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Secret of the Bucks' defense, Sports Guy comes around, Stack and Luc's sites, Bell talks MSU hoops

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TrueHoop: Secrets of Bucks' success
In case you missed it, last week Kevin Arnovitz had a terrific read on the Bucks' defensive success--best one I've read so far.  Here's a sample.

That defensive system is characterized by a few basic features. The Bucks do a thorough job covering the pick-and-roll with hard shows. Bogut has a license to use his length and footwork to drift back on ball screens to wall off the lane and get in strong position to block -- or change -- a shot.

"The principles are simple," Bogut said. "Keep pick-and-rolls to the sideline. Try to keep the ball out of the middle. Have five guys rebounding."

FanHouse: Bucking Expectations, Milwaukee Strikes Fear in East
The toughest part about figuring out the Bucks' success?  Getting someone to take the credit.  Chris Tomasson writes:

Salmons had to put off an interview request before Saturday's game because he was going to chapel.

"In this locker room, everybody comes in with no agenda on the team,'' Salmons said. "Everybody is just trying to play hard and win games. That's the bottom line.''

One could say the Bucks might be too nice a bunch to win big time in the NBA. But guard Luke Ridnour disagrees.

"It's probably the quietest team I've been on,'' he said. "But I think people speak up when needed.''

Simmons: Sports Guy liveblogs Hawks/Bucks
Bill Simmons predicted the Bucks would only win 19 games in December, but he's coming around.
So why is this working? For the usual reasons that teams consistently ignore: They have one scorer and one rebounder (that's all you need to be decent); they have good chemistry; everyone knows their roles and minutes; nobody is complaining about playing time; and their coach has won everyone's respect. It's really that simple. And by the way, I would NOT want to play Milwaukee in Round 1. You're damned right I fear the deer.

Bucks Beat: Mbah a Moute
Paul Imig talks to Luc about playing both forward spots and the unique challenges of defending each.

"I think the wing guys (are more difficult to guard)," Mbah a Moute said. "Some of those big guys that can shoot it, it just depends on their offense. The way they run their offense sometimes makes it really hard to guard. But when you guard a wing they always have the ball in their hands, they’re always making plays, you always get screened and you have different picks coming at you, so it’s harder to guard wings."

Stackhouse and Mbah a Moute official sites added to our blogroll
Just a heads up that we've added two more Bucks' official sites to our permanent links on the left. And be sure to check out Luc's sweet t-shirt store here.  "MOUTE KICKS BOUTE"--SOLD! Bell talks about Michigan State hoops
Patrick Hayes talks to Charlie Bell about the Flintstones, winning the NCAA title nearly a decade ago, and this year's edition of MSU hoops.