With the summer leagues well on their way, the 2012-13 NBA season is right around the metaphorical corner.
Experts around the league are delving into expectations and predictions for the upcoming season, and the revamped Bucks lineup is still flying under the national radar. Bucks fans, however, are getting geared up to see the new and improved herd bring back some basketball relevance to Milwaukee.
The addition of the 6'3" guard from Golden State generated a lot of buzz at the end of last season.
With good reason.
Monta Ellis is a career 19.4 ppg scorer and in his 20 games with the Bucks last season, he didn't slow down. Ellis is one of the game's pure scorers and should put up similar numbers playing the up and down fashion that the Bucks utilized last season.
The excitement about Ellis is how he will mesh with backcourt mate Brandon Jennings. If the two can find the rhythm, they will be flat out deadly.
Brandon Jennings is not known for his conventional dish it out style but rather his ability to sling and score (can I trademark the phrase "sling and score"?).
The Bucks, however, have done a great job adding pieces around Jennings to take some of the scoring load off his shoulders. Jennings averaged 5.5 assists per game last season, and still managed to put up a career high of 19.1 points per game. With all of his new toys around him, Jennings will be in a more giving situation.
Speaking of giving toys: Brandon I'll trade you the phrase "sling and score" and you give me your gifts from just showing up at the ESPY's.
Sounds fair to me.
The day before the NBA draft, Milwaukee addressed one of its biggest needs in finding a capable center to replace Andrew Bogut.
The answer came in the form of 6'11" Samuel Dalembert, who was traded from Houston. Dalembert fills the immediate void in the middle, and is a career 8.2 rebounds per game guy. However, with the re-signing of Ersan Ilysasova, I wouldn't be surprised if the two vied for the top spot on the boards.
In one of the sneakiest steals of the draft, Milwaukee landed John Henson with the 14th overall pick. The defensive specialist from North Carolina is expected to have an immediate impact on both ends of the floor for Milwaukee. Fans are excited to see Henson hit the floor.
Milwaukee has quite a few capable shot-blockers in the forms of Samuel Dalembert, Larry Sanders and Ekpe Udoh, but when you're 6'11" and have a 7'6" wingspan, it's hard to argue against that.
In a rather all of a sudden fashion, the Milwaukee Bucks went from a team that needed size to a team that needed some capable guards. Besides the highlighted Monta Ellis and Brandon Jennings, Milwaukee was only sporting Beno Udrih at another guard spot.
However, with its second-round pick, Milwaukee found a hopeful gem in Kentucky guard Doron Lamb. The shooting specialist hit almost half his attempts from deep last season in a Wildcats uniform and led his team at the free-throw line hitting 83 percent.
With the new found size of the Bucks, Lamb will be able to stretch the floor coming off the bench.
Steals: Brandon Jennings
FG percentage: Luc Richard Mbah a Moute
Minutes: Monta Ellis
Turnovers: Monta Ellis
FT percentage: Drew Gooden