|2012-13 Team Ratings|
|23rd Overall||7th Overall|
Stats through Jan. 22
Where once there was a dearth, suddenly there was a glut, and Larry Sanders was the big man who emerged up front as a difference-maker with his shot-blocking and defense. Ersan Ilyasova went passive at the start, yielding to the depth here and it cost him the first month.
Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis are the sizzle of Milwaukee's lineup, averaging 37.5 ppg and triggering the Bucks' fast-break. But Jennings ranks third in steals (2.0) and Ellis is 10th (1.8), helping to make up for some of their height-challenged defense.
Sanders' presence , some early impact from lanky rookie John Henson and the return of Luc Richard Mbah a Moute have tightened things up for Milwaukee as well. Despite a revolving door of rotations, the Bucks ranks sixth in opponents' effective field-goal percentage.
The Jennings-Ellis duo gets all the attention, but both are below water in plus/minus, while Beno Udrih was a backcourt-best plus-42 through 40 games. Mike Dunleavy benefits in opportunities from playing in reserve and hits about 44 percent of his 3-pointers.
The lopsided roster and Scott Skiles' lame-duck contract status caused a breakdown sooner rather than later. Several players miss him, but an equal number or more prefer what they describe as Jim Boylan's more open communication style. He startede 6-2.
The Bucks went a little ga-ga in their zeal to plug the hole left by Andrew Bogut, tilting the roster with a bunch of bigs. Skiles wasn't in full agreement on some moves and it showed in his use and rapport with some players. He exits with his reputation intact and likely will be on someone's sideline soon.
Some of the uncertainty that hung over this Milwaukee season has been chased. GM John Hammond just got a contract extension and the Bucks reportedly have every intention of keeping Jennings as a restricted free-agent this July. A lower playoff berth is realistic, given their road poise, and would be important after two churning seasons.
-- Steve Aschburner
Explanation of Marking System
|Golden State Warriors||B+|
|Los Angeles Clippers||A-|
|Los Angeles Lakers||C-|
|New Orleans Hornets||C-|
|New York Knicks||A-|
|Oklahoma City Thunder||A|
|Portland Trail Blazers||B-|
|San Antonio Spurs||B+|