Bucks.com: Bucks extend the contracts of John Hammond and Scott Skiles
From the Unsurprising News File (along with exercising Young Buck's contract last week) arrives word that GM Hammond and Coach Skiles will be hanging around Milwaukee for a while. The team exercised the option on Hammond while Skiles had his contract extended. Both contracts now run through 2012-13. Remember though, this is isn't reward for past, it's a sign of confidence about the future. Re-welcome back.
JS: Bogut, Maggette, Salmons set for opener
Although Skiles has yet to name a starting lineup, with Salmons ready to roll, Jennings/Salmons/Delfino/Gooden/Bogut is the reasonable starting group (The Bucks.com homepage currently features five Bucks -- Maggette rather than Delfino, but I'm not reading into it).
While individually they are far from full strength, the fact that the projected starters are all back in time for Game One is more than many expected just a couple weeks ago. Then again, no matter which fivesome starts, it will be the first time they have ever done so. And typing while watching the Heat score 30 first-half points at the dawn of the James/Wade/Bosh era reminds that it takes time for a group, any group, to gel. Miami's halftime low last year was 32 points.
Also: Douglas-Roberts (eye - see his Twitter updates) and Brockman (sprained left ankle) are out, and Mbah a Moute (sprained right ankle) is questionable, so the Bucks are still possibly the deepest team in the NBA later-- just not sooner. CD-R is of particular concern after undergoing eye surgery that may keep him out a month.
All of that at once.SI: An opposing team's scout sizes up the Bucks
An enlightening annual read, this particular (unnamed) opposing scout thinks that not only is Maggette best suited on the second unit, but that the Bucks might also tinker with the idea of bringing fellow big-money newcomer Gooden off the bench and starting Ilyasova at the four. I'm not so sure. Skiles does have a very strong track record of playing whomever is playing, to put it simply, but he also opted to start Jennings all 82 games and bring Ridnour all 82 games at point guard last year despite comparable output.
SI: Bucks 16th in power rankings
Just one spot in front of the Clip Show, but still sixth in the East, and Britt Robson is one of the best in the basketball-writing business.
HP crew bringin' it as usual.