Saturday, March 29, 2008

Fixing the Bucks

Fixing the Bucks is a difficult proposition.  Many times, teams that lose 50+ games in an NBA season do so because they lack talent.  But on paper, this is a Milwaukee Bucks team that should compete for a playoff spot in the weak Eastern Conference.

The Bucks have a star-in-the-making at center, Andrew Bogut...who, by the way, has quietly become among the top centers in the East.  He's no Dwight Howard, but he's very solid.  At power forward, the Yi/Villanueva combination--talent-wise--rounds out an intriguing young front court.  Small forward has been a disappointment.  But again, on paper the Desmond Mason/Bobby Simmons duo should be able to hold there own at the position.  And the back court of Mo Williams and Michael Redd can shoot with the best of them.  Salary-wise, I don't think the Bucks expected their bench to be half bad either (that would be Simmons, Bell, Gadzuric and co.).

So with this team, how are the Bucks about to fail to win 30 games for the second consecutive season?  That's the question that a lot of us Bucks fans are asking.  The solution may not be clear, but the problems are very evident...and very abundant.  Coach K might say its defense--and to a great extent it is.  But most fans, including myself, would diagnose the major problem as a lack of desire.  The Bucks can come out motivated and play a great game and win (the recent Cavs game), then they can come out and play like they don't care and lose to one week.

When you have a problem with players who are not motivated to play a game that they are payed millions each year to play, you can have all the money in the world to spend on a team and the end result is going to be the same.  A disappointing, underachieving team...and fans who want drastic changes immediately.  

It's a shame this is the 40th anniversary of this once proud franchise.  Every time a Bucks legend returns to have his jersey rededicated, the 2008 version of the Bucks seem to play exactly the opposite of their predecessors.

Whoever comes in as the next GM will need a completely fresh approach.  Thus, the reason many of us support Bill Simmons.  Salary-wise, the Bucks have so much money tied up in the current players that it could be years...or several brilliant trades...before they are able to recover.

It's sad to think about when you have a team that is as young and talented as the Bucks.  But any casual fan can see that changes must be made, and they must be vast.

What do you think?