After their breakout playoff season in 2010, the Milwaukee Bucks find themselves back in lottery land. It’s extremely disappointing; especially given that the ’09-’10 team had a young core that looked poised to make the franchise a fixture in the postseason. This year, they were alive for the final playoff spot up until a few days ago, but alas they’ll have to settle for ninth in the Eastern Conference.
They lost at home to the team directly ahead of them, the Philadelphia 76ers, who currently possess the final playoff spot. Still the Bucks finish the year 17-16, above .500 for the fourth consecutive year. In their 44 years of existence, the Bucks have had a winning record at home 37 times.
Since these final games in the lockout shortened 66 game season don’t mean much to the Bucks, it’s a chance for the young players to get playing time, grow and develop- like Tobias Harris and Jon Leuer.
“We’ve seen them in practice, we’ve seen them in all year. Obviously, in the last two games, the way this is looking, with multiple players out, both of the rookies are going to get some minutes out there. Any minutes you get in an NBA game can be helpful, if you play the right way.” Bucks coach Scott Skiles said before last night’s game.
Harris played the right way; securing his first double double on 15 points and 13 rebounds. Leuer, the former Wisconsin Badgers star, contributed 8 points and 6 boards in 21 minutes.
Skiles talked about Harris:
“He was pretty good offensively. He hasn’t gotten many minutes so we’re still trying to work with him on the defensive end. We’ll hope, going into the offseason, he can make some progress on that end of the floor. Like a lot of young guys he would be a sophomore in college. His awareness sometimes, he really needs to work on that.”
Harris and Leuer got a lot of minutes in a game that certainly had a D League feel, as both teams rested a couple of their starters and main scorers.
“The ball wasn’t moving as freely as normally as we would move the ball. Obviously, different lineups out there, we’ve got some guys that haven’t played very much and things like that. You can’t be too harsh on the guys about that,” Skiles said.
Paul M. Banks is CEO of The Sports Bank.net, an official Google News site generating millions of unique visitors. He’s also a regular contributor to Chicago Now, Walter Football.com, Yardbarker, MSN and Fox Sports
A Fulbright scholar and MBA, Banks has appeared on live radio all over the world; and he’s a member of the Football Writers Association of America, U.S. Basketball Writers Association, and Society of Professional Journalists. The President of the United States follows him on Twitter (@Paul_M_BanksTSB) You should too.Powered by Sidelines Follow paulmbanks