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Sunday Notes: New threads, preseason details, Ilyasova in action

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Joe knows China (Gary Dineen/NBAE via Getty Images)

  • The Bucks new red threads: thumbs up or down?  Redd, Jefferson, Bogut, and Alexander broke them out at the season ticketholder tip-off party where Bucks.com also caught up with them for some interviews.
  • Tom Enlund writes that the Bucks' early schedule won't do them any favors.
    Skiles can’t recall ever encountering such scheduling over the course of his long career as an NBA player and coach.

    "Once the season starts, until the end of November we have eight back-to-backs in the first month and we have four in a row," he said. "I’ve never seen that before in my 20-plus years in the NBA. But it is what it is. So we have got to be playing good enough ball early in the season to not only weather that from a win-loss record but to know we’re playing well, we’re getting better and those kinds of things."
    The Bucks have been no stranger to (deceptively) fast starts in recent years, but 20 of 33 on the road to start the year will certainly challenge that. It's also worth noting that Skiles' Bulls were notorious slow starters, a trait that eventually caught up with Skiles last season when he departed following a 9/16 start.  However, consider that the Bulls who won 49 games in 06/07 started 3-9, while the 05/06 squad that won 41 games began the year 12-19.  And the 47-win 04/05 Bulls lost their first nine games en route to a 2-13 start. 
  • Bucks.com has a fan Q&A with Joe Alexander.
  • The preseason opener against Minnesota is on Monday, October 6, and the Bucks are giving away tickets.  Unlike previous years, the Bucks aren't holding an open scrimmage--the China trip doesn't help scheduling in that regard--but free tix to a "real" preseason game should help compensate.
  • More importantly, be sure to check out the annual MACC Fund Game against Detroit on Saturday, October 11 at 7:30 pm.  More on that later.
  • Ersan llyasova helped Turkey qualify for next summer's EuroBasket, leading the Turks to a 6-0 record in group play.  Even with Hedo Turkoglu around, Ersan was tops on the Turkish team with both 13.0 ppg and 8.5 rpg in 27 mpg (stats).  If that wasn't enough, he then flew back to Spain and led FC Barcelona with 18 points and six boards in the Spanish Supercup semis on Friday, but Barca fell 73-70 to TAU Ceramica.
  • Bucks Diary is liking Scott Skiles more and more.  It's understandable for Bucks fans to be wary of expecting miracles from a guy who doesn't touch the ball, but I agree with Ty that the more you hear from Skiles, the more you have to feel good about the Bucks' braintrust.  He might not have the ammo to turn this team into a contender, but Skiles should bring the sort of credibility to the bench that the Bucks have lacked since the George Karl era.
  • Yi is gone, which means Joe Alexander is now the Bucks' official ambassador to China (above).