Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Bucks Struggle In 2013 Preseason Games | Larry Drew Provides Answers

Bucks 2013 Preseason
While far from indicative of their expected performance during the regular season, the Milwaukee Bucks have looked dismal in the 2013 preseason. Win-less thus far, the revamped team face a one-win Grizzlies squad tonight, hoping to avoid their fourth loss of the seven game schedule. The outing is a must-win if new head coach Larry Drew hopes to go into the regular season with respect from skeptical fans and analysts.

Drew has faced adverse conditions during his debut games on the sidelines for the Bucks. As of Tuesday, five key starters are on the injured list, including forward Ersan Ilyasova. The head coach explained at a recent press-conference that while he is excited that some of the younger bench players have seen extra time against tough competition, the abundance of injured starters is not conducive to the team-building he had in mind for the preseason. Just four of the Bucks 19 roster-players were with the team last season.

Second-year player John Henson has stepped into Ilyasova's role through the the first three preseason games, complimenting team poster-boy Larry Sanders at forward. Suffering from the loss of the dynamic Epke Udoh, the duo bared most of the team's offensive responsibility against Cleveland, Minnesota, and Charlotte, though they failed to score more than 90 in any of those contests.

Drew said Tuesday that he would remain with Henson and Sanders as his starters against Memphis, though first round draft pick Giannis Antetokounmpo will step-in an increasing amount, along with fellow reserves Stephen Graham and Olek Czyz. He made clear that he is not happy about the delay to his injured starter's seasons, however, who he said need to find time to play together before the start of the regular season.

At the same press-conference, the head coach called upon his relatively intact back-court to get the job done against the Grizzlies. Brandon Knight and O.J. Mayo have replaced Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis as the core of the Bucks perimeter offense, though their performance has been lackluster thus-far. Joined by 12 year veteran Caron Butler, Drew has been waiting for the trio to click on the transition, the Bucks premier strength in 2012.

Milwaukee Bucks Key Preseason Injuries

-        (C) Ersan Ilyasova – Knee
-        (G) Gary Neal – Foot
-        (F) Carlos Delfino – Foot
-        (F) Epke Udoh – Knee
-        (C) Zaza Pachulia – Achilles

Monday, October 7, 2013

Bucks Training Camp 2013 Roster Is Set

Bucks 2013 Roster
The Milwaukee Bucks revealed their 2013 training camp roster this week. Just four familiar faces grace the 19-man roster, a trend mirrored in the team’s coaching staff as well, which saw five members replaced during the off-season. Hometown favorite rookie Junior Cadougan was named on the list, though his status is as a non-roster invitee.
Attempting to rebound from a roller-coaster season in 2012, the Bucks overhaul this off-season was far-reaching. Larry Drew will debut as the organization’s third coach since early last year, when Scott Skiles abruptly quit. He brings with him four new assistants, and his choice’s for this year’s training roster point to his ground-up approach to remodeling the Bucks.
In the wake of the departures of guards Monta Ellis and Brandon Jennings, as well as J.J. Redick and Mike Dunleavy, just Larry Sanders, John Henson, Ersan Ilyasova, and Epke Udoh remain from the 2012 squad. Dubbed as the worst team to ever make a playoff run, that year’s group allowed more points per game than 19 other teams in the league, and hit just 46 percent from the field. However, Drew made sure to retain those players that were productive for the Bucks in 2012, especially Sanders, who managed an astounding 201 blocks last year.
Six rookies made their way onto the training roster, countered by three players with at least ten years experience and another with nine. Cadougan is joined by fellow rookies Trey McKinney Jones and Olek Czyz as a non-roster invitees, as well as 7th year guard Stephen Graham. O.J. Mayo, Khris Middleton, Caron Butler, and Brandon Knight highlight the new additions to the team, representing 23 years in the league between them. Coming back to Milwaukee after a year and eight years away, respectively, Carlos Delfino and Zaza Pachulia will also attended training. Both had their first breakout seasons in the NBA during their time with the Bucks, Delfino from 2009 to 2012 and Pachulia from 2004-2005.

Milwaukee Bucks 2012 Training Camp Roster

-          Gary Neal (4th Season)
-          Miroslav Raduljica (Rookie)
-          Larry Sanders (4th Season)
-          Nate Wolters (Rookie)
-          Caron Butler (12th Season)
-          John Henson (2nd Season)
-          Brandon Knight (3rd Season)
-          Khris Middleton (2nd Season)
-          Zaza Pachulia (11th Season)
-          Luke Ridnour (11th Season)
-          Ekpe Udoh (4th Season)
-          Olek Czyz (Rookie – Non Roster Invitee)
-          Junior Cadougan (Rookie – Non Roster Invitee)
-          Stephen Graham (7th Season – Non-Roster Invitee)

-          Trey McKinney Jones (Rookie – Non-Roster Invitee)