Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Milwaukee Bucks Season Preview - Can This Be The Year?

Last season proved to be yet another disappointing year for the Milwaukee Bucks.  The Bucks finished the season with a record of 31-35 due to the shortened 11-12 season.  They were pushing for a playoff spot late into the season but just could not get it done and finished below .500 for the 7th time in the last eight seasons.  For most of the season, the bucks were without a true center with an injury to Andrew Bogut, so Drew Gooden was entrusted with center position.  For the Bucks, this was an immediate position for concern in the offseason.  Gooden is a power forward, that is his true position, so the bucks needed to find an upgrade.

As draft day was approaching, there were rumors that the Houston Rockets were looking to trade up in the draft and were were willing to include center Samuel Dalembert if a trade was to be made.  Sources said that the Bucks were interested in acquiring a player like Dalembert and just before the draft they made a deal with Houston, sending the 12th overall pick in the draft to the Rockets for Dalembert and the 14th overall pick.  On paper this looks to be a great trade for the Bucks because they get the player that they desperately needed and only moved back two spots in the draft that is deep in prospects.

After the draft workouts were wrapped up, the Bucks were really interested in PF John Henson out of North Carolina.  The Detroit Pistons were also rumored to like Henson and they had the 9th pick, so many thought that Milwaukee would have to trade into the top 10 in order to secure Henson.  However, the Bucks stayed with the 14th pick and their strategy worked out perfectly as the commissioner announced the Bucks draft choice and it indeed was John Henson, a PF out of the University of North Carolina.  In the second round, the Bucks drafted Doron Lamb, a SG who played his college ball for the National Champ Kentucky Wildcats.  I always thought Lamb was one the best shooters in college, so we shall see if that can translate well into the NBA.  Looking ahead to the 2012-13 season, this is how the roster looks like for Milwaukee:

21Samuel DalembertC316-11250Seton Hall$6,698,565
17Mike DunleavySF316-9230Duke$3,750,000
11Monta EllisSG266-3185 $11,000,000
0Drew GoodenPF306-10250Kansas$6,687,400
15Tobias HarrisF206-8226Tennessee$1,482,000
31John HensonPF216-11220North Carolina$1,823,280
7Ersan IlyasovaPF256-10235 $7,900,000
3Brandon JenningsPG226-1169 $3,179,493
20Doron LambSG206-4210Kentucky$650,000
12Luc Richard Mbah a MouteSF256-8230UCLA$4,794,192
8Larry SandersC236-11235Virginia Commonwealth$1,991,760
13Ekpe UdohPF256-10245Baylor$3,524,880
19Beno UdrihPG306-3203 $7,372,000

Recently, the Bucks have also reached a deal with Joel Przybilla.  He provides that much needed depth at Center that the Bucks were lacking all of last season.  Milwaukee is also rumored to be in the market for another Small Forward as it looks like Carlos Delfino will not be resigned.  

This looks like it can be a decent roster for the Bucks, at least to be able to reach the playoffs again.  There is however a big concern at the 4.  The team is loaded with PF’s so I expect GM John Hammond will make some kind of move to clear the big cluster at that position.  Other than that, I do believe that this team can compete in the Central Division.  My starting lineup looks like this: PG Jennings, SG Ellis, SF Dunleavy/Harris, PF Ilyasova, C Dalembert.  Four of the five positions appear to be locked, but there is still a question at the SF spot.  Tobias Harris performed really well in the Summer League, so this could help make a case for the starting job.  We will have to just wait and see how this roster plays together.

Predicted Standings

1st. Indiana Pacers 50-32

2nd. Chicago Bulls 45-37

3rd. Milwaukee Bucks 44-38

4th. Cleveland Cavaliers 37-45

5th. Detroit Pistons 33-49

Until next time, Beers, Brats, and Championships.

 -Michael Schuster (WSB_Mike)

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