Rufus on Fire / Queen City Hoops / Bobcats Baseline
The Bucks and Bobs were pleasant surprises in making the playoffs last spring, but they've been struggling to recapture their winning form so far in 2010/2011. More news and analysis shortly.
Reinforcements. Finally some good news: Chris Douglas-Roberts is expected to make his regular season Bucks debut tonight after missing the first month of the season with an eye injury. It's probably not a good idea to expect too much from CD-R after missing a month of action, but it's not like he could possible make the Bucks' offense any worse. His presence also gives Scott Skiles the ability to not play Keyon Dooling at shooting guard, which given Dooling's epic struggles is a very good thing.
The more important question is whether Andrew Bogut will be able to return after missing the past two games with back spasms. The Bucks' defense had been surprisingly competent without Bogut against the Pacers and Cavs, but in Detroit they were shredded inside and out. Just as importantly, the Bucks' offense continues to struggle, though Bogut had been offering little help before his injury. He has cracked double figures just once in his previous five outings, shooting 50% from the field just once in that span. Needless to say, the we'll have to hope that the time off to rest his back--assuming it's not more than that--will also help him rest up his sore right arm.
Lineup shuffle. I haven't seen any reference to the Bucks changing up their starting lineup tonight, but seriously, why not? We know the current starting lineup isn't working--they've been outscored 43-27 in 20 minutes thus far--and it's not like this group makes a lot of sense on paper either. Jon Brockman's quick hook in Detroit suggests that Skiles might finally be willing to acknowledge he doesn't make sense as the starting 5, though his options are fairly limited. Starting the improving Larry Sanders would be one option, but another would be shifting Drew Gooden to center, Luc Mbah a Moute to PF, and starting Corey Maggette (or even CD-R) at SF. Please Scott, just try something.
Opening night redux. After losing their first two of the season, the Bucks claimed a much-needed win over the Bobs 99-89 in the BC opener, and their level of desperation now might be even higher.