BUCKS-CELTICS, underway in about 40 minutes here. Always good to see Ray Allen. Seems like a good time to rename the old “From the Land of Reggie” file “From the Land of Ray and Reggie.” It probably won’t happen this year but Ray will eventually retire having made more 3-pointers than any player in NBA history, taking the mantle from Reggie Miller on his way to the Hall of Fame.
… Looking for a Bogut bounceback against Celtics center Kendrick Perkins tonight.
IVERSON’S RETURN: Adrian Wojnarowski at Yahoo works up an interesting flood of empathy for Iverson’s return in Philly while simultaneously raining on NBA commish David Stern. There’s that old connection that NBA observers, Bucks fans prominent among them, find between ex-con referee Tim Donaghy and Iverson, and Adrian gets into that a little bit too. Donaghy was interviewed on “60 Minutes” Sunday, still denies he ever titled TILTED the outcome of any game, much less the 2001 Bucks-Sixers series in question.
However, Wojnarowski does make reference to Donaghy’s betting on Philly games. And while he doesn’t specifically mention the 2001 playoffs, we know what he’s talking about. AW on AI is a must-read for Bucks fans.
MEET the Toronto RAPTORS, this year’s victim of NBA scheduling brutality. Last season, remember well, it was the Bucks and Celtics in the East. Chris Bosh, Hedo Turgkolu and gang have played more games than any team in the conference (22) and their Wednesday visit to the BC will be their 14th road game and 24th game overall. Like the Bucks, the Raptors on Wednesday will be on the second night of a back-to-back; it’s Toronto’s 5th back-to-back of the season. Ugly, just an ugly schedule for Toronto.
In other words, don’t be misled by the Raptors’ 9-13 record (as of Tuesday). Like the Bulls and Pistons and Sixers and Hornets, the Raptors are the Bucks peer competition in the middle rungs of the Eastern Conference ladder. (Gotta start coming up with better metaphors and similies around here.)
CHECKing in with AMIR Johnson: The 22-year-old big man, that “very special player” traded to the Raptors for Carlos Delfino and the resulting three-point brick-bombs (and bigger payroll), is a key reserve in the Raptors rotation. Amir’s had some strong outings so far but it’s a bit up and down depending on playing time and matchups. Five boards in 17-18 mins is fairly solid.
Looking at how Carlos Delfino, Kurt Thomas and Roko Ukic have played so far for the Bucks, I still don’t like the Amir trade very much. The Bucks took on more payroll with Delfino and Ukic, and keeping Amir would have allowed GM John Hammond to buy Thomas’ contract out & let him find employment with a contender. There would not have been enough PT for all the Bucks bigs with Amir and Thomas around. And why do the Bucks need a veteran big man like Thomas on our bench? Isn’t it about time for Bogut to begin providing that veteran leadership presence Skiles and Hammond like so much in the Kurt Thomas’ and Malik Allens of the NBA?
No, this isn’t really about Ramon Sessions anymore. Even if it was decided to let Sessions go elsewhere instead of keeping him around to watch the rise of Brandon Jennings, what’s the justification of spending precious salary cap dollars on Delfino, Thomas and Ukic? I’m still not seeing it Mr. Hammond.