Obviously, Monta Ellis is the fearless leader of the team and playing off the charts right now, which is why Milwaukee is doing so well. Without his constant attacking and overwhelming desire to win, the Bucks are not two games above .500 with 24 to go.
However, anyone who has watched the five games since Feb. 21 knows that Redick is a huge reason why the Bucks are playing so well. His consistent outside shot has forced opposing defenses to come out further, which allows Ellis to drive the lane and Larry Sanders and Ersan Ilyasova to clean up around the basket. Redick has also been able to make moves to the hoop as well, which gives him the opportunity to attempt a short shot or kick out to one of several 3-point shooters on the team.
Before Redick, Milwaukee had lost nine of their last 11 games with no hope in sight. General manager John Hammond knew he needed to make a deal to help the team win now, something that owner Herb Kohl desperately wants to do. Hammond wanted Redick in one trade and Atlanta Hawks’ Josh Smith in another. He had to settle for one after the Hawks reportedly backed out of the deal at the last minute, but that one piece has clearly been the difference. The Bucks are currently 4-1 since acquiring Redick and the lone one-point loss against the Hawks easily could have been a win.
The 28-year-old is averaging 15.4 points per game while shooting 50.0 percent from the field, 37.0 percent from beyond the arc and perfect from the free throw line. He looks rejuvenated on the court and is playing with more enthusiasm than he did with the Orlando Magic earlier this season. This is because he feels the energy among the players and believes something special is in the works.
It may be only five games, but Milwaukee is a completely different team. This squad believes they can defeat anyone on any given night, and why shouldn’t they? Ellis is able to play any position on the court – whether it is drain a three, score in the post or drive to the basket – Brandon Jennings is racking up assists as if he gets paid by the pass, Ilyasova is one of the top 3-point shooters over the last two months and Sanders continues to be one of the best defensive players in the game.
The addition of Redick has not made these players any better because the talent was always there. He simply has forced them to tweak their role on the team, which has made the Bucks better overall. It will be exciting to see what the next month and a half brings as Milwaukee appears to be destined for greatness.