Max Mandel's Blog

Max Mandel

Jan 13

Getting to know the opponent: Q&A with Bucks.com

By Max Mandel Posted in: Bucks
Although it ended in a loss for the Trail Blazers, the December 12th double overtime defeat against the Bucks has to rank as one of the most exciting and competitive games so far this season. With the exciting combination of Brandon Jennings and Andrew Bogut, the Bucks have exceeded many expectations and also play a very high-tempo brand of basketball. While Milwaukee has hit a rough patch over the past couple of weeks, there is no doubt they will be confident heading into the Rose Garden on Wednesday night. In order to learn more about this Bucks team, we decided to check in with Michael Grahl of Bucks.com. We would like to thank Michael for taking the time to provide us with some more information on Brandon Jennings, Scott Skiles, Andrew Bogut, and the rest of this Milwaukee team.


I am a Trail Blazers fan
: One of the biggest surprises this season in the NBA has been the play of Brandon Jennings. What do you think makes Jennings so successful at this level, and have you seen any signs of him starting to slow down or get worn down by the NBA grind?

Bucks.com: Brandon's speed is his biggest weapon. He changes speeds with the best of them and has incredible floor vision. So far, I've only seen him slow down to improve. He exhibited very good patience early on and has steadily continued to improve on that regard. You're right, the NBA is a grind so the rookie wall is always a possibility, but I think he is prepared and determined to run through it.

I am a Trail Blazers fan: In Andrew Bogut, the Bucks have one of the most underrated big men in the league. How has Bogut adjusted to the style and system of Scott Skiles?

Bucks.com: Andrew has improved a great deal this year. I think the addition of Brandon Jennings and the great play of Luke Ridnour have been the biggest contributors to his strong play. Ball movement is key for Andrew. The more involved he is, the better he plays on both ends of the floor. Skiles has done a tremendous job keeping Andrew involved and active.

I am a Trail Blazers fan: Even though this team has shown the ability to win without him over the course of the season, what type of impact do you think the season-ending injury to Michael Redd will have on this team?

Bucks.com: That's a tough one. Michael is difficult to replace. His ability to score is unmatched by anyone else on our team. When you lose that type of offensive potency, you're going to struggle against the better teams in the league. The team has played pretty well without Michael this year, but Michael is a go-to guy. Without him in the line-up, it puts pressure on everyone else to step up and take control at various points throughout the game. I think you'll see our guys continue to respond, namely Ridnour and Bell, in Michael's absence.

I am a Trail Blazers fan: Who is one guy on this team that might not receive much attention from the media that Trail Blazers fans should keep their eyes on when these teams match up?

Bucks.com: He's certainly not new to fans in Oregon, but Luke Ridnour is playing some very good basketball. He is averaging the 2nd highest point total of his career (11.3) on 10.7 fewer minutes per game (22.5). He's shooting 51% from the floor and 41% from beyond the arc, both numbers are career highs.

I am a Trail Blazers fan: Despite not being much of a threat on the offensive end, Luc Richard Mbah a Moute has developed the reputation as one of the elite defenders in the league. What makes Mbah a Moute such an excellent defender, and how do you think he compares with some of the elite defenders in the NBA.


Bucks.com: Luc is a tireless worker. He puts in tremendous effort to be as good as he his. His length and quickness allow him to defend all positions which is incedibly valuable in difficult match-up situations. Luc has a long career ahead of him. I think before it's done he will be regarded as one of the best defenders in the game.

 


 




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