The Milwaukee Bucks have opened the 2012 season with a 2-4 record. While this isn't the record they may have hoped for, they have shown flashes of brilliance to give their fanbase hope for the future.
Through the first six games, we have learned six things about this squad that may have an impact on the team as the season plays out.
I love Bango as much as anyone, but maybe the ghost of Rodney Dangerfield should be the Bucks mascot.
They truly do not get the respect afforded to many other teams when it comes to officiating. How many times have you watched a Bucks game and thrown your arms up in disgust when they get a no-call?
A good guess may be around 10 times a game.
When a single player like Kevin Love takes more trips to the line than the ENTIRE Milwaukee squad, something is wrong.
The Bucks have been shooting a bunch of jumpers, but they simply are not hearing whistles when they drive to the hoop.
The season has been a strange one for the Bucks power forward. From getting minimal minutes, to starting the last two games, Drew Gooden has made a strong showing when given time on the court.
He has shown versatility, from playing the post to hitting long jumpers. He is a big who can grab you eight to 10 rebounds and even play a little defense.
Depending on who is guarding him, he can play big against small defenders or work the perimeter against the bigger players.
He looks quicker and healthier than he has been in a number of years. His style meshes well with the other starters, and his experience has to give him the nod to start over the gaggle of other Bucks power forwards.
Has there been anyone more impressive than the Bucks' second-round pick?
When he was selected in the draft last year, many questioned if Jon Leuer would even be able to make the team.
The Bucks have several players with seemingly the same size and skill set. But what Leuer has shown is maturity beyond his years.
He plays a smart brand of basketball. He takes shots when he should and is able to find the open man for a good look as well.
What impresses the most has to be his overall hustle on the court. He is diving for balls, playing solid defense and getting after boards on both ends of the floor.
He still has a lot he can improve on, but the energy and style he plays with is something the Bucks have been lacking for quite some time.
In six games, Milwaukee has used four different starting lineups.
So far this year, the Bucks have yet to play a game with less than two players out. In six games, Bogut, Delfino, Mbah a Moute, Udrih, Harris and Dunleavy have missed games.
For the last two seasons, the mantra for the Bucks has been “if they can only stay healthy.” This season has shown once again the Bucks struggling with injuries.
In a shortened season with a limited training camp, chemistry for a team with a lot of new players will be difficult to foster.
The Bucks need to get all their pieces on the board before they know what kind of game they have.
The good news is that the injuries they are dealing with are not significant. The bad news is that there are only 60 games left to figure out who is going to help them win ballgames.
Something is just off with Stephen Jackson.
He is shooting under 30 percent on the season. He is averaging just over 12 points per game. He also seems much more laid back since his time in Charlotte.
He hasn’t shown that fire and leadership he is known for. He probably should be given the benefit of the doubt. He is on a new team in a lockout year.
It may take some time for him to find his role and flow with the team. But the Bucks are counting on him to provide a scoring punch, and they could use some big numbers from him sooner rather than later.
The Bucks have looked like a contender in the first half of nearly every game this season. But in basketball, there are two halves, and they seem to forget that.
The collapses this team have had are beyond boggling. In all six games this season, Milwaukee has put itself in a position to win the game. In the end, the Bucks ended up choking four of them away.
The Bucks could easily be 5-1 right now.
Where does the blame fall? There are many places you can look. It is easy to point the finger at Coach Skiles, but he can't execute the plays he is drawing up.
The coaching staff and the players need to figure out what the root of the problem is quickly. If they do not, the season could easily slip away.
The season is still young. The Bucks have shown us what they can be as a team, both the good and the bad.
Fans need not jump off the bridge just yet. There is still time to right the ship and bring players back into the fold.
The Bucks are a talented team. While there are some early returns on the team, we should know what type of team they are in the next month.
Thanks for the read! Leave a comment on your thoughts about the Bucks so far this season!