Linkage: Bullets Forever / Truth About It
Bucks fans, rejoice: a preseason game on television! NBATV will be carrying the first NBA matchup between Brandon Jennings and #1 overall pick John Wall, and in HD no less. Still no Andrew Bogut, but he's making progress, too. Besides, who needs Bogut or Jon Brockman (ankle injury) when you've got Brian Skinner?
Paschketball: Bucks start first three in four
Jim Paschke's latest video update at Bucks.com has Scott Skiles talking about possibly resting some guys on the weekend back-to-back as well as news of progress from Carlos Delfino and Corey Maggette. Just as importantly, behind Jim you can see Bogut practicing 15-foot jumpers while wearing the "contraption" meant to protect his finger and elbow. It's not as bulky as I expected it to be...yay.
"It was kind of a silver lining that I got some more rest for my elbow and I got some more fluid out of it. It's still not perfect but it's definitely 10 times better than it was in training camp.
"That's the first time since I've had my arm injury that I put up 100 shots without taking a break. Before, I'd take 10 or 15 but then I'd get tired."
Larry Sanders should also be good to go, having played in the open scrimmage on Tuesday after leaving Saturday's game with a tweaked ankle. With Bogut and Brockman out, Sanders should be in line for increased minutes against a young and long Washington front line that includes JaVale McGee, Andray Blatche, Yi Jianlian, and French rookie Kevin Seraphin, but it will also depend on whether Skiles likes what he sees. Sanders has blocked six shots in just 55 minutes, but he's also shooting just 33% from the field in preseason (8/24), with most of those bricks coming in the fourth quarter and OT of the Detroit game (5/17 fg). Add to that Skiles' continued concern with Sanders' defensive positioning and there's a ways to go.
Sanders' struggles on offense isn't exactly what you'd hope for from a mobile, long big man whose main job is to clean up garbage around the hoop and make open mid-range jump shots, but it's also not surprising given he was (despite showing some nice touch) rather inefficient in Vegas as well. Much of it is probably just small sample size--I'm not actually concerned that he's going to post a lower fg% than Jennings--but with his frame and touch he doesn't have a good excuse for being a liability on offense. The jump shot is nice, but big men have to play big, ya dig? Same goes for the boards, where his lack of girth makes it difficult for him to hold his ground. I've generally been encouraged by his play since he was drafted, but I'm still not sure what kind of role he's going to play in the short term.
Fortunately for the Wiz, John Wall is also John Wall. The #1 overall pick is playing a lot (35 mpg in four preseason contests) and putting up some rather nice raw numbers (15.8 ppg and 7.8 apg) to go with rather rookie-like levels of ineffeciency (just 40% shooting, 3.5 turnovers per game). So there's the good with the bad, but in general it's hard be too worried if you're a Wiz fan. Kid's going to be a star.
As for the rest of the Wiz, Flip Saunders has been going with a rather unconventional starting lineup featuring three point guards--Wall, Arenas, and offseason acquisition Kirk Hinrich. They're all big for PGs, so it doesn't put them at a huge size disadvantage, but still...three PGs? Oh, and in case you're curious, Yi Jianlian has been coming off the bench behind Andray Blatche and is doing pretty well for himself with 10.8 ppg, 7.2 rpg, 57% shooting in 24 mpg.