By Professor Fred Whitted NORTH CAROLINA (BASN) — The title above...
A Tough Blow For Milwaukee
MILWAUKEE (BASN) — As they have all season, the Milwaukee Bucks’ goal of making the playoffs became a reality. Unfortunately, it came at a cost of the team’s leading scorer.
Center Andrew Bogut fell to the floor after a dunk against the Phoenix Suns last Saturday. He was knocked to the floor by the Suns’ Amare Stoudemire. Bogut dislocated his elbow and broke his hand, ending his season, which came at a bad time for the Bucks.
He had successful surgery and will miss the postseason.
The Big Three is now the Big One and some spare parts. Bogut joins Michael Redd on the injury front. They will sit and watch the squeaky machine rise to the challenge or break down.
“Let’s face it,” Milwaukee coach Scott Skiles said before Wednesday’s game at home against the New Jersey Nets. “We used to, early in the game, and often during the game, throw the ball to Bogues. It can be a simple game offensively because you have a guy who can draw a double team.”
Without the inside-outside game of Bogut and guard Brandon Jennings, the Bucks will have to tweak the game plan from now until their season ends, whenever it ends.
“We have to be more pick-and-roll oriented,” Skiles said. “Our perimeter people are going to have to continue to work and try to put the ball on the floor.”
Bogut carried the team for 69 of the 78 games, averaging 15.9 points per game. He was the leading scorer in 18 of those games.
The Bucks beat Chicago on the road Tuesday without Bogut to clinch a playoff spot. According to Skiles, Milwaukee won’t cut the mustard in a low-scoring game as indicated in their 79-74 victory.
“We won that game, a game in the 70′s, but we certainly can’t afford too many (letdowns),” said Skiles. “You generally don’t win too many of those, not at this level. I can’t expect my guys to go out every night and hold an NBA club down to 75 points.”
“That’s just not realistic.”
What’s more realistic than holding opponents under 80 points is winning half of their remaining four games to maintain their playoff position. This week, they were tied with the Miami Heat for the fifth spot in the playoffs.
If both teams have the same record at season’s end, Milwaukee will hold the tiebreaker based on winning the season series.