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Hammond on Bogut's elbow, Delfino sizzles, the chemistry question looms

Sporting News: Bogut working back from gruesome injury
Sean Deveney caught up with John Hammond for his reaction to the continued worries over Andrew Bogut's elbow, and as you'd expect he's not offering any guarantees.

"We are certainly hopeful that he would be ready [for the first game]," Hammond said. "But it’s something that we are not going to rush. We want to make sure Andrew is healthy in March and April, and for years to come."

I'll let you decide whether the line about not rushing is really code for "he's probably not going to be ready," though I also imagine it's been a while since a Bucks doctor actually looked at Bogut's elbow.

Another likely indicator of the front office's expectations will be what they do with their last roster spot. Make no mistake, it's weird that the Bucks had three second round picks and not one of them has signed an NBA contract, which suggests that they have some concerns about the injured Darington Hobson and raw-as-heck Tiny Gallon (Jerome Jordan signed to play in Europe in case you were curious). It also leaves open the possibility that they could yet sign a veteran big man, which would seem to send an obvious message that they're worried Bogut might be unavailable at the start the season. 

FIBA: Delfino's 30 leads Argentina past Ersan-less Turkey
Carlos Delfino appears to be peaking at the right time--at least for his country. Carlitos continued his hot stretch of late with 30 points (8/17 fg, 4/9 threes, 10/13 ft) and eight boards in a 93-89 OT win over Turkey in Ankara. As expected, Ersan Ilyasova was held out of the game following a blow to the nose on Friday night, and I haven't seen word on. Here's Palomba's assessment of your tournament MVP:

Do you remember his first half against Atlanta in playoffs game 6? Well, he`s playing continuously at that level, taking key shots a different moments of the game, and in a similar role (if memory doesn´t fail me, Carlitos played like a sort of alternative guard, being very active, handling the ball a lot, because Salmons and Jennings was so heavily defended). Everyone is very happy down here with him and excitement is growing about our possibilities. Will see what happens. For sure he will be guarded more aggressively when the Cup starts.

Great to hear, but hopefully he saves some of this for November.

CBS Sports: Are the Bucks legit?
Matt Moore ponders the eternal question. Among the interesting tidbits:

They were also sixth in three-point defense. What this means is that the two most efficient areas on the floor, the Bucks were exceptional at. Their only real area of problems, defensively? 10-15 Feet, where they were dead last in field goal percentage allowed.

Where 55 Happens: Examining What Worked
A couple weeks ago Dan Sinclair posted a great retrospective on the Bucks' "signature" road win in Denver, and this week he takes his magnifying glass to another memorable night from the 09/10 season--the road win in Sacramento 24 hours earlier. 

Bucksketball: Chemistry could be an issue
Jeremy addresses what many of us have wondered: has the Bucks' busy offseason endangered the locker room mojo that served them so well a year ago? To me the biggest question isn't about who the Bucks added so much as who they lost. Re-read the Bucks' post-season media quotes and you see a lot of talk about Jerry Stackhouse and Kurt Thomas being among the leaders in the locker room. Obviously the Bucks knew that when they let both guys walk, but there's no guarantee the dynamic will be replicated.

Rarely do you players gripes as long as their team is winning games.  But if the Bucks underachieve early this season, there’s going to be a lot of people upset and that often leads to finger pointing, selfishness and problems.

Maggette's the most obvious question mark, though as Jeremy notes he didn't complain when Nellie brought him off the bench for a crappy Warrior team a year ago. In general I have to think age matters when considering a player's psyche and ego. Maggette's now 30 years old and probably doesn't harbor the same delusions of grandeur as he did when he bristled at coming off Mike Dunleavy's bench in L.A. He's been pretty clear since the trade that he considers himself a starter but will do whatever the coach asks of him, so hopefully that translates to "100% effort off the bench" and not "crappy attitude."

CD-R is another guy Jeremy mentions, and I can see the concerns there as well. Ironically, he's in the opposite position of Maggette--young, unproven, and needing to show something ahead of free agency next summer. And that's a double-edged sword, since it's a fine line between hungry and selfish (and also a fine line between stupid and clever). But I think CD-R is also smart enough to know his attitude is under the microscope after last season, and at the end of the day it's pretty easy to trade or cut a guy with an expiring, minimum-level deal. If he doesn't fit in, he'll be gone.

CBS Boards: Quantifing chemistry using advanced stats
Speaking of chemistry, I stumbled upon this interesting piece posted over at the CBS Sports message boards. Be sure to read the introduction for the methodology that was used (nerds, unite!), but here's the high-level summary:

The unit with the best chemistry was, unsuprisingly to me, the Milwaukee Bucks with Jennings, Bell, Delfino, Ilyasova, and Bogut. This would indcate a fact I feel is true, that this Milwaukee 5, and Milwaukee as a whole by proxy, played better than the sum of their parts.

Hollinger: Bucks rank 12th in all-time franchise rankings
All these Wisconsin HOF nominations has had me on a bit of an NBA history kick, so I thought it was interesting to browse through John Hollinger's all-time franchise rankings (posted back in June).  So John, how about them Bucks?

Most teams' histories are defined by peaks and valleys. For the Milwaukee Bucks, it's defined as an almost-immediate peak followed by a steady, unrelenting descent, one that may ultimately result in relocation.

Yeeeesh. Alright, I get the first part, but that last part was just...mean. 

Ball Don't Lie: Maggette #11 among SFs
Corey Maggette checks in at #11 on Kelly Dwyer's small forward list, which is kind of ironic given he played the majority of his minutes as a power forward last year. And speaking of PFs, Drew Gooden is nowhere to be found in KD's list of top 30 PFs...