With a successful draft under their belt and a trade to bring in Samuel Dalembert, the Milwaukee Bucks continue to raise the expectations heading into the 2012-13 season.
In a quiet fashion, they have assembled a team of headliners that should make a competitive run in the East. The pieces are in place, and everyone is looking at the headliner backcourt of Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis to lead an explosive offense and a revamped front line.
However, the biggest surprise for Milwaukee won't be one of the new additions but a player that's been there all along.
Forward Luc Richard Mbah a Moute will play a more imperative role on this Bucks team than most people think.
The 6'8" Mbah a Moute is entering his fifth year with the Bucks and is flying under the radar after a flurry of activity in Milwaukee personnel changes. Last season, he came off of a career-high 7.7 PPG and grabbed 5.3 RPG, with the majority of his minutes coming off the bench. Mbah a Moute also provides a much-needed solid defensive presence on a heavy offensive-laden team.
Suddenly, Milwaukee has a lot of depth in their front line, and this will allow Mbah a Moute to continue to be a bench player who's more effective with his minutes. This is in contrast to earlier in his career, where he was forced to start before he was ready to be contribute consistently on an everyday basis at the NBA level.
However, with those early years, he also started every game of the playoffs in the memorable series with the Atlanta Hawks in 2010. He will be able to bring some experience to a young front line and provide some leadership, albeit off the bench.
Milwaukee is going to have their fair share of highlight moments, and they have a lot of great new faces to provide them.
But don't sleep on Luc Richard Mbah a Moute. He could be a the surprising rock that holds this whole team together.