On the Heat: Peninsula is Mightier / Miami Herald
These guys? Again?
The Bucks opened their week with a mostly competitive game in South Beach, but the Heat stayed hot thanks to a big fourth quarter from Dwyane Wade, helping push their winning streak to seven games and counting. With another loss in Orlando 24 hours later, the Bucks dropped to a season-high seven games under .500 and percentage points behind the Sixers in the race for the 8th playoff spot in the East. Now would be a good time to break out out one of those once-a-month 50% shooting nights, guys...
The worst is over. Thankfully the schedule finally eases up after tonight--as Victor mentioned in the comments that 17 of the Bucks' next 20 opponents have losing records. Whether the Bucks can start beating bad teams is another question, but it's never too late to start.
Hollinger: Maggette makes All-Disappointment Team
Corey Maggette was one of the Bucks' few bright spots in Orlando, but efficient scoring nights have been all too uncommon over the season's first three months. And yes, John Hollinger is among those who have noticed:
One can't pin this on injuries either -- Maggette gets hurt every season and it never hurt his production before. Instead, the worry is that at age 31 he's lost some of the burst that made him such a fearsome penetrator. If so, the Bucks' offensive malaise will be a season-long storyline.
Bogut's line struggles continue. Following his 2/10 night in Orlando, Andrew Bogut has now made just 5/22 from the stripe over the past six games, and in general he just hasn't looked right over the past couple weeks. Though he continues to swat shots at a league-leading pace, Bogut has looked uncomfortable on the offensive end, and even his normally excellent rebounding has been hit or miss over the past week. You can't help but worry he's once again struggling with one or more of the nagging injuries we know all too well. A week ago there was talk of Bogut's elbow feeling good for him to start shooting (gasp) jumpers, but it's hard to reconcile that with what we've seen on the court.
"My elbow is starting to feel better that I can have confidence in shooting the jumper," Bogut said. "Everyone is surprised I can shoot jumpers but I'm going to keep shooting them. I've just got to keep being aggressive.
"If I miss five in one game, I've got to take the same five the next game. Definitely a lot of it was to do with my elbow, and my elbow is really starting to feel better."
Bogut's only actually taken a couple jumpers since those quotes came out (making one), which I have to think is for the best. While I appreciate Skiles voicing confidence in his game, the reality is that it's been five years since Bogut showed he could consistently hit a jump shot in competitive action--and that's OK.
Ziller: Revenue Sharing May Not Be NBA's Magic Bullet, But It's Still Vital
Brew Hoop fave Tom Ziller has a great read on the economic and competitive realities of the NBA.
Think about that: If you want to make money in the NBA, you're better off sucking in L.A. than being excellent in San Antonio. How is that fair? The odds are stacked against the smaller markets. It's not a matter of needing to be smarter than the big markets to thrive. The smaller markets have to do that to survive. That doesn't make for a healthy NBA.
And that's where we are today: the NBA has record ratings and great attendance revenue, but by the league's own admission half the teams are struggling to stay solvent. This isn't a matter of half the teams making bad decisions. It's an imbalanced playing field, and merit has a far smaller role than does luck.