Jake's Take: Six Degrees of Darvin Ham - 03/12/11
Jake LeRoy [@JakesTake34]
Bucks vs Sixers
Six Degrees of Darvin Ham
I was giving my clicker an intense workout with some high-energy channel surfing the other day and came across the movie "Tremors" on Turner Classic Movies. Naturally. Watching Kevin Bacon slay a small army of ginormous earthworms got me thinking about the fun-for-the-whole-family game of "Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon."
So I decided to play a similar game between the 2000-01 Bucks and this year's version of the Bucks, connecting current players with their counterparts on the team of 10 years ago. Even better, I've decided to keep it all in the pork family. What was once "Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon" is now "Six Degrees of Darvin Ham."
Starting Small Forward: Glenn Robinson vs. Carlos Delfino: Robinson played in Atlanta with Theo Ratliff, who played in Portland with Zach Randolph, who played in New York with Renaldo Balkman, who played in Denver with Chauncey Billups, who played with Delfino in Detroit.
Starting Power Forward: Scott Williams vs. Luc Richard Mbah a Moute: Williams played in Chicago with Horace Grant, who played in Orlando with Brian Shaw, who played in Portland with Bonzi Wells who played in Sacramento with Brian Skinner, who played in Milwaukee with The Prince earlier this season.
Starting Center: Ervin Johnson vs. Andrew Bogut: Johnson played in Denver with Jeff McInnis, who played in Cleveland with Jason Kapono, who played in Miami with Michael Doleac, who played in Orlando with Earl Boykins, who now plays with Bogut in Milwaukee.
Starting Point Guard: Sam Cassell vs. Brandon Jennings: Cassell played in Houston with Robert Horry, who played in Los Angeles with Eddie Jones, who played in Miami with Damon Jones, who played in Cleveland with Drew Gooden, who now plays with Jennings in Milwaukee.
Starting Shooting Guard: Ray Allen vs. John Salmons: Allen played in Seattle with Reggie Evans, who played in Denver with Eduardo Najera, who played in Golden State with Dale Davis, who played in Detroit with Chris Webber, who played in Philadelphia with Salmons.
Bench Scorer: Tim Thomas vs. Corey Maggette: Thomas played in Philadelphia with Nazr Mohammed, who played in Atlanta with Alan Henderson, who played in Dallas with Erick Dampier, who played in Golden State with Cherokee Parks, who played in Los Angeles with Maggette.
Stretch "4": Mark Pope vs. Ersan Ilyasova: Pope played in Indiana with Jalen Rose, who played in Chicago with Jamal Crawford, who played in New York with Steve Francis, who played in Orlando with Keyon Dooling, who now plays with Ilyasova in Milwaukee.
Backup Point Guard: Lindsey Hunter vs. Keyon Dooling: Hunter played in Detroit with Scott Pollard, who played in Sacramento with Mateen Cleaves, who played in Cleveland with Kevin Ollie, who played in Philadelphia with Zendon Hamilton, who played in Los Angeles with Dooling.
Backup Big Man: Jason Caffey vs. Drew Gooden: Caffey played in Chicago with Steve Kerr, who played in San Antonio with Antonio Daniels, who played in Seattle with Flip Murray, who played in Indiana with Kareem Rush, who played in Los Angeles with Gooden.
Hustle Big: Darvin Ham vs. Jon Brockman: Ham played in Washington with Rod Strickland, who played in Miami with Eddie House, who played in Phoenix with Boris Diaw, who played in Charlotte with Sean May, who played in Sacramento with Brockman.
- There's no one in the NBA who enjoys the 10- to 15-foot jumper quite like Philly's Elton Brand, and the stats back it up. Brand attempts 12 shots per game and 3.9 of those come from between 10 and 15 feet, the most of any player in the league. A quick look at the rest of the league seems to indicate that Brand is also the only player whose most shot attempts come within that range. Every other player takes their highest percentage of shots either at the rim, from 3 to 9 feet, or from 16 to 23 feet.
