Ballin' with Boylan

By Britt Clement

The Bucks are three fourths of the way through the preseason and have just two more preseason games remaining before they prepare to open the 2010-11 season in New Orleans on October 27.

Bucks assistant coach Jim Boylan offered his thoughts on the pros and cons of the Bucks preseason along with what they'd like to get accomplished in these last two games.

To start our chat, I asked Boylan what he's pleased with thus far in camp. "We had a lot of new faces at the beginning of training camp, so our job has been to integrate all of those new faces," Boylan said. "Thus far, it has gone well. Guys have really had an attention to detail and a focus to learn all of the things that we do. That's been really positive."

On the flip side, trying to get everyone integrated without everyone being able to participate has been a challenge. "The negative thing is all the injuries that we've had." Boylan said. "We've got a lot of guys that have had to sit out, miss practices and miss time out on the court. The guys are here, they're attentive and trying to focus on what we're doing, but it's difficult to absorb and learn everything if you're not on the floor doing it physically. That's been a little bit of a disappointment. It's uncontrollable and no one's fault, guys have just had some injuries. Some unlucky turned ankle and things like that."

So with games against Cleveland (in Columbus, Ohio on October 21) and Minnesota (at the Bradley Center for the MACC Fund game on October 22), what are the Bucks looking for in the final two preseason games?

"It's nice to try to get all our main guys out there," Boylan said. "Get them some playing time together and work on our timing both offensively and defensively, get everybody on the same page. We've got a lot of new guys and we'd maybe like to look at some different combinations out on the floor.

"Getting everybody healthy and back out there is priority number one. The second thing is some of our guys that we haven't been coaching the last couple years - whether that be Larry Sanders, as a rookie coming in, or Keyon Dooling or CDR (Chris Douglas-Roberts), Corey Maggette - learning about them as players and how they react to certain situations and so on. That's what we're going to try to do in the next two games. Get those guys out there and try to get our main unit out there playing together and try to integrate the new guys in."

At least the Bucks got to see Andrew Bogut back on the floor on Sunday. The big-man was efficient in his 14 minutes, tallying 11 points on 3-3 shooting from the field and 5-6 from the free throw line. He also added five boards in that time. If John Salmons and Corey Maggette see some preseason minutes and are as productive as Bogut was in his first action, the team should feel good heading into the regular season.
The last thing we chatted with Boylan about was the team's free throw shooting. This preseason they're 10th in free throw attempts and second in makes. I asked if it was something we could expect for the season or if it's a product of preseason play.

"I think a little bit of both," Boylan said. "We have not been a very good attempted free throws team the last couple seasons. Most games we played over the last couple years, teams have made more free throws than we've attempted. One of the things we wanted to address in the offseason was trying to find some players who could get to the free throw line for us. So far in this preseason we've done that. I'd agree with you that normally in the preseason the refs call it a little bit tighter and there are more younger, inexperienced players on the floor. So there are a lot more fouls being called.

"I believe that the team we have right now, we'll get to the line more. I think that's important for us, to get to the line and find ways to score other than relying on our perimeter game or going inside to Andrew (Bogut). Getting to the free throw line is a good way to bust up a rhythm the other team might have or to kind of jump start your own offense."

Check in at for Paschketball and other coverage as the preseason winds down and the team gears up for the regular season.

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