Ballin' With Boylan: 11/09/10
By Britt Clement
The Bucks went 1-3 last week with tough defeats against Portland, at Boston and against New Orleans. The combined record of those three teams through Sunday's games is 17-4 (.810). Milwaukee had a chance to win each of those games, so I asked Jim Boylan what goes through a coach's mind when your team is close to beating quality opponents, but falls just short.
"I think what we have to do is build a strong foundation during training camp," Boylan said. "We've been down this road before where we come out of the gate and we're not so good and things aren't clicking for us. We just have to stay patient, believe in what we're doing and not panic and leave the page simply because you've lost a few games. You know the system you run is one that works and you can have success with it. You have to stick with it and get the guys to do all the little things correct.
"That's probably our main problem right now. We're just a little bit off. To most fans watching us, they see us missing shots and there are things offensively that we're not doing very well right now. A lot of it is timing and getting used to playing each other."
On the positive side, Boylan discussed that although the team hasn't hit its stride offensively, they've been playing well defensively. The Bucks have allowed just one team to top 100 points against them (an overtime game at Boston) and are just behind Miami, New Orleans and Orlando in terms of allowing 100 points (each of those teams has yet to give up 100 points). Not allowing 100 or more points in regulation through seven games to start a season equals the Bucks franchise record.
"On the defensive end of the floor we're actually playing fairly well and keeping ourselves in a lot of the games," Boylan said. "That's an encouraging sign for us, that we can maintain our defense and even improve on that. Our offense will come around a little bit and we'll be able to win some ball games as we move forward here in the month of November."
Moving forward in November, the Bucks close out four consecutive sets of back-to-back games this week with New York at the Bradley Center Tuesday night and at Atlanta on Wednesday night. How does a team get through these back-to-back sets against quality opponents?
"You just try to get your rest and take care of your body, prepare yourself for two tough games," Boylan said. "Part of the problem is that we have a lot of back-to-backs and we're in and out quite a bit. Our longest road trip of the year is three games. That means you're going to be in and out quite often. That can definitely take a toll on you physically and mentally. So you have to make sure that you're taking care of your body, getting rest and eating well. You have to find a way to bring some energy every night."
Milwaukee leads the league with 23 sets of back-to-back sets this season. It's the second time in the last three years that the Bucks have led the league in back-to-backs. After they close out this back-to-back, the team plays two games in the next eight days, giving the team a chance to rest before a busy end of the month. I asked Boylan what his thoughts were as the team moves forward.
"One of the problems that we've had all year is the inability to be a cohesive unit for any stretch of time," Boylan said. "It seems like we've always got one or two guys out and until we can get everyone together and have some time together as a unit, I think we may have some struggles here and there.
"As soon as we can get ourselves where we're playing with the same guys for two or three weeks at a time so guys can get comfortable with their roles on the team - I think we're getting close to that now - I think the guys will come together and when they have all that court time together it's going to make a big difference in how we're playing."