- Like pretty much any offense, you can generally judge its overall effectiveness based on the assist-to-made-basket ratio. Milwaukee's was excellent in the first quarter with all nine of its baskets coming courtesy of assists. The Bucks still managed to miss more shots than they made in the frame, but that was largely due to the occasions when someone decided to go one-on-one. When the ball was moving, the Bucks were scoring.
- There's a strong possibility Larry Sanders has the warmest feet in the league. It appears he's going at least two layers deep on each foot as the NBA logo appears twice on each calf. I'm curious as to how he staggers the logos. Is each pair a different size? Or are both pairs the same size so he pulls one slightly down?
- In the coincidence to end all coincidences, tonight's halftime show featured a tune from the "Footloose" soundtrack, not arguably one of the greatest of all time. We'll never quite know the scope of Kevin Bacon's influence.
- Philly's Evan Turner hasn't had the rookie season most would expect of a No. 2 draft pick, but I'm still a big fan. Unfortunately, I don't think he'll ever reach his full potential if the 76ers maintain their current roster. Turner, to me, seems like a player who thrives with the ball in his hands. There are just not enough balls to go around with Jrue Holiday and Andre Iguodala also requiring the ball in their hands.
- The Bucks hands have never been quicker than they are tonight. Milwaukee's season high for steals was 14 (March 8 against Washington) coming into tonight but the Bucks have surpassed that mark through just three quarters. They're being aggressive in the passing lanes and it's paid off in a big way with 26 points coming from the 19 total Philly turnovers thus far. Delfino and The Prince have led the way with four each.
- Unless I just haven't noticed previously, I believe Jon Brockman has commenced with a new celebration following a made three-pointer. I haven't monitored the bench on every made three-ball, but Brockman has gone up and down the bench and mid-fived each of his teammates following a made three-pointer on the few occasions I have taken notice.
Closing It Out
Fear ... the ... Deer! It hasn't felt truly appropriate to write in quite some time, but now feels just about right. The Bucks just completed arguably their finest three-game stretch of the season with a 28-point shellacking of a Philadelphia squad that has been playing extremely well of late. The first two wins of this three-game win streak may have come against fodder teams Washington and Cleveland, but the 76ers are a legit playoff team right now. Either way, three straight wins by at least 19 points -an average of 22.3 points a contest - against any team is impressive.
The Bucks led pretty much throughout. The 76ers held a trio of one-point leads in the first quarter, but were never able to stretch it any further. Milwaukee started to create some separation at the start of the second quarter with a 9-0 run to start the frame. A 10-0 run late in the quarter extended the lead to 20 points.
The 76ers looked like they might make a game of it early in the second half when they whittled Milwaukee's lead down to 12 midway through the third quarter. The Bucks regained their focus and pushed their lead up to a then game-high 23 points by the quarter's final whistle. Philly would get no closer than 19 points the rest of the way.
Tonight's victory was truly a team effort. Five players scored in double-digits and eight scored at least eight points. Bogut led the way with 17 points, followed by Jennings with 15, The Prince with 14, Dooling with 13 and Delfino with 12. John Salmons had a slow night scoring the ball, but joined Earl Boykins in leading the team with seven assists.
The Milwaukee defense was in top form tonight, holding the 76ers to a season-low 74 points on less than 40 percent shooting. As noted earlier, the Bucks made nothing easy for Philly, forcing them into 19 turnovers that included a season-best 16 steals for Milwaukee. The Prince posted a career-best five steals while three other players committed three thefts of their own. Larry Sanders controlled the interior with five blocked shots.
The win moves the Bucks to within one-half game of Indiana for the final playoff berth in the Eastern Conference playoffs. They'll have a chance to improve upon their standing with a win tomorrow night in Boston, never an easy task. Indiana and Charlotte, Milwaukee's primary competition for the playoffs, are also on the road with games in New York and Toronto, respectively. The Bucks contest with the Celtics marks their first of three straight against playoff contenders so it's important they maintain their high level of play.
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.