First and foremost, to any followers I may have, I apologize for the two month lapse in writing. Truth be told, it's hard to get excited and write about the state of the Milwaukee Bucks currently. Point blank: they are terrible. Offensively challenged. Inept. Tough to watch. Impossible to get excited about it. How could any Bucks fan have seen this coming after all the excitement generated in these parts less than a year ago?
The Milwaukee Bucks are currently 21-34 after a disheartening loss to the Denver Nuggets at home, 94-87. A season full of warranted expectations has turned catastrophic. Bucks nation, me included, had confidence that Milwaukee would compete for the Central Division championship with the boys from south of the border. That hasn't been the case, as Milwaukee finds itself out of the playoff picture heading into the All Star break. Calling this season a regression would be a gross understatement. The Bucks have taken about ten steps backwards in the Hammond-Skiles administration this season.
Which brings us back full circle to our 'franchise player,' Mr. Michael Redd. A guy I've openly bashed in the past, has the chance to quite possibly resurrect the Milwaukee Bucks season in 2010-'11. Michael Redd plans to return to Milwaukee after the All-Star break, when he will be able to actually suit up and play, is in question. What's not in question, is the fact that Milwaukee desperately needs contributions from Michael Redd right now.
The Bucks lead the league in holding their opponents to under 100 points a game. They've done it 41 times in 55 games, good stuff. Yet, they are mired at 21-34. The Bucks defense has not been the issue at hand this season.... it's the offense.
Health has undoubtedly been an issue. Jennings, Gooden, Delfino, Salmons, Bogut, Maggette, so on and so forth. However, it's no excuse that they are 30th in the NBA in scoring at 90.4 points per game.....yes that's last in the league. To put it mildly, the Bucks can't put the leather through the net. They can't can jumpers. Wide open mid-range jumpers are comparable to a stroll down the dark alley's of Compton, California after midnight: Not easy. At this point, I'd bet my bank account the Bucks couldn't throw a seashell into the ocean from the beach 45% of the time.
Bring in #22.
Michael Redd, for all his shortcomings, can put points on the board. He's a career 20.3 ppg scorer and a 44% shooter from the floor and 38% from the arc. Point blank, Michael Redd can score and scoring is what ails the Milwaukee Bucks and is exactly what they need. However, after a 13-month layoff, is Redd capable of providing a helping hand in a great time of need?
Coming off major knee surgery for the second time in three years, the concern is whether Redd will be able to contribute and play near the level he has in the past. The answer is unknown, but it's worth finding out. If Redd can contribute 25 minutes a night, knock down some jumpers, toss in some three's and spread the floor some, it could greatly benefit this ball club. The Bucks need scoring, and it's worth the gamble to try and infuse Michael Redd into the mix again and see what he can provide. Whether it's going to be successful or not, is anyone's guess.
This season isn't 'lost' yet, and maybe, just maybe, Michael Redd can come back and lead the Bucks on a late season surge and get some of that magic back from a year ago and earn some of that lucrative deal he signed back in the summer of 2005. Maybe, just maybe, Michael Redd can go out in a blaze of glory.
I'm anxious to see it. The city of Milwaukee and Bucks fans should be anxious to see it. With baited breath, let's see what #22 can do. And with a clenched jaw, I'd like to say, and Bucks nation should say, Welcome back Mike....... and maybe, just maybe, you're gonna be the one who saves the sinking ship that is the Bucks in 2010-'11.