The combination of Michael Redd going down with a season-ending knee injury on Jan. 10 and the mounting losses in Milwaukee, the Bucks were forced to acquire somebody who can help fill Redd’s void and hopefully provide the team with a spark going into the second half of the season. Yesterday, the Bucks signed free-agent guard/forward, Jerry Stackhouse, for the rest of the season.
The 14-year veteran has not played a single game in 2009-’10. Stackhouse spent last season with the Dallas Mavericks, where he just appeared in just 10 games due to injuries. He was traded to the Grizzlies in the offseason, but the team immediately waived him. Since being out of the NBA, Stackhouse has been hosting a radio show as well as working out in Atlanta. Prior to the season, he was playing pickup with a lot of the Hawks players, and was reportedly playing well. Last week, the 35-year-old expressed his desire to get back in the league and play for a championship contender – preferably with the Hawks.
“I have the mind-set that I am going to be ready to try to help somebody,” Stackhouse told reporters last week. “I have been off a year and got my body right. It would be perfect for me to come in and try to win a championship.”
Although the Bucks aren’t exactly contenders, Stackhouse will have an opportunity right away to show teams what he’s got. He will practice with the team today and will suit up against the Raptors tomorrow night. Coach Scott Skiles told reporters today that he will play Stackhouse right away, but will monitor his minutes. Stackhouse apparently impressed the Bucks’ coaching staff in a workout over the weekend, but Skiles admitted the former two-time All-Star is not in midseason form.
The addition of Stackhouse should bolster the Bucks’ stagnant offense – which ranks 29th in the league in field goal percentage. The team is also in need of a third scorer, somebody who can score 15 ppg and provide some perimeter help. Stackhouse’s presence also gives the Bucks another veteran leader for a relatively young roster. He played on the 2005-’06 Mavericks team that made it to the Finals. Stackhouse is also somebody who is vocal and not afraid to take on that leadership role.
It’s questionable that this move alone will secure the Bucks a playoff berth. But in a weak Eastern Conference anything is possible. The Bucks are currently in 10th place in the Eastern Conference with a 16-28 record and just two games behind the Bulls, who are sitting in the eighth spot. Stackhouse will certainly help their cause, but overall, this is just a great opportunity for him to prove to the rest of the league that he can still contribute at this level. And maybe he’ll get his wish to sign with a contender this summer.
Do you guys think the Bucks will make the playoffs?