Erik Thorne

OnBucksBasketball - Week 16

With the recent news of center Larry Sanders being out for six weeks with an orbital bone fracture, the team is again in peril defending the paint. Zaza Pachulia will try his hardest, but it’s easy to see that spirit will only go so far. Until the Bucks can protect the rim they will continue to lose games. Each time Milwaukee competes against a team with a decent post player, they will suffer like a JV team against varsity.

The Celtics came to the Bradley Center hoping to secure a victory on Monday night – and they would get it. Without the services of Rajon Rondo, Boston would focus on running their offense through underrated Jeff Green. The game was fairly close throughout, but in the fourth quarter the Bucks lost their legs. Milwaukee defense simply was not able to stop a barrage of jump shots and drives from Green. Even rookie Kelly Olynek scored 14 points. One of the few bright spots in this game was forward John Henson getting 16 points on 8 of 12 shooting. If he can develop another move to compliment his hook shot, Henson can be a solid piece of the Bucks future puzzle.

Two nights later, Milwaukee traveled to New Orleans for a match against the newly-branded Pelicans. Neither of these teams has played particularly well this season, but that doesn’t mean these games have no purpose. In order to have progress, it’s important for the young players to gain experience. Giving the basketball to Brandon Knight and sometimes Giannis Antetokounmpo seems to be the game plan these days. All the other guys just take the remaining shots if they happen to have the ball. The Bucks were unable to defend in the paint again, allowing All-Star Anthony Davis to score on dunks and offensive rebounds that should have been avoided.

Hopefully, Sanders can heal up and be effective again. It would be nice to see what OJ Mayo’s status is as he can help this team score. Mayo has been out the last ten games with this illness. Though he had a tenuous start to the season, he can be counted on to hit at least 38% of his three point shots.

BUCK OF THE WEEK!  Giannis Antetokounmpo – All-Star Skills

9 wins/43 losses