6th Fan Blogger: Bucks vs Celtics - 04/14/10

April 14, 2010
Jake LeRoy

Signature Moves

Two games ago I wrote about Ersan Ilyasova and his signature pump fake. It got me thinking that every player should get a signature move in future basketball video games. There's no need to discriminate. Every player in the league has tendencies, and those tendencies deserve to be acknowledged. Below are the signature moves that I would assign to each member of the Bucks.

Andrew Bogut: It has to be the lefty hook, right? Bogut's lefty flip is deadly from either block. The hook shot would be activated anytime Bogut gets within six feet of the hoop, on either block or in the lane. Upon release, it would be nearly impossible to stop.

Luc Richard Mbah a Moute: The Prince's signature move would be shutdown defense late in the game. His defense would rate in the high 90s throughout the game, but would blow past 100 once there's a minute or less remaining in the game. Users could assign the Prince to any player from Earl Boykins to Yao Ming, and expect a stop on the defensive end.

Carlos Delfino: Delfino's penchant for the long ball (362 three-point attempts, second-most on the Bucks) makes the trifecta the seemingly obvious choice. I'm going with his baseline reverse, though. When he chooses, Delfino is sneaky quick and slippery along the baseline, and has just enough hops to throw one down on occasion.

John Salmons: Shooting on the move doesn't come easy to everybody, but Salmons has it nearly perfected. His signature move would be a 17-foot pull-up jumper going to his right. This move would be activated after two dribbles to the right, followed by the shooting button. Unstoppable.

Brandon Jennings: I thought about giving Jennings the step-back jumper he frequents, but decided to go with his quick-trigger floater. He hasn't yet perfected it, but a few more years of seasoning should result in a deadly tear drop. If Jennings is in the lane moving toward the hoop, a simple press of the shooting button would unleash the shot.

Luke Ridnour: This might be a little boring, but I'm giving Ridnour any jumper in the 16- to 23-foot range. He has been absolutely deadly from that range this year, connecting at a 56 percent clip, which is the best mark of any player in the NBA with more than 60 attempts from that distance. Simply move Ridnour just inside the three-point line, and let it fly.

Ersan Ilyasova: Pump fake.

Jerry Stackhouse: An important part of extending a player's career is adapting their games to their declining athleticism. Stackhouse has done this by employing a trusty step-back jumper. There was a time Stackhouse could just jump over a defender, but that time has come and gone. Going to the step-back provides him with that little extra room to get his shot off.

Kurt Thomas: There may not be a player in the league that sticks to the rebounding fundamentals more than Thomas. He boxes out as though as his life depends on it, making that his signature move. You can pretty much forget getting any offensive rebounds off of Thomas in this video game as anyone coming within two feet of the iron will hit the wall that is Thomas.

Dan Gadzuric: I don't think there's a player in the league more excited to set a pick than Gadzuric. On offense, Danny G will often follow the ball wherever it goes, setting a pick for whatever teammate currently has the ball. You'll never be lacking pick-and-roll opportunities with Gadzuric on the floor.

Charlie Bell: Bell has been camped out in the corner for most of the season, with nearly a quarter of his shot attempts coming from a corner location. Outside of shots at the rim, Bell's top-two shooting locations are in the left and right corners. And he's hitting at a high clip, knocking down 42 percent of his shots from the corner.

Michael Redd: I can't remember the last time a drive down the lane by Michael Redd didn't end in an "And 1!" He may only get an "And 1" opportunity approximately 33 percent of the time, but he's looking for it 100 percent of the time. That being said, every time a gamer attacks the rim with Redd, it is accompanied by a surprisingly audible "And 1!"

EA Sports and/or 2K Sports need to make this happen. Both companies are always talking about how "real" their respective games feel. Adding these signature moves would go a long way toward accomplishing that goal. Get it done, guys.

In-game Musings

  • Trivia of the Night: A quick Google search tells me that the TD in TD Bank Garden stands for Toronto-Dominion. I did not see that coming. I thought for sure it was TouchDown, or Timothy Duncan, or TurDucken. I was way off.
  • Salmons has become quite crafty with the ball over the past few weeks. For a while, it seemed like the Bucks always fell victim to those cheap fouls in which the offensive player leans into the defensive player or throws his arms into him, and never created that contact themselves. Salmons must've heard my incessant complaining because he's starting to utilize those methods himself. It's nice to see it go both ways.
  • Jim Paschke Line of the Night: Somebody named Oliver Lafayette is on the court for the Boston Celtics. Well played Mr. Paschke, well played indeed. Lafayette, a University of Houston alumnus, averaged 17.1 points and 6.5 assists in the D-League this year. So he's got that going for him, which is nice.
  • A quick look around the league shows that not a whole lot of playoff teams are playing their regulars big minutes. The Celtics, obviously, are sitting Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen. Other notables include LeBron James, Joe Johnson, Tim Duncan, Dwyane Wade and a cast of others. Other teams like Charlotte and Dallas are playing their regulars, but in limited minutes. The Bucks are falling into the latter category with the starters playing the beginning of each, but giving way to the bench soon thereafter. I think this is a good strategy. It gives the starters a little rest, but keeps them sharp at the same time. Not playing the starters at all would've resulted in four of five days between games, which could potentially lead to rust in the opening contest of the playoffs. I think it's better to avoid that.
  • The Prince showed a lot of good aggressiveness going toward the hoop tonight. The jumper obviously hasn't been falling for him this year, so if he's to be effective offensively it's going to have to be attacking the rim. And the Prince can be effective going to his right, as he proved tonight. He's got a quick first step and can be slippery once he gets in the paint. Any kind of offense from him in the postseason will be a huge bonus.
  • We're seeing a lot of the Bucks bench tonight and I'm not going to lie, I like what I see. Ridnour, Stackhouse and Ilyasova are all shooting well from the floor and Gadzuric is putting in some quality minutes. With Bogut out for the playoffs, the Bucks are going to need this kind of bench effort every game. Milwaukee is very much a team that will need contributions from each of its top 10 rotation players if it is to advance in the playoffs.

Closing It Out
So this is what it feels like when the regular season ends, but the year isn't over. It's been a while since the Bucks season continued past Tax Day, but it's a welcome change of pace. Tonight's 106-95 victory was actually fun to watch as well, which is a break from the norm as the regular season typically ends with a sloppy affair that has me wondering how another disappointing season went by so fast. It's certainly nice to have something to look forward to other than the draft.

Milwaukee's win didn't have an effect on the standings as Miami downed New Jersey --despite giving every indication that it didn't care -- matching the sixth-seeded Bucks up with the third-seeded Hawks. I'm glad Milwaukee picked up a win tonight, though, because I would not want to head into the postseason riding a three-game slide. And honestly, I don't really care who the Bucks play. It could be Atlanta, Boston or the Nerdlucks. I'm just looking forward to rekindling my love affair with NBA Playoffs. It's been too long and my withdrawal symptoms were limiting my ability to function as a human being. Hopefully they can use tonight's victory as a springboard into a successful trip to the postseason.

I'll see you in the playoffs. I'll be the one grinning ear-to-ear.

Work hard. Play hard. Type hard.

Note: These are the views of the 6th Fan Blogger. Thoughts and opinions expressed in this articles are not necessarily the views of the Milwaukee Bucks.