Yahoo: Cavs top Bucks 83-77
So in between possibly the worst offseason in the history of team sports and a surely miserable regular season, the Cavaliers continued a nice, if not meaningless (actually, meaningless) preseason by beating the Bucks to improve to 6-1. I wasn't in Columbus for this one -- I didn't even get the chance to watch or listen. But all indications are that everyone escaped mostly unscathed (CD-R's hip is okay per tweet). And so all is well, with just one more preseason tilt: the MACC Fund game Friday night in Milwaukee against Minnesota.
Surely the most encouraging bit from Thursday evening's game was that the frontcourt pairing of Andrew Bogut and Drew Gooden combined to block seven shots. Bogut (4 blocks) showed he is on the right walking, jogging, running, and swatting path toward being a real life Andrew Bogut again. And Gooden averaged 0.3 blocks per game last year, which had to be difficult for him considering he is 6'10", so his three blocks are most likely an aberration (and a preseason meaningless aberration at that), but maybe Skiles is already wearing off on him.
Meanwhile, Chris Douglas-Roberts led the Bucks with 16 points on 7-14 shooting from the field, a nice way to wind down what has been an uneven preseason. The Bucks have been living at the line lately, but they only made 5-7 against the Cavs, contributing to that meager 77-point output which included three quarters in the teens.
And while he doesn't figure to contribute many story lines in the near future, Michael Redd was there tonight, fixing for a spot, any spot, with the team this winter. Per Charles Gardner at the Journal Sentinel:
Redd said he would accept any opportunity with the Bucks, who acquired John Salmons in a trade last season and this summer signed Salmons to a five-year contract to fill the starting shooting guard role.
"Any role, any role, just to play basketball and be a part," Redd said. "That's it. And that's been my mentality my whole tenure here. To do the best I can do."
SB Nation: NBA Watchability Scale 2.0
Mike Prada ranks NBA teams to watch from 30 to 1. The Bucks fit in 11th. Even objectively typing, the team was an absolutely fantastic watch last season in wins and losses alike. The following worries about Salmons and Maggette are well-founded; I wouldn't go out of my way to watch these cats in previous years. But more importantly yet is whether they will prove aesthetically displeasing and redundant... and inefficient?
Salmons is the classic rental player that's great with something to prove, but sulky when he gets a little prosperity. (Bulls fans are nodding right now). Maggette, meanwhile, doesn't know the meaning of the word "pass." If you're the kind of person who has this idea that the NBA is just a bunch of guys putting their head down and getting bailed out with foul calls, then Maggette is the personification of your stereotype. That's his game, and it sucks to watch it.
That's just a buyer beware. The Bucks were really fun last year, and I can't just shake this feeling that many people are jumping on their bandwagon a year too late.
Bill Simmons: NBA must-see list
Coincidentally, the Bucks are also 11th on The Sports Guy's must-see rankings. These articles make five days seem far too far away.
FYI: I missed Brandon Jennings last year. Time for a mulligan. One other reason: I'm excited for the Corey Maggette/Scott Skiles dynamic. They're a worse couple than Kourtney Kardashian and Scott Disick. I watched Maggette on the Clippers for three solid years. He's great on paper (why advanced basketball metrics can be trusted only to a point), rebounds bigger than his size, plays up to his competition, plays defense occasionally (repeat: occasionally) and gets along with teammates. Those are the reasons you would trade for him. Flipping it around, he's a career loser (11 years, 12 playoff games) who thinks he's better than he is (never a good thing) and makes dumb decisions at the worst possible times. But always with a smile on his face. He's going to drive Skiles crazy. I can't wait.
Ball Don't Lie: Milwaukee Bucks season preview
Kelly Dwyer and co. predict 48 wins, which is right in the neighborhood of right. Frank went with 50-32 in our season preview, and I'm rolling with that nice even number too. Then again, pretty much errryone figures the Bucks will win between 42-52 games this season, so of course they'll actually finish 36-46 or 56-26 (not sure which is more likely). Regarding Brandon Jennings' downside...
Defensively? He was great. As was the case last year and during the preseason, he's a gem at picking up defenders full court and pressuring the ball. But Jennings too often relies on a shaky jump shot that just isn't there yet. And the fact that he's chucking four three-pointers a game (at an average, 35 percent, rate) in just half a game's minutes during the preseason doesn't bode well. Brandon is shooting 35 percent overall during the preseason, a criminal mark considering his penetration abilities.
If Brandon continues to flail away, especially with Luke Ridnour gone (don't laugh), the Bucks will be in trouble. That ball needs to be moving, it needs to be in Andrew Bogut's hands, and the Bucks have to improve on an offense that often looked league-worst last year.
Dime: Meet Brandon Jennings at Foot Locker this Saturday
The header just about covers this one. Brandon will be autographing at Mayfair Mall in Milwaukee (technically, Wauwatosa) from 6:00 - 8:00 p.m. on Oct. 23.
Sole Collector: Behind the scenes of Brandon Jennings' Commercial Shoot
While we are loosely on the subject of Young Buck and feet... Brandon's new 15-second Under Armour spot cost him a few stiches in his head after colliding with an a member of Under Armour between takes... Disaster averted:
Fortunately for Brandon, a bag of ice (standard ice, not black ice) was enough to keep the swelling to a minimum, and he was able to continue with the shoot. Unfortunately for Marcus Stephens, Under Armour's Senior Creative Director and the mind behind the company's advertising, he had to head straight to the nearest hospital in need of stitches to close up the cut he suffered from the head clash.
Ball Don't Lie: Good (free) seats still available at Pistons games
How quickly the tides of the Central Division turn. Detroit led the NBA in home attendance in 2008-09, averaging 21,877. Now? They are manufacturing some excitement with a Squad 6-inspired "Power Plant." Except...
Keep in mind that making the Power Plant hands you the rights to a free lower-level (in an NBA arena, "lower" means "better") ticket to each of the Pistons games this season, provided you find a way to make it to each of the games. Free tickets, 300 registrants, 50 slots available. And 11 people showed.
If it were an NBA roster, the Power Plant will still be four warm bodies short. Kind of like the team they're rooting for.
The Basketball Jones: You done goofed, Jerry West
Eight years later, the Hall-of-Fame guard, former Executive of the Year, and inspiration for the NBA logo is compelled to explain his regret of picking Drew Gooden fourth overall in the NBA draft.
Pro Basketball Talk: Michael Redd, the same as he ever was
Is it possible to have mid-2000s Bucks nostalgia? I'm as far away from being a Redd apologist as I am from being a Redd hater. I'm far away from both. Either way, read this, particularly for an old quote from Mike that now strikes a chord or three.