[Mitchell attended last night's Bucks/Nets game and penned a nice recap of his impressions at the Izod Center in FanPosts, which you will find below. For my game recap, click here. -Alex]
Ok, I don't know exactly how "special" it is, considering the result. But it's a different type of recap, so that technically makes it special. I think.
I'm not a basketball blogger by trade. I do write for Acme Packing Company, the SBNation site for the Green Bay Packers. But, I love basketball, and I've been following the Bucks since high school, plus I've been known to read the pre-BrewHoop blogs by Frank and Alex regularly. Having transferred to Rutgers University in New Jersey last year, Bucks basketball is hard to come by. Naturally, I jumped at the opportunity to see my team play at the Izod Center.
Alex and/or Frank cover the normal stuff, like Three Numbers, Good, Bad, etc, so I'm not going to rehash it here. I'll rattle off some noteworthy things I noticed this evening.
- Charlie Villanueva has really skinny calves. Considering he's 6'11" and 230 lbs, you would think he wouldn't have chicken legs. Wait a minute...yes you would.
- Luke Ridnour looks like he is still in high school. My girlfriend was insanely amused at how scrawny he was and remarked, "He looks like he wouldn't even make the varsity team." However, he quickly became her favorite player because "he's little, but he's in charge."
- Francisco Elson has an abnormally large head. He also somewhat resembles Kevin Garnett at first glance. If only he could play like it.
- Richard Jefferson can get to the hoop at will. And that statement can be extended to drawing fouls and getting free throw opportunities. However, his six misses from the stripe show that making the free throws is a matter of skill, not will.
- Brook Lopez is really, really good. He reminds me a lot of Cleveland's Zydrunas Ilgauskas; a big center that can bully his way into rebounds, has nice touch around the rim, and can stick the mid-range jumper. All he needs to do is develop a bad history of foot injuries, and B-Lo is the new Big Z.
- Dan Gadzuric is in love with his jump shot. I'm not sure why. It does have a nice arc on it, but his elbow placement and release point is so erratic, you might as well blindfold him, spin him around, and shove an ant farm down his shorts. The results would likely be similar. Hey, Danny, your job is to run the floor, get rebounds, and irritate superior players (read: anyone else on the court) into mistakes...NOT to take 12-foot fadeaways.
- If Damon Jones' ego was a sandwich, it would be the infamous 'Gilbert Burger'. Oh, my God, Damon. You do know you're a joke in the NBA, right? The guy is constantly chattering, be it with teammates, opposing players, refs, fans, mascots, or vendors. He simply won't shut up. But what really gets me is that he was jawing with courtside Nets fans...during pre-game warm-ups. I suppose it would feel pretty cool to talk some trash, then turn around and hit a 3-pointer, then turn back to the fans and take a bow. But not playing for the first 45 minutes of a 48 minute game and only getting in because it was a near-blowout would deflate me a little bit. "Greatest Shooter in the World" my ass.
- Scott Skiles' face gets red sometimes, and it amuses me. Also, another odd quirk that just might be an aberration. When Skiles calls a timeout, he convenes with his assistants and has a chat with them. Then, he makes his way over to the team (which is distracted by whatever promotion is happenning on the court) and talks for five seconds, then sends them back onto the court. How is that helpful?
- Ramon Sessions simply cannot defend Vince Carter. VC is too quick. I'm pretty sure that, if he tried all the time, he would be as unguardable as Kobe/LeBron/Wade.
- Luc Richard Mbah a Moute needs more playing time. Remember when he started and Charlie V came off the bench? When did that change?
However, the most important things I noticed weren't nearly as trivial.
- Without Redd and Bogut, the team looks absolutely lost. I work for the Recreation department at Rutgers. As part of my duties, I supervise intramural basketball games. I've watched tons of these games, and I know a disjointed, confused, and disconnected team when I see one. I sincerely hope that nobody has invested in playoff tickets for this team, because you will not see it this year. It's painful to watch Ridnour or Sessions try to initiate a play, but it just never happens. But, that problem is nothing compared to what else I noticed...
- Charlie Villanueva doesn't seem interested in anything. Words cannot express my frustration with Charlie V. He is, by far, one of the most naturally gifted players in the NBA. Considering his size and quickness, he should be an offensive mismatch for anyone in the league not named Kevin Garnett or LeBron James. But it's the sheer lack of effort that keeps him firmly entrenched in the "enigma" category. It was evident from the get-go; during the layup-line section of warm-ups, Charlie decided that a simple, straight-up layup was too easy. He decided to jump from three feet away from the rim, float under it, and try to spin the ball off the backboard for a fancy reverse shot. He tried this three times, and failed all three. Then, during the actual game, he was consistently caught out of position on defense and went into all-I-want-to-do-is-hit-pretty-jump-shots mode on offense. During timeouts, he was half-listening to whatever the coaches were saying, always on the outside of the circle, and almost never looking at any of his teammates. The team "leading" +/- differential of -22 was well deserved this evening.
The only other player I can think of that has this problem is Tracy McGrady. However, that comparison is unfair to T-Mac because McGrady actually cares. In any case, I simply do not like the way this team is going without Redd and Bogut. Unfortunately, I am not creative enough to submit any suggestions to right the ship. Any ideas? Anyone? Bueller?
So that's it for my recap from February 3rd. I may do it again if I attend the Bucks-Nets showdown on March 30th. I am taking donations to fund attendance of that game.