Bucked Up

By: 11.24.09  •  44 Comments

Brandon Jennings

Sporting an 8-3 record going into Monday’s action, the Bucks were still a tough team to figure out. Brandon Jennings could make a good case for League MVP of the first month, and with Michael Redd returning to the lineup, some people think the Bucks are gearing up for a playoff run. Then again, an alarmingly soft schedule — almost all of Milwaukee’s wins have been against surefire Lottery teams — has others thinking the Bucks are just taking advantage of patsies until the rest of the League compiles its scouting report on Jennings. Although Andrew Bogut and Luc Richard Mbah a Moute would be out for last night’s game at San Antonio, it was still seen as a good test for one of the League’s early-season surprises … It didn’t go so well. Jennings was held in check (6-21 FG, 5 turnovers), Redd didn’t do much (4 pts, 11 mins), and nobody had an answer for Tim Duncan (24 pts, 12 rebs). Of course, any team that starts Dan Gadzuric and Charlie Bell at the same time is just asking for a loss. Jennings showed he could still get into the lane against Tony Parker and the Spurs’ D, but he couldn’t get anything to drop … The Spurs could be finding their rhythm after a slow start. They dominated the glass for the second straight game, moved the ball around, and got some hot shooting from Matt Bonner (23 pts, 6 threes) … With Manu Ginobili starting to rack up DNP’s like a South American Larry Hughes, Rudy Fernandez could be starting his campaign as the next Ginobili. Rudy (13 pts) hit some crazy shots against the Bulls last night: A couple step-back threes that only somebody without a conscience would shoot, and one time he caught a pass at waist level in mid-air from Andre Miller and converted it into a reverse layup in one motion before coming down. The Blazers announcers were even comparing the connection between ‘Dre and Rudy to the one Fernandez had with Sergio RodriguezGreg Oden (24 pts, 12 rebs) capitalized on some lobs and putbacks caused by Portland’s penetration, but he also showed off some decent post moves and a nice little hook shot. A few times Oden demanded the ball on the block and really tried to go at Joakim Noah, like he was still mad about the NCAA title game or something … There was like a two-minute stretch where Juwan Howard and Lindsey Hunter were both on the floor. In a nice gesture for the grizzled old vets, the refs took away the three-point line, replaced the nets with peach baskets, and made everybody put on Chuck Taylors … Fun fact: Grizzlies/Kings featured the two least-experienced teams in the League in terms of average pro tenure. Looking at the rosters for these rebuilding projects, which franchise do you think is closer to returning to relevancy? Tyreke Evans, the centerpiece of Sacramento’s future (all due respect to Kevin Martin), scored 28 points in the loss, while Rudy Gay (who could very well be leaving Memphis this season or next summer) put up 24 points and had about eight or nine dunks … Then you had Wolves vs. Clippers, another battle of rebuilding squads. On paper, L.A.’s young core is more attractive with Blake Griffin and Eric Gordon and DeAndre Jordan; and nobody ever talks about Al Thornton, but he dropped 31 points on Minnesota. The Wolves are building around Al Jefferson, Kevin Love and Jonny Flynn, but a lot of their future depends on what happens with Ricky Rubio — how good he is or if he’ll ever play for them … The Clippers game saw the return of L.A. announcers Ralph Lawler and Mike Smith, who had been suspended for one game after making insulting comments about Hamed Haddadi during Clippers/Grizzlies the other night. We found a transcript of the exchange in question; apparently the biggest issue was Smith and Lawler pronouncing “Iranian” like “Eye-ranian” multiple times. Smith added, “You’re sure it’s not Borat‘s older brother? If they ever make a movie about Haddadi, I’m going to get Sacha Baron Cohen to play the part.” And later Lawler said, “I guess those Iranians can pass the ball.” … We’re out like peach baskets …

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