News/notes after the jump.
The Kids. Jonny Flynn and Brandon Jennings went head-to-head in a series of team workouts leading up to the draft, then faced each other twice in the preseason for good measure. Now, finally, it counts. We all know what Jennings has been up to, but Flynn also seems to be holding his own pretty well. Minny fans would probably prefer the assists come up (3.6 apg vs. 3.4 to) but like Jennings his shooting has been much better than expected (.500/.667/.905) and destined to fall off.
Needless to say, both guys will be itching to prove they're the better rookie, which makes for a nice little subplot. I'll just be glad that Jennings gets another game against a young PG rather than a Billups, Paul, or Nash. Over at the Star Tribune, Jerry Zgoda writes that the Wolves' triangle offense isn't helping Flynn's numbers.
Catching up with Sessions. John Hammond and co. took plenty of flak for letting Ramon Sessions and Charlie Villanueva to walk, especially after shipping Richard Jefferson out of town for salary relief. But at least in the very early going the Bucks haven't missed out on too much. Villanueva is averaging 11 ppg and 6 rpg on 39% shooting through Detroit's first five games. RJ is putting up 11.7 ppg and 2.7 rpg on 46% shooting. And Sessions brings averages of 5.6 ppg, 5.4 rpg, and 2.6 apg in 22 mpg into his first regular season matchup against the Bucks.
Perhaps most interestingly, Sessions has managed just five free throws in five games, a stark contrast to a year ago when he averaged nearly five FTA per game. I haven't caught any Minny games so I'm not sure what the explanation is, though Bucks fans probably aren't feeling too bad about swapping Sessions for Jennings. Sessions for Ridnour is still a different story.
Despite those modest numbers, Kurt Rambis has praised Sessions' discipline in running the triangle offense he imported from L.A., and there was at least some talk that Sessions could supplant Flynn in the starting lineup. It's technically not the first time Sessions has seen the triangle--you might remember Larry Krystkowiak made an aborted attempt to use some triangle in Sessions' first training camp in Milwaukee. The Bucks gave up on it fairly quickly, but I'd imagine it didn't hurt Sessions' ability to pick things up more quickly.
Stewie! Around the league, Oleksiy Pecherov seems to be known as much for his resemblance to the cartoon baby from Family Guy as he is for his game, but that might be changing. The
Russian Ukrainian seven-footer is slated to make his fourth start tonight at PF following a career night (24 pts, 8 rebs in 34 minutes) against the Celtics on Wednesday. Now in his third season, Pecherov had his fourth year option declined on Monday, so he's playing for a contract now. Similar to Joe Alexander, aside from the obvious fact that Alexander was a much higher pick (8th vs. 18th) and the Bucks only gave him one year to prove his stuff. So not really that similar.
Pecherov's perimeter-oriented game will match up against Hakim Warrick, who's coming off a high-volume double-double (11 pts, 5/15 fg, 10 rebs) in his first start of the season in Chicago. While Pecherov was a good rebounder a year ago, he's no Kevin Love and that will be good news for the Bucks, who got manhandled by the Minny bigs in their preseason opener against the Wolves. Pecherov also has only 11 assists in his career, which is bizarre even for a guy who hasn't played all that much.
Gardner reports Kurt Thomas has fallen behind Dan Gadzuric in the center rotation as well. Given I always give Gadz the business, some kudos are in order for his early season play.