-on-the-Cavs front. Despite palming the face of Anderson Varejao and then pushing Zydrunas Ilgauskas by the throat in the aftermath, CV has somehow escaped further punishment from the league. The initial flagrant foul call for hitting Varejao looked like the right call to me, though the Brazlilian's predictable histrionics might actually have worked in the Bucks' favor. Something tells me the league office would have reacted differently if the foul had been against someone other than the league's most notorious flopper.
- Matt Moore at Hardwood Paroxysm is enjoying the race for the East's final playoff spot. It's funny, but sometimes you have to see what outsiders think to appreciate what's right in front of you. Take it away, Matt:
V-Nuv is some sort of weird combination of a rhino and an energy circuit, managing to try on every possession to either kill the rim or hit the most obscene shot he can. Sessions has so much blackout speed I have to remind myself to watch him when he has the ball because half the time he scores when I’m not looking. Mbah A Moute is the real surprise. I built up a long list of reasons why he would never succeed in the NBA when I watched him in the tournament last year, and have now become enamored with the outrageous way he’s translated his game. It’s like taking ancient Greek and translating it into binary. Ridnour is professional, Jefferson alternates between brilliance and maddening black hole behavior, and Dan Gadzuric is absolutely absurd. In every way. I’m almost happy that ESPN decided not to share the brilliance of Hornets-Bucks with the world. It’s one area where I get to be selfish, relishing in this secret while everyone else is concerned with teams that actually, you know, matter.
- Tom Enlund reports on why Scott Skiles sat Charlie V for virtually the entire second quarter against Denver.
"If a guy gets two fouls early, I’ll bring him back in the first half almost always. The one exception being if we have multiple foul trouble all over the place, then I know I probably have to juggle the rest of the game. The kind of game Charlie was having, I wanted him to be able to play if not the whole second half, almost the whole second half."
- Here's my feature on Joe Alexander's first 59 games as a Buck.
- Also check out the latest Blogger MVP/ROY edition, courtesy of A Stern Warning.