Charlie Villanueva: Big Man in Milwaukee

Adam LindemerSenior Analyst IFebruary 1, 2009

The Milwaukee Bucks have done something that they haven't done since Dec. 19-23 of this season; win consecutive games.

Back in late December, the Bucks won three in a row by beating the Knicks and Clippers on back-to-back nights and then defeating Utah. It took a month, but the Bucks have started another winning streak.

The guy who has stepped up most since the calendar turned January has been Charlie Villanueva; and it has been and added boost because All-Star Michael Redd is out for the season with a torn ACL.

Villanueva has a history of inconsistency but can explode at any moment, and that moment is now.

In Milwaukee's first 18 games of the new calendar year, Charlie V is a cut above the rest...of the league.

Villanueva has averaged 20.2 ppg and 7.0 rpg in 29.7 mpg in the month of January. Even his shooting has been phenomenal; FG: 52 percent; FT: 86 percent; 3-pt FG: 44 percent.

He has been carrying the Bucks in their last 18 games, scoring in double figures in 14 of them and over 20 points in 11 of those games, with a season-high of 32 during that stretch.

Milwaukee went 9-9 in January, which I know doesn't sound impressive at all, but we all know it could've been much worse.

I think I found the player of the month.

Villanueva began the new year coming off the bench, but due to the changing circumstances regarding the roster, he has started the last 10.

He's not doing it alone either. Richard Jefferson is finally starting to play like the guy the Bucks traded for before the season began. Andrew Bogut is also contributing again, as he is coming off the bench now, due to his nagging back spasms.

If Charlie V and the rest of the team can continue these winning ways into February, the Bucks can accomplish two things: 1) match their win total from all of last year (25) with one more "W" and 2) tie their longest winning streak of the season at three games (back in December).

The test begins Feb. 3 in New Jersey; will the Bucks pass or fail?

They are missing their leading scorer. The big Aussie (Bogut) in the middle, as well as their starting point guard (Luke Ridnour), have back issues.

The Bucks better get studying. Or better yet, they should just cheat of Villanueva's answers.