Bucks (19-21) vs. Miami Heat (20-17), Wednesday @ Bradley Center
Are you smarter than this 5th Grader? I’m probably not, and I’ve never owned a suit like that one. Check out roving reporter Damon Weaver’s q & a with Dwyane Wade:
Did the kid really ask Wade about Obama’s tax policy? I’m impressed. That’s Vice President-elect Joe Biden, btw, in the autographed photo little Tavis Smiley gives to Wade at the end.
D-Wade, the NBA’s leading scorer, makes his only appearance of the season in his college stomping grounds Wednesday in a game the Bucks should be ready to scrap for at home — on Thursday they head to the West Coast for three games in four days. It’s another chance for the Bucks to stop the fall-down, bounce-back, fall-down, bounce-back pogo they’ve been on since being humbled by the Pistons after X-mas. If they don’t break the trend after another bounceback win Monday against the Wiz, the Heat will be a fall-down opponent.
The Heat’s stop in Milwaukee will be game five on a 7-game road trip and the second night of a back-to-back They’re 1-2 on the trip after losing 108-105 to the Lakers Sunday, and play tonight (Tuesday) in Minnesota (don’t feel too bad for them; their schedule’s been tough for only about two weeks). Wade’s doing it all for the Heat and having another All-NBA year: 29 pts, 5.1 rebs, 7.1 assists, 2.3 steals and 1.6 blocks in 38.1 minutes. All-NBA seems like an understatement.
The Bucks are 5-5 on this fall-down, bounce-back stretch they’ve been on since X-mas and fans can only hope that Andrew Bogut‘s bad back is the source of the team’s inconsistency. After missing four games, Bogut returned Saturday, played well off the bench against the T-Wolves and rejoined the starting lineup Monday against the Wiz. The Bucks bounced back with an ugly, gritty 97-91 road win with Michael Redd scoring 29 and Bogut playing strong with 18 pts, 10 rebs and a few timely tapbacks that saved key Bucks possessions.
Patience and good ball movement in the 2nd half were keys for the Bucks, who methodically battled back from an 11-point half time deficit and took control of the game in the final minutes. This didn’t escape notice from Ball Don’t Lie’s Behind the Box Score, though KD gives a bit too much credit to the Wiz for playing lousy. Good, consistent defense by the Bucks was largely responsible for the Wizards woes; they just didn’t like the constant pressure, with the exception of guard Nick Young (30 pts off the Wiz bench). The offensive glasswork by Bogut and Luc Richard Mbah a Moute was a Wizards momentum killer, and a 3-pointer by Redd inside two minutes finished them off. It was great to see a 4th quarter dagger from Redd, whose shooting in the final period has been streaky at best this season.
Is Skiles playing Redd too much? I think so. 42 mins in Minnesota, 44 against the Wiz Monday, and the weardown is all-too visible. The lowlight of the Wizards game came early-mid 4th quarter as Ramon Sessions pushed the ball up the court looking to get a quick-tempo basket with Redd huffing and puffing ahead to Sessions’ sideline left. Ramon apparently figured anybody running the court ahead of him was looking for the ball, but Redd was concentrating more on the huffing and puffing part of the play. Sessions’ pass whacked Redd in the arm and Redd made a nifty play nearly recovering the ball under the basket, but stepped out of bounds. He was tired, no doubt about that. Redd hit the shot of the game in crunchtime, but I’m convinced one of the reasons he doesn’t usually shoot well in the 4th is that he’s often gassed. Skiles should cap Redd’s PT at 35 or 36 minutes.
The absence of Charlie Bell, who sat out the game with more ankle trouble, forced Skiles to play Redd more than normal against the Wiz. But the lineup Skiles went with in the 2nd quarter was awful (Redd, Sessions, Dan Gadzuric, Joe Alexander and Charlie Villanueva). Wizards guard Nick Young lit Redd up as the Wizards erased the Bucks 1st quarter lead and went into halftime up 52-41. Tyronn Lue stayed on the bench for most of it. Sometimes I miss Royal Ivey.
Bell is questionable to play tonight. Everybody else is ready to go, Malik Allen included. If Bell does play this could be the first time since games 1 & 2 in the season that the entire roster is available. Redd sprained his ankle in game 5 vs.Knicks but Luke Ridnour missed games 3 & 4 with a bad back.