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Friday Bucks Notes

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  • A loss so thorough and humbling, like the one the Nuggets delivered the Bucks, has the potential to deflate a team. On the other hand, an optimist will tell you it can serve as a wake-up call. The Bucks had a rough night on Wednesday, but the hangover didn't carry over to Thursday's practice according to JS Online's Tom Enlund.

    The Bucks worked on simplifying some of their offensive sets, something they think will help them cut down on turnovers and Krystkowiak thought the team made some advances in that regard. Krysktowiak thought the players looked "sharper and they competed."

  • The Bucks begin a pivotal eight-game stretch against Eastern Conference foes tonight in Chicago against the Bulls. In the immediate two weeks, the Bucks play the Bulls, Nets, Pistons, Heat, Wizards, Sixers, and Heat again. Aside from the Pistons, each of them is within four games of the Bucks in the standings. If there are lingering hopes of reaching .500 or the playoffs, this is one time the Bucks must pounce. This is particularly important because after this span of winnable games they face ten straight winning teams, including road tests against the Lakers, Suns, Jazz, Hornets, and Raptors. Hey, nobody said January in Wisconsin was nice, or fair. Let's just hope the Bucks heat up by the time they get to Los Angeles and keep warm the rest of the month. If not, it's going to be a long, unpleasant winter.
  • Yi Jianlian is kind of a big deal. For more evidence, check out Drew Packham's latest SI.com Rookie Rankings, where Yi is ranked first.
  • Yi is second to Kevin Durant in ESPN.com's David Thorpe's Rookie Top 50. While Yi is second, Ramon Sessions is second to last on the list, ranking 49th.
  • CBS Sportsline's Tony Mejia isn't sold on the 2007 rookie class, but is buying Yi's multi-dimensional game.

    Yi is about 7-foot tall, has a beautiful shooting stroke and isn't shy about mixing it up. He's going to be as good as he wants to be, which is very similar to what was said about Gay. His opportunity to turn the corner has arrived.

  • NBA.com releases updated All-Star voting returns. Andrew Bogut is 5th among centers, Michael Redd is 7th among guards, and Yi Jianlian ranks 5th among forwards in the East. To vote, click here.