Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Are the Bucks found money?

The Warriors will have tip-off with the unbeaten Milwaukee Bucks in a bit less than three hours from now. Another tough road game, as the Bucks have been impressive in the early going. Are the Bucks just hot right now, or ought we to pencil them into a playoff position this year, and for a victory tonight?

The Bucks have a fairly impressive and youthful first six players. Starting with the explosive scoring talents of Michael Redd, the Bucks have several emerging talents in T.J. Ford, Bobby Simmons, Andrew Bogut, and Maurice Williams, all of whom are 26 years old or less. They also have Jamal Magloire, a nice inside presence to add some scoring, rebouding, and a bit of defense.

After that? I can't, for the life of me, figure out what's happened to Joe Smith, who should've figured prominently somewhere in all this. It's pretty much peanuts after that, although Toni Kukoc used to be able to score some.

In their first three games, the Bucks have rebounded well, and attempted a lot of 3-pointers, which one might expect with the bulk of their scoring coming from the backcourt. They've probably turned over the ball a bit more frequently than coach Terry Stotts would like, but they've managed to beat two questionable teams in New Jersey and Philadelphia, and one good team in the Miami Heat -- who were without Shaquille O'Neal.

So it's a bit hard to evaluate them at this point. They've managed to win three without losing any and they're at home, so this will still likely be a tough assignment for the Warriors. With the Bucks likely to outrebound the Warriors, Golden State must at least try to limit second-chance points for Milwaukee, as offensive rebounds have been a huge issue in the early going. Also, the Warriors will not be able to afford shooting a poor percentage from the line again in this game -- that's got to be fixed tonight.

I'm looking at the matchup at the shooting guard position with Redd and Jason Richardson and wondering how much they will let J-Rich actually guard Redd. I'll going to assume Mike Montgomery will want to give his best on-the-ball defender on the team, Mickael Pietrus, as much time on Redd as possible to not only up the defense on Redd, but to avoid fouls and the tiring out of J-Rich.


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