Linkage: Detroit Bad Boys
Bogut out again, Maggette making progress
Andrew Bogut was a late scratch for Tuesday's game with hand soreness and won't be back Friday either. Interpret that as you will, though I'm OK chalking it up to reasonable precaution. However, there is some good news on the injury front. Corey Maggette--once thought likely to miss the entire preseason--could be back soon. Charles Gardner reports:
"Corey is getting closer and closer," Skiles said after practice Thursday, " but not ready yet. He's a guy I'd probably think next week will get some minutes."
Missing Bogut, Maggette, and Salmons makes it virtually impossible to assess where the Bucks are as a team, so I suppose that should make us feel better about neither of this weekend's games being televised. It's not quite a summer league team the Bucks are fielding, but from a game-watching perspective it's a similar mindset--less about the team, more about seeing what individual guys bring to the table. In particular, it's good to test out some different combinations up front. Can Jon Brockman and Larry Sanders hold their ground against stronger bigs down low? Is Drew Gooden going to be the backup center and starting power forward? How does that even work from a minute allocation perspective? Is Brian Skinner anything but a training camp body?
CDR comes home
Chris Douglas-Roberts loves his hometown of Detroit, but this game is more than just a homecoming. With John Salmons jogging but not yet ready to return from a sprained knee, CDR is slated to start his second straight game. After a nervous start, he got his jumper working a bit against the Bulls (4/6 fg, 10 pts) but surprisingly fouled out in just 28 minutes. Still, Charles Gardner reports that Scott Skiles is seeing progress from CDR on the defensive end.
"He's working on his habits and doing a good job with it," Skiles said. "It's doing it full speed and getting in the right defensive spot. Ultimately you don't have to think about it anymore because it's a habit and you just do it."
Starting PF Jonas Jerebko suffered a partially torn achilles in Tuesday's blowout loss to the Heat, which should shelve him for anywhere from three to six months. Yeesh. Expect Charlie V, Jason Maxiell, and Greg Monroe to see more burn in his absence, though in the grand scheme of things it's another cruel blow to a franchise that's gone from perennial contender to going nowhere in less than two years. Pretty amazing, isn't it?
Obviously the game meant nothing, but watching the Pistons get creamed by the Heat only underscored the sense you got last year that the Pistons were stuck in purgatory...not good enough to make the playoffs, not bad enough to land a superstar in te draft, a GM who seems to have lost his way, and a long-time assistant coach unsuccessfully trying to hack it as the head coach. As a long-suffering Bucks fan, I think I'm qualified to diagnose these kinds of situations. Some good news: the team appears set to stay in Detroit for the long haul. Great to hear.
Skiles not worried about Jennings
Jennings didn't exactly wow against the Bulls, missing all five of his shots and looking careless with his passing in 18 minutes. He also had five boards, five dimes, and looked every bit as quick as we've come accustomed to, and it's also tough to judge a PG when he has almost no talent around him. Whatever, it's just a preseason game, we'll move on. Gery Woelfel reports that (surprise!) Skiles isn't too concerned either, especially given how far Jennings has come since his first training camp a year. He's also not worried about Jennings' slight frame (165 pounds) remaining so slight.
"Totally overrated," Bucks coach Scott Skiles said of supposed undersized players needing to put on weight. "We're not a big weight-conscious team.
"We're concerned about body fat. Body fat is what slows guys down. Brandon's body fat is low."