First things first: the Bucks take on the Pistons in the 32nd Annual MACC Fund Game tonight at 7:30 at the Bradley Center. As you probably already know, the MACC Fund has raised over $30 million for childhood cancer research since 1976, when it was started by Eddie Doucette and Jon McGlocklin. The Bucks have obviously been huge supporters of the MACC Fund over the years, and tonight is always a highlight of the fundraising year, so be sure to make it down to the BC if you can--Bucks basketball and a great cause is tough to beat.
Of course, the Bucks on the court have been fairly easy to beat thus far in the preseason. Though they've been dealing with a number of key guys recovering from injuries, the "highlight" of the preseason thus far was their solid first half in Detroit on Wednesday--a game they still lost 85-71. The good news is that Charlie Villanueva had his shot working (his passing not so much) and scored 20, while Andrew Bogut dropped in a quick six points and five boards in the opening quarter as the Bucks raced to a 25-12 lead.
From there things went downhill, as the Pistons outscored the Bucks by at least eight points in every quarter. Ramon Sessions had 10 dimes, but couldn't buy a bucket in going 0/8 from the field. And Luc Richard Mbah a Moute seemed to be getting his name mentioned constantly by Ted Davis, but not always for good reasons. Luc made just 1/12 shots and notched five turnovers--not exactly the numbers you look for from your utility forward. But he atoned for it a little with seven boards, five assists and four steals. He also apparently threw a pass to Malik Allen, which wouldn't have been a problem if Allen wasn't walking to the scorer's table to check in. Speaking of Allen, the veteran big man quietly dropped 18 of his own with 8/15 shooting from the field.
Last night in La Crosse looked more like the Monday loss against Minnesota, as the Bucks were outscored in every quarter by the Mavs en route to a 105-79 loss. The Mavs led by a bizarre 59-39 score through three quarters, before both teams stopped playing defense in the final stanza--the Mavs outscoring the Bucks 46-40. That's right, the Bucks scored more points in the last quarter than in the first three combined. Joe Alexander made his debut, but let's hope he was still feeling some of the effects of his abdominal injury--that way we can better explain his 0/6 shooting in 17 minutes.
Luke Ridnour had better luck in his debut, scoring eight (4/7 fg) along with six assists and one turnover in 16 minutes. Mbah a Moute was also prominently involved again, playing 33 minutes and scoring 10 (3/6 fg) along with seven boards. Sessions struggled from the field (2/7 fg) but got to the line eight times and finished with 11 points, a big-like nine boards and three helpers. While Ridnour, Alexander, and Richard Jefferson returned to action, Scott Skiles gave Mike Redd the night off. Either way, the Bucks will need to start getting something together--their key guys are getting healthy, they've had a few games to shake some of the rust off, and they've got two nationally televised games in China next week. We all know this isn't a quick-fix situation, but competitiveness doesn't seem like too much to ask.