Tag: Joel Przybilla

Milwaukee Bucks' Ersan Ilyasova   goes up for a shot against Toronto Raptors' Alan Anderson during the second half of their NBA basketball game in Milwaukee Wisconsin

NBA Season Preview: Milwaukee Bucks


Last season: Abort the mission! New plan! New plan!

The Bucks slammed on the parking brake, wrenched the wheel and Tokyo Drifted in a new direction last season, abandoning the “all defense all the time” team built around Andrew Bogut and giving up on the fleeting hope Bogut will ever, ever be healthy. They swapped him to Golden State for Monta Ellis and Ekpe Udoh, getting a promising young big man with great advanced metrics and, you know, Monta Ellis.

The results were mixed. They almost made it into the playoffs before their wheels exploded and flew off into the Wisconsin countryside, and while their defense didn’t capitulate with Ellis, their offense continued to run into the gutter.

They limped their way out of a playoff spot and entered the offseason with a huge number of questions about their head coach, front office, and the direction of the franchise.

Key Departures: The Bucks kind of surprisingly traded Jon Leuer, after he’d had a pretty solid year. They also traded Shaun Livingston, who, again, was pretty good last year. They let Carlos Delfino go after hemming and hawing over his contract for three months.

Key Additions: When the Bucks drafted John Henson, it was largely a perplexing move. Another athletic big man with questionable post skills? Really? Really? That’s what you thought you should pull off the pile?

But then Summer League came and Henson showed off a better mid-range jumper than expected and a good ability to flow in the offense. He has great court awareness to go with all that athleticism and could see significant playing time.

They elected to trade for Samuel Dalembert, pushing Udoh, who honestly needs the minutes, to the bench and giving them approximately all of the big men, ever. They added Joel Przybilla just in case the other 1,700 of them fail out, and-re-signed Ersan Ilyasova for the offensive repertoire.

Doron Lamb was quietly a very good second round pickup.

Three keys to the Bucks season:
1) Solving the riddle wrapped in a puzzle disguised as a mystery covered in subterfuge that is Monta Ellis and Brandon Jennings. The two are just too similar. Ball-dominant, low-playmaking, moderate-efficiency volume scorers who didn’t develop an immediate chemistry. Sometimes these things can work themselves out, but in a lot of cases, it’s evident from the start if it’s going to work. If this thing doesn’t get solved and start to work by January, it might be time to start thinking about another move in another direction. The two were -1.9 on the floor together last year, giving up 107.7 points per 100 possessions. That is not good. They can’t just raise the 105 offensive rating, they have to get the defense sorted out. The Bucks could be looking at a situation not dissimilar to what the Knicks face with Amar’e Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony.

2) Get the young guys to make some noise. Ekpe Udoh and John Henson need to become the Milwuakee version of Gibson and Asik. Or maybe the more athletic version of that. Either way, they need to make an impact, because the Bucks can’t look at their long-term build as involving Sam Dalembert. Doron Lamb needs to add some value as a shooter. Tobias Harris needs to come up. They need some big jumps from the project guys.

3) Avoid the Skiles Effect. When Skiles takes over a team, there’s a clock that starts. It’s a countdown to when the team tunes him out. It’s happened in his previous stops, and it very well could happen again. If Skiles can manage to massage, not render, the best out of this team, they could very well be a playoff team. But if he loses them, the season, the roster, his job and John Hammond’s will likely be over in Milwaukee.

How it likely works out: I want to belive in Milwaukee. They deserve it, honestly, they do. They’ve had more than their fair share of bad luck and still haven’t been horrible over the past decade. We blame luck on a lot of the awful franchises, but the Bucks have somehow managed to deal with Michael Redd and Andrew Bogut’s injuries and still float within range of the last playoff spot.

And this team has talent. And it’s got a lot of good efficient things going for it. But it needs so many players to make such huge jumps and for Jennings-Ellis to magically solve itself. That simply may not be possible.

I loathe this, but it really looks like another 9th spot in the East year for the Bucks.

Prediction: 40-42. Is there any better representation of “almost… but not quite?”

Joel Przybilla agrees to terms with Milwaukee Bucks

Portland Trail Blazers v Houston Rockets, Game 6

The Bucks have themselves a backup center.

Veteran center Joel Przybilla has agreed to terms with the Milwaukee Bucks for next season, his agent told Gery Woelfel of the Journal Times.

“We’re excited about this,” Bill Duffy, Przybilla’s agent, said in a telephone interview Monday night. “Joel had a great meeting last week with John Hammond, Scott Skiles and Jeff Weltman and they told him that he not only would bring great value on the court, but that he could help them with his leadership and stability.

“We think it’s a perfect fit.”

Samuel Dalembert will be the starting center for the Bucks, behind him is the young Ekpe Udoh and they can use Drew Gooden or Larry Sanders at the five if they want to go small. Which is to say, Przybilla is not going to get a lot of minutes (not that his legs could handle it) and mostly he is there in the Crash Davis mentor role.

Przybilla also had offers from Portland and Dallas.

Friday And-1 links: Can the Brooklyn Nets be hip?

US rapper Jay-Z performs during a concer

Here is our regular look around the NBA — links to stories worth reading and notes to check out (stuff that did not get its own post here at PBT) — done in bullet point form. Because bloggers love bullet points like 8-year-old girls love gymnasts.

Really fascinating post over at Nets Are Scorching: How do you define hip? And once you define it, can the Nets be it in Brooklyn? These are the questions that keep Jay-Z up at night.

Here’s an interview with Carmelo Anthony, talking about dropping 37 on Nigeria all by himself.

• Jimmer Fredette and Justin Timberlake are friends. Why doesn’t this surprise me?

Really interesting thoughts on Brandon Roy and how he fits in with Minnesota (our own Matt Moore did a killer job on this topic as well).

• Anthony Tolliver hasn’t signed anywhere yet because he wants to make $2 million a year or more, like he did last year. Good luck with that.

•  This interview showed me I have one thing in common with Kyrie Irving — a love of musicals and musical theater. (Seriously. Both of us. That and a love of hoops. But that’s about it.)

• Don’t look for rookie Doran Lamb to get big minutes in Milwaukee this season.

• Joel Przybilla is close to making a decision on where to play next year. It’s that point in the summer where that becomes interesting.

• Realize that pretty much every move David Kahn is making in Minnesota is done with the fact he will have to pay Nikola Pekovic a lot of money when he becomes a free agent after next season.

• Anthony Morrow talks about his path to the NBA.

• Big man James Singleton says if he doesn’t get an offer he likes, he will play for more money in China.

• Scottie Reynolds has signed to play in Italy.

• Andray Blatche isn’t getting much interest on the free agent market yet. Shocking, just shocking.