Familiar Foes

The Familiar

When Ramon Sessions dropped in an important corner three-pointer for the Lakers against the Nuggets late in Game 4, I had to double-check something.

The former Bucks point guard gave us great memories with a 24-assist night against the Bulls as a rookie, a 44-point game (on just 18 field goals attempts) against the Pistons, and a triple-double against the Lakers. But three-pointers? Not a part of his game, last we saw. Sure enough, Sessions made just one three-pointer in his final 37 games with the Bucks back in 2009.

Of course, players change. Sometimes they change their style of play, sometimes they change teams. Sessions has already changed both a couple times.

We must wait almost a full calendar year to have the possibility to watch the Bucks in the playoffs. But we are still watching in the meantime, with an occasional eye on former Bucks.

Ray Allen and Keyon Dooling
Celtics lead Hawks 3-1

Allen started his NBA career with the Bucks in 1996. He earned a spot in the starting lineup immediately and proceeded to play five straight seasons without missing a game. Allen still ranks first on the team's franchise leaderboard in three-pointers made (1,051) and sixth in points per game (19.6). The sharpshooting guard missed the first two games of the series against the Hawks due to a right ankle injury, but returned to score 12 points in a 90-84 overtime win in Game 3. Allen also added 12 points in the team's blowout 101-79 Game 4 win.

Dooling backed up Brandon Jennings at point guard in 2010-11, averaging 7.1 points with a 39.7 FG% in a career-high 80 games. The Bucks traded Dooling along with a 2012 second round draft pick to the Celtics in exchange for the draft rights to Albert Miralles. Dooling has played in all four of the team's playoff games so far, highlighted by a 10-point day in Game 4.

Jodie Meeks
76ers lead Bulls 3-1

The Bucks drafted Meeks in the second round with the 41st overall draft pick in 2009. Meeks averaged 4.1 points with a 36.2 FG% in 41 games before the team traded him along with Francisco Elson in exchange for Primoz Brezec and Royal Ivey. After dropping the first game of the series, the 76ers have reeled off three straight wins against the top-seeded Bulls, who have played those last three games without Derrick Rose. While Meeks started 50 games and played in all 66 games during the regular season, his minutes have been limited against the Bulls, and he has only scored two points in the series so far.

Royal Ivey
Thunder defeated Mavericks 4-0

Ivey arrived to the Bucks in 2010 along with Primoz Brezec in the deal that sent Jodie Meeks and Francisco Elson to the 76ers. As a backup guard with the Bucks, he only played in 18 regular season games and three playoff games for the Bucks. Ivey appeared in 34 regular season games for the Thunder, and he played four scoreless minutes in the Thunder's Game 3 win over the Mavericks.

Stephen Jackson
Spurs lead Jazz 3-0

The Bucks landed Jackson prior to the start of the 2011-12 season in a three-team deal with the Sacramento Kings and Charlotte Bobcats. The 11-year veteran averaged 10.5 points with a career-low 35.7 FG% for the Bucks before he was dealt to the Warriors along with Andrew Bogut in exchange for Monta Ellis, Ekpe Udoh, and Kwame Brown. The Warriors then traded Jackson to the Spurs, where he had played his second and third NBA seasons. Jackson gave the Spurs boosts in both Game 1 (14 points) and Game 3 (13 points).

Ramon Sessions and Steve Blake
Lakers lead Nuggets 3-1

The Bucks called up Sessions from the NBDL in 2008 after he impressed with the Tulsa 66ers – and he quickly made an impression in the NBA. Sessions finished the 2007-08 regular season by posting five straight double-digit assist games, including a 20-point, 24-assist game against the Bulls. The next season, Sessions started 39 games and scattered in some great performances, including a 44-point, 12-assist game against the Pistons and a triple-double against the Lakers. Speaking of the Lakers, they pried Sessions away from the Cavaliers this season, and he immediately assumed the role of starting point guard. Sessions had a strong regular season run with the Lakers, averaging 12.7 points with a 47.9 FG%  – and he has scored in double-digits in all four playoff games.

Blake averaged 3.6 points during brief stop in Milwaukee during the 2006-07 season. The Bucks traded him after the season for Earl Boykins and Julius Hodge. Blake has played in all four playoff games, and like Sessions, he hit a big three-pointer late in the team's Game 4 win.

Mo Williams and Bobby Simmons
Clippers lead Grizzlies 2-1

Williams started at point guard for most of his four seasons with the Bucks from 2004–2008, and he ranks sixth on the team's franchise leaderboard in three-pointers made (273) as well as assists per game (5.7). The Bucks traded Williams as part of a three-team deal with the Cavaliers and Thunder that brought Luke Ridnour and Adrian Griffin to Milwaukee. Williams averaged 13.2 points for the Clippers in the regular season, and he is averaging 9.3 points in the playoffs.

Meanwhile, Simmons, who played two seasons for the Bucks, made an improbable journey into the starting lineup in a Game 2 loss for the Clippers. Simmons played just two games before being waived by the Spurs in 2010-11, and he spent time this season in the NBDL. But an injury to Caron Butler momentarily opened a spot in the starting lineup, and Simmons stepped in to score nine points on 4-5 field goals in 22 minutes in Game 2. That marks his only appearance so far in the series.

Mike James
Bulls trail 76ers 3-1

James boasted a career-best 44.6 FG% during his lone, partial season with the Bucks in 2004-05. He played in 11 regular season games for the Bulls this season but has not appeared yet in the playoffs.

Yi Jianlian
Mavericks lost to Thunder 4-0
The sixth overall draft pick in the 2007 draft, Yi Jianlian started right away and averaged 8.6 points and 5.2 rebounds in 24.5 minutes as a rookie for the Bucks in 2007-08. However, Yi missed time with an injured knee and the team traded him after his first season along with Bobby Simmons to the Nets for Richard Jefferson. Yi appeared in 30 regular season games for the Mavericks in 2011-12, and scored two points a four-minute appearance in the team's Game 3 loss.

Zaza Pachulia
Hawks trail Celtics 3-1

Pachulia just completed his seventh season with the Hawks, but before that he suited up for the Bucks for one season. He averaged 6.2 points and 5.1 rebounds in 2004-05, which happened to be the year before the team drafted Andrew Bogut. Pachulia averaged 28.1 minutes in 58 games with the Hawks in the regular season, but he has been sidelined during the playoffs with a foot injury.

Dan Gadzuric
Knicks trail Heat 3-1

Gadzuric spent his first eight NBA seasons with the Bucks, and to this day he ranks atop the franchise leaderboard in offensive rebound percentage (13.2). The backup center also ranks eighth in blocked shots (218). The Bucks traded Gadzuric along with Charlie Bell to the Warriors for Corey Maggette in 2010. The Knicks signed Gadzuric in April, and he appeared in two regular season games but has not played yet in the playoffs.