Last season I wrote the fanpost "Ranking the roster" concerning ranking players on the pre-season roster from 1 to 15 based on importance to the success of the Bucks season. I added a wrinkle, a second number indicating where would that player stand on the roster of a championship contending team? The second number provides a gauge of the team's depth, which has improved a great deal this year. In fact, ranking the roster was much tougher this year than last due to the outrageous depth at the forward spots. This is my 2010-2011 edition ranking the roster.
1/2 Andrew Bogut - Provides an anchor on defense and is best source of post offense on the team. His health is a real lynch pin to the Bucks success this season.
2/3 Brandon Jennings - A sophomore slump by Jennings would make 50 wins nearly impossible. Bucks should expect improved offensive efficiency from Jennings this year in terms of both shooting and passing.
3/4 John Salmons - Bucks hope Salmons continues to provide the offensive spark he contributed after the trade deadline last year and not the uninspiring performance he provided the Bulls before the deadline.
4/4 Corey Maggette - If Maggette can provide efficient offense within the team concept along with acceptable defense, he could make the difference between 45 wins and 50 wins this year.
5/5 Drew Gooden - The best among a varied and solid but not spectacular group of power forwards the Bucks have this season. Sheer numbers indicate Bucks will play power forward by committee this year with Gooden playing backup center as well.
6/7 Carlos Delfino - After playing a lead role on the Argentina World Championship team this summer, Delfino will settle back into his glue man role with the Bucks, doing the little things to help the team win.
7/7 Ersan Ilyasova - Ilyasova also had a big summer and should continue to provide toughness, rebounding and three point shooting for the second unit.
8/8 Keyon Dooling - Dooling doesn't have to replicate the departed Ridnour's scoring numbers from last year, but his leadership, shooting and defense will be important in the second unit.
9/8 Luc Mbah a Moute - Even with the improved front court depth, The Prince is just so useful on the court, providing dirty work and defense that Skiles will find time for him. An improved jump shot would make it even harder to keep him off the floor.
10/10 Chris Douglas-Roberts - CDR figures to get minutes early in the season backing up both Salmons and Delfino while Maggette continues to rehab his ankle. It will be important for him to earn Skiles' trust early if he wants to stay in the rotation.
11/10 Larry Sanders - Sanders is a long, explosive, shot blocking power forward the Bucks haven't had in a long time. He will have to fight for time, but I see him getting 10-15 minutes a game.
12/12 Jon Brockman - Puts the power in power forward and fills the hustling bruiser role perfect for situations in which Skiles doesn't like the effort he is seeing on the floor.
13/13 Earl Boykins - Barring injury, I don't expect Boykins to see many minutes, but he might be effective as a change of pace type player to energize the Bucks.
14/14 Michael Redd - Two words define his importances to the Bucks' success this year. Expiring contract. That is enough to move him out of the bottom spot for this team.
15/15 Darington Hobson - Currently out with a hip injury, Hobson is a jack of all trades, master of none type who will be developed for future opportunities.
16/ - Tiny Gallon - Likely on the outside looking in with a non-guaranteed contract.
These ranking show me a team lacking in absolute elite talent, but one that makes up for it with the kind of depth that is going to give Skiles good energy and effort on the court, even on the second half of back to backs. Hammond complemented the additions of scorers like Gooden, Maggette and CDR with energy guys like Dooling, Sanders and Brockman to make this a well rounded roster that Skiles will get a lot out of this year.
Opinions? Rankings of your own? Please share in the comments.