CDR makes first deposit in Milwaukee
Douglas-Roberts enjoys successful Bucks debut
By Truman Reed
"It felt great to be out there," CDR said. "I missed it so much."
For the first 15 games of the 2010-11 National Basketball Association season, CDR didn't even have a DNP.
He had yet to even appear in a Milwaukee Bucks uniform for a regular-season game.
But on the night of Nov. 27, two days after Thanksgiving, Chris Douglas-Roberts had an additional blessing for which to be thankful. He made his debut for the Bucks against the Charlotte Bobcats at the Bradley Center, and it was a successful one.
The 23-year-old Douglas-Roberts knocked down his first Bucks shot, a 19-footer off a Keyon Dooling assist, with 11 minutes, 27 seconds left in the second quarter.
He went on to play 19 minutes, 44 seconds, made four of six field-goal attempts -- one of two from 3-point range - and two of five free throws and totaled 11 points, one rebound, one assist and one steal as the Bucks slammed the brakes on a five-game losing streak with a 104-101 victory.
Douglas-Roberts missed the first 15 games of the season since sustaining an eye injury during the last week of the preseason and undergoing subsequent surgery. He wore prescription sports glasses during his Bucks debut, which impressed his new coach, Scott Skiles.
"He was good," Skiles said afterward. "I'm sure he's going to feel it a little bit tomorrow because he hasn't played, but he was good out there. He came in with a live body and was able to knock down a couple of jumpers early on. He was good for us late.
"Overall, it was a good sign that he was able to come out and play almost 20 minutes in the game."
Douglas-Roberts agreed with Skiles wholeheartedly.
"It felt great to be out there," he said. "I missed it so much. You realize when you're out how much you miss it. You can't take any game for granted. Getting back out there was just great. Just being on the bench in uniform was great."
Outside of his eye injury, life has been great for Chris Douglas-Roberts since the Detroit, Michigan. native was acquired June 25, 2010, by the Bucks from the New Jersey Nets in a June 25 deal for a 2012 second-round draft pick.
The former University of Memphis All-American had a productive rookie season in 2009-10, averaging 9.8 points and 3 rebounds over 25.8 minutes per game. He had a career-high 31-point game, reached double digits in rebounding twice and had 11 games of 20 points or more. He shot at a .445 clip from the field and .847 from the free-throw line.
The losses took their toll, though, on Douglas-Roberts. The Nets were in jeopardy of having the worst season in NBA history before a few late victories pushed them to 12-70 and leaving the 1972-73 Philadelphia 76ers 9-73 ledger in the record books.
When Douglas-Roberts was informed that he would be wearing a different NBA uniform in his second season, he was thrilled, particularly when he discovered which team's it would be.
"Once it was official, I was ecstatic," Douglas-Roberts said. "I couldn't wait to get here. It was just a total 180 from team to team. This is definitely an up-and-coming organization. You want to be a part of something like this. Once I found out, I was happy.
"I was ready to get it going."
Bucks management made Douglas-Roberts' mission clear to him immediately.
"They want me to score," he said. "They've made that known. They told me, 'We know what you do. That's what we brought you over here to do. Of course, you're going to have to play some defense, because that's what our coach demands.' Everybody does. That's just how it is here. That's a real emphasis. You have to be willing to play defense, and I'm definitely willing to do that."
He wasted no time taking on his mission, showing up well before camp to familiarize himself with his new teammates, sharpen his skills and bolster his conditioning.
"I got here about a month before camp," Douglas-Roberts said. "The pickup games were really intense. For early pickup games before camp, that's usually not the case in the NBA, at least in the places I've been. The games here were intense.
"That shows guys hate to lose. If that's the way it is in pickup games, which don't count, that means when the real games come, you're really going to be intense. That was a great sign to see how guys really hate to lose here."
Douglas-Roberts enjoyed the competition he witnessed both before and during camp.
"That's what you need to win," he said. "You need a deep team, and you need a bunch of guys competing at the same positions. That makes everybody better. There's nothing better than healthy competition at the highest level."
Douglas-Roberts was also immediately impressed with something else regarding his new teammates.
"They're great character guys, especially the veterans," he said. "You can't ask for anything more out of veteran guys. The guys who have been in the league a long time really don't have to care about that, but they're here, they want to be here, they're encouraging, and they always give words of advice.
"It's great to have veteran guys with character here with us young players."
Douglas-Roberts was asked after his Milwaukee debut what Bucks fans can expect from him moving forward.
"Intensity and competitiveness," he responded. "I don't really have my instincts quite right yet. This was my first day with the glasses with the prescription in them. They felt funny. They looked funny. But once I get my legs under me and get used to the sports glasses, I should be much better.
"I've always been confident in myself. I just wanted to give a spark. That's all it was . When I was out and I was watching, I was able to see what we needed coming in. It was just a spark ... and some points.
"Being honest, we haven't scored enough points. That's why we haven't been winning those games. I'm just trying to give what we need."