Erik Thorne

OnBucksBasketball - Week 10

John Henson is an easy basketball player to cheer for. He hustles, doesn’t make a fuss, and puts on a smile through the good and bad times. In a season where the Bucks currently own the worst record, there haven’t been many things to smile about. Not having Mr. Henson on the court recently has led to even more frowning as Milwaukee has continued to pile up losses. The regular season is nearly half over and there are more questions than answers about this Bucks team. At the very least, we will have to watch for who will lead this team and who will not.

The Bucks wrapped up 2013 with a west coast trip that began on New Year’s Eve in warm Los Angeles. In past years, Milwaukee has struggled mightily when playing the Lakers on the road. But this time, without the services of Kobe Bryant, the visitors would have their way in the Staples Center. Brandon Knight was on fire in this contest, as he ended up with a career high 37 points along with eight rebounds. After a wild year of basketball in Milwaukee, this was a pleasant way to round it out.

A few nights later the Bucks traveled to Salt Lake City for the only time this season. These two teams played a competitive game from the tip, but in the end the Bucks would have no answer for Gordon Hayward and Derrick Favors for the Jazz. Leading the way for Milwaukee would be Larry Sanders who totaled 16 points on a perfect 7-7 shooting from the field. However, the Bucks as a team shot only 4-22 from 3 point range on the night. Had a few more of these long range attempts gone in the basket, the road team may have come out with a win.

In the final game of the road stretch, the Bucks traveled from the mountains to the desert of Phoenix. Under first year coach Jeff Hornacek, the Suns have shown some rays of hope during a total rebuilding project. Milwaukee had its worst night protecting the basketball, as they would turn the ball over 25 times en route to a 116-100 blowout.

After the game, Gary Neal and Sanders were heard arguing with each other about the lack of passion being put forth on the court. So far this season, neither of these players has had much to do with any prolonged success, so it’s easy to understand why they are frustrated. Lately coach Larry Drew has had difficulty with his rotations, especially in the minutes he is giving Caron Butler, Luke Ridnour and Khris Middleton. With the return of so many players from injury, the team identity is out of whack and it is apparent on the floor. If this team wants to grow and start playing winning basketball, it’s going to take a hell of a lot more than yelling.

BUCK OF THE WEEK! – Brandon Knight 70 points, 14 rebounds, 13 assists  

7 wins/26 losses