Make or Break

By jeffengelhardt
Credit: Associated Press

Editor’s Note: Sorry for the late post, the backend of Word Press has been down the last two days. I’ll try to get another post up today as well.

The Bucks are now 1-2 in this critical six-game streak and are on very shaky ground of completely falling out of the race for eighth.

The 100-85 loss to the Washington Wizards was the season in a nutshell. The Bucks we’re ran out of the gym and couldn’t hit any momentum swinging shots in the game to turn the tide. They shot 43 percent from the field, 28 percent from behind the arc and an embarrassing 41 percent from the free throw line. That’s right. The team actually went 5-12 from the free-throw line.

I knew the Bucks struggled offensively, but now they are not even getting the free ones.

The Bucks are three games out of eighth place and struggling to beat teams ranked below them. It’s time to insert some energy into the team and that means more minutes for the unproven players, specifically Garrett Temple and Larry Sanders when he gets back from his minor back spasms.

The Bucks were trailing by 17 points going into the fourth quarter last night, yet for some reason Temple never notched a minute. I understand withholding young guys in tight contests, but the only way a player is going to improve is getting a chance and last night was a perfect opportunity. Maybe he could have done a better defensive job on Nick Young than John Salmons, you never know.

Sanders has energy player written all over him. He has had impressive moments this season and when he comes back he could provide an energy spark the team needs. He has the ability to create stops at the rim that turn it into fast-break points, which this team desperately needs.

And while Salmons has been playing his best basketball all season as of late, Chris-Douglas Roberts still needs more than the 1:10 he clocked last night. He did a respectable job for most of Salmons’ absence and should not be forgotten, especially in blowout situations like last night.

Credit to Nick Young though. I have always been a fan of Young and see a lot of comparisons to O.J. Mayo in his game. He blew up last night with highlight dunks and 26 points and in all honesty made me gush over the thought of having his scoring power on Milwaukee. And then I thought about how we had Jodie Meeks for about five seconds and gave him away for reasons unknown. Don’t be surprised if Meeks becomes a player like Young. A big-time scoring threat, but not much of anything else. Still, teams need those kind of players, especially the Bucks.

The Bucks three toughest games in this six-game stretch are coming up with a road game at Memphis then home contests against Indiana and the LA Clippers. The game against Memphis tonight will be especially difficult, but they need to win now after failing to take care of business against very beatable teams in Detroit and Washington.

Make or break time.


Jerry Sloan stepped down as coach of the Utah Jazz. He had a Hall of Fame career, but it appears he was too old school for a young man’s game … Carmelo Anthony is saying he is considering sticking with the Nuggets. I expect it’s a power play to get the Knicks serious about a trade as deadline approaches …  Speaking of the Nuggets, the Denver/Dallas game last night was the best game of the season so far.

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