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Why The Bucks Didn’t Live Up To Expectations
MILWAUKEE – Last season, I watched all the excitement from the Milwaukee Bucks as they made the push for the NBA Playoffs. The energy in the Bradley Center building was electrifying s they took the Atlanta Hawks to the brink of elimination in the first round.
It isn’t the same kind of energy this season. The players will be sitting out the postseason and wondering what happened.
Let me tell you what happened. The team had too many injuries, too many nights off and too many new players who acted like they haven’t been in an organized offensive and defensive system before.
There were seven new players on the Bucks to begin the season. Out of that group, one was a first round draft pick and six were free agent pickups.
The combination of the new guys and the returning players from last year were supposed to give the team a better chance to move up in the Eastern Conference race, right? It didn’t happen this time.
Many people had Milwaukee winning over 50 games and winning the Central Division over the Chicago Bulls. Let me give you the latest update: The Bulls are leading the conference and the Bucks are mathmatically eliminated from the playoffs.
Andrew Bogut played pretty good all season and was in the conversation for an all-star reserve spot. The all-star coaches usually pick players who are on winning teams, and the Bucks were under the .500 mark.
However, the team chemistry was missing, and out the door went the winning attitude. It’s hard to play winning basketball when everybody aren’t on the same page.
Some of the chemistry was lost when Brandon Jennings and Corey Maggette took their turns complaining about their roles in the offense. Jennings is disappointed because he’s not the main man as he was last season.
Maggette, who was a proven scorer throughout his career, wasn’t always on the floor because he was glued to the bench. Sometimes he wondered why head coach Scott Skiles didn’t play him at all.
Here’s a memo to Maggette: If you don’t play defense, you won’t get on the floor. But now Maggette is cool with everything. The Bucks are paying him over $10 million for next season, and he knows that his career is winding down.
The Bucks spent all of March trying to catch the Indiana Pacers for the eighth spot. They ran out of time.
So this edition of buying free agents to help get to the postseason failed, and last year’s Executive of the Year, John Hammond, will try to hit the jackpot once again. He will have lots of money to work with this summer when they take Michael Redd’s salary off the books.
You know, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Bucks traded Jennings or Bogut. Next season, it will be the playoffs or else.