Milwaukee Bucks Might Have Thrown Away Playoffs During Off-Season

Waleed ErshadCorrespondent INovember 16, 2009

First of all, did you know Milwaukee is 5-2 with a 4-game win streak as I write this?  They are sitting pretty at 4th in the East, which is ahead of Cleveland and Orlando.

Now, the big question for Milwaukee is can they keep it up?  To do this, let's analyze  why they are here in the first place:

Rookie Brandon Jennings' play

I know you've heard about it.  After tallying up Jennings' 55-point performance his stats for the season average to 25.6 ppg, 5.1 apg, and 4.4 rpg.  Oh yea, and he's shooting 49.6% from the field and 56.7% from the 3-point line.

Numbers don't lie and the Rookie of the Year (oh sorry, he hasn't gotten that yet) is looking more than capable to continue this play.

Andrew Bogut playing like a 1st overall pick

Remember Andrew Bogut?  The guy picked 1st overall in 2005, ahead of Deron Williams and Chris Paul?

His impressive play has been overshadowed his Jennings.  Over the past 5 games, Bogut has manned the middle for the Bucks and averaged 19.4 points and 10.4 rebounds while shooting 62.3% from the field.  Also, throw in 2.6 assists per game and 2 blocks per game.

If Milwaukee keeps winning and Bogut keeps producing, he is making a strong case for 2nd best center in the East behind Dwight Howard.

Defense and a lot of it

1st defensive efficiency in the league.  'Nuff said.

Unfortunately, saying that Milwaukee can keep winning is a stretch.

One reason you can doubt them is the combined record of the 7 teams they have played which is 26-43.

Some other reason are the injury of Michael Redd and their overall lack of talent.

The Bucks' front office made a decision to blow up the team and save as much money as possible.  They didn't expect they could be in the hunt for a playoff spot.  They didn't expect Brandon Jennings to be this good this quick.  But hey, neither did anyone else; not even Brandon himself I'd bet.

Let's see what the Bucks' GM and friends did wrong:

Trade Richard Jefferson for sqaudoosh

So they traded Jefferson for Kurt Thomas, Bruce Bowen, and Fabricio Oberto.  Bowen retired, Oberto was waived, and Thomas warms the bench.

It's sad to see 20-point scoring all-star capable players being traded for nothing (unless you're a Spurs fan).

Jefferson could have given the Bucks' perimeter defense, a reliable wing scorer, and an insurance policy for Redd.

Not re-signing Charlie Villanueva

Yet another cost-cutting move the Bucks made.  Charlie V earned himself some bucks from Detroit after a great season in Milwaukee.  He is currently lighting it up for the Pistons along with Gordon.

Villanueva could have given them yet another talented scorer and a shooter at the 4-spot.

If they hadn't done those moves, they would have a starting line-up of:

PG Brandon Jennings

SG Michael Redd

SF Richard Jefferson

PF Charlie Villanueva

C  Andrew Bogut

That is a lot of offense to boot and the way Scott Skiles has them playing defense right now, you'd be a darn fool not to say they wouldn't have made the playoffs.

But you can't really blame the Bucks' front office.  No one can read the future.