Bucks/Hawks: Opener in the ATL

2009/2010 NBA Season

Atl_2_medium


Mil_2_medium
53-29 (34-7 home) 
vs.
46-36 (18-23 road)
April 17, 2010
Philips Arena
4:30 PM
Radio: WTMJ AM 620 TV: FSN Wisconsin/ESPN
Probable starters:
Mike Bibby
PG Brandon Jennings
Joe Johnson
SG John Salmons
Marvin Williams
SF Carlos Delfino
Josh Smith
PF Luc Mbah a Moute
Al Horford
C Kurt Thomas

(2nd) 111.8 - OFFENSE - 104.9 (23rd)
(13th) 106.7 - DEFENSE - 103.1 (2nd)
(27th) 90.1 - PACE - 91.7 (19th)

Coverage

Peachtree Hoops / HoopinionHawks Str8Talk / Bucks Gameday

JS: Bogut says it could have been worse
Andrew Bogut spoke to the media for the first time since his season-ending injury and--shockingly!--it turns out his injuries were different from the ones the Bucks reported.  A broken hand, sprained wrist and dislocated elbow turned into a broken finger, broken bones in his wrist and bone chips in addition to the dislocation of his elbow. Check Jim Paschke's video above or Charles Gardner's report below.  

Bogut said he fractured his right index finger and suffered broken bones on both sides of his right wrist while trying to protect himself as he fell to the Bradley Center floor after dunking the basketball. He also suffered a dislocated right elbow and bone chips in the elbow.

Bogut said doctors told him he would wear his current cast for four more weeks.

"It's basically going to be a long rehab process because of having my fingers locked in this position for so long; I lose a lot of mobility," Bogut said. "The first couple days (after the cast is removed) I won't be able to move it, and then it will probably take four or five weeks to get full mobility back.

"I still might not have everything back for a month, they say. We'll see how we go."

At this point every indication is he'll be ready to go by game one of next season (barring another reversal from the Bucks), which has always been the main concern. Also cool to hear Bogut will be with the team in Atlanta, though it's kind of funny to hear Bogut talking about how it's important as a leader to be with the team...while Michael Redd is apparently rehabbing at home in Columbus.  

Woelfel: Mbah a Moute on Johnson 
It seems like we've discussed Joe Johnson ad nauseum at this point, and among the things we wondered was whether Scott Skiles could find minutes for Luc Mbah a Moute.  Well, he's apparently going to try.  Woelfel reports that Skiles is likely to put Mbah a Moute on Johnson at the start of tonight's game, presumably forcing Carlos Delfino to deal with Josh Smith (which we saw late in the last game as well).  

The scuttlebutt is Skiles will likely start the game with 6-foot-8 Luc Mbah a Moute guarding the 6-7 Johnson. Skiles had started Mbah a Moute on Josh Smith in Monday’s game.

But Mbah a Moute played only 19 minutes in that game and has inexplicably played more than 22 minutes in just four of the last five games. Mbah a Moute said he wasn’t sure the reason for his recent decline in minutes -- he averaged 25.6 for the season -- but insisted it wasn‘t injury related.

I guess nobody wants to say it out loud, but it seems pretty obvious that Luc's offensive limitations are tougher to hide when he's not playing next to Bogut, which has forced Skiles to go long stretches in crunch time without his best defender.  But as mentioned yesterday, the Bucks' offense has actually been better since Bogut was hurt--it's the defense which has been notably worse.  I'm certainly not going to argue the Bucks suddenly have a good offense without Bogut, so I can understand Skiles wanting to have Salmons, Delfino and Ilyasova on the court for scoring purposes.  But if Johnson and Smith continue to cause the Bucks problems, can Skiles really afford to be sitting his best defender?  Though it will hurt the Bucks on the boards, that may be a situation where we see the Bucks go small with Ilyasova at the 5 and Mbah a Moute at the 3/4. 

Woelfel: Bogut out of Worlds
Woelfel also more or less confirms that Bogut won't be able (or allowed) to play for Australia in the World Championships. Disappointing for fans of the Boomers, but something of a relief for Bucks fans.  Not sure how our Aussie Bucks fans feel about it.

"It’s going to be a long summer rehabbing,’’ Bogut said. "It’ll be a three-to-four month rehab.’’

Considering the severity of the injuries -- Bogut has large cast on his right arm -- Bogut won't be able to play for Australia in this summer’s FIBA World Championship in Turkey. The 24-team tournament runs from Aug. 28 until Sept. 12.

Bogut wouldn’t comment on his status for the World Games. An official announcement is expected to be made in the next three weeks.

Simmons: Hammond and Skiles get their due
Bill Simmons picked the Bucks to win 19 games in October, but he's been singing the Bucks praises for some time now. That continues in his playoff preview piece over at ESPN, where he tips his cap to the Bucks' brass and coaching staff. No arguments here.

The Exec of the Year: Milwaukee's John Hammond. Dumped Richard Jefferson's contract, picked Jennings, stole John Salmons from Chicago, nailed the Carlos Delfino signing, maintained his cap flexibility going forward, allowed the "Fear the Deer" era to unfold. That was a clinic on how to keep a small-market team relevant. Had Andrew Bogut not Theismann'ed his elbow, the Bucks absolutely would have beaten Boston in Round 1, and my mom would have been saying to me, "What's up with this Fear the Deer thing?" Alas. By the way, Scott Skiles being the 2009-10 Coach of the Year goes without saying. So I don't know why I said it.
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