Only 13 games into the abbreviated 2012 season, the Milwaukee Bucks find themselves at a crossroads. With a record of 4-9, they are now in a position where any further falling in the win/loss column could bury the team in a hole that they are not able to dig themselves out.
In the next six games, the Bucks play the Knicks, Heat, Hawks, Rockets, Bulls and Lakers—arguably five of the six teams are in the top ten. Oh, and did I mention that four of the six games are on the road? One more thing: the six games will be played in nine days.
Needless to say, the next nine days are going to be brutal for the Bucks. This is a tough position to find themselves in so early in the season.
The Bucks have to be hoping for at least a 3-3 record over this span of games. But due to the quality of opponents and the inconsistency of the team, dropping five of the next six games is not that unlikely.
If that does happen, the Bucks are looking at a 5-14 start to the season.
They simply do not have a team that can make up that much ground in a shortened season.
The season so far has been marred with injuries and inconsistency. Any given night the team takes the court, you really have no idea who will be playing and for how long. Half the team has missed time throughout the first 13 games, and Skiles continues to shake around the lineups and rotation in an attempt to find something that fits.
Can the Bucks turn around the season and make the playoffs this season?
If the Bucks hope to pick up at least a couple of wins during the upcoming stretch, they need to find an element of consistency on the team. No one on the team is a lock for what you will get from them every night. Andrew Bogut may give you 20 points and 10 rebounds one night, and the next he will score two points and have five rebounds.
The Bucks need to find a measure of consistency from their big three of Bogut, Jennings and Jackson. They need to defend on transition. They have attack the hoop.
Overall, a lot needs to change for the Bucks to turn this season around.
By this time next week, we should have a good idea of what the Bucks' direction will be for the remainder of the season.