“More cast, Dr. Benway?”
“More Bruno, more!”
“Waving, not by choice,” Bogut tweeted this afternoon, posting this photo of his mummified right arm.
The Bucks said Monday that the surgery on Bogut’s broken right hand was a success, and that he should be “fully recovered” for rehab in about six weeks.
In other Twitter news: Brandon Jennings says if he wins Rookie of the Year, he’s going to buy all of his teammates an i-pad “cause they played a big part of it. (true story)” … “Is it fair to say Coach Skiles should be coach of the year!” Jennings said earlier.
In their first game without Bogut, the Bucks clinched a playoff spot with a scrappy 79-74 victory Tuesday against a Bulls team that desperately needed the win to keep their playoff hopes alive. Jennings’ didn’t shoot well, but his defense in the final six minutes against Derrick Rose slowed the Bulls down after a 15-3 run had put Chicago up two, 65-63. John Salmons led the Bucks against his former team with 26, Ersan Ilyasova added 17 while 14 rebs from Kurt Thomas kept the Bulls off the glass.
If the Bucks and Jennings had a chip on their shoulders about being written off preseason, they’ve got a new one now. They’re being written off again. Steve Aschburner at NBA.com, writes them off if the beer’s half empty, says the Bucks have the opposition right where they want them if the beer’s half full.
Of course the beer’s only half empty if somebody else drank it. The Bucks on the merits of their defense alone and a couple of games at home will make the road-troubled Hawks sweat a Round 1 series out, if the Celtics don’t botch the playoff jockeying and actually beat the Hawks out for 3rd (the Bucks are likely to be 6th).
Here’s what Skiles told Aschburner about playing without Bogut, and Thomas, who’ll take on a good portion of Bogut’s minutes at center:
“I can’t all of a sudden expect Kurt to become a 38 minute player. Having said that, though, it all depends on what Kurt does out there. He’s been a very reliable player and medium-range shooter for us and, while not quite the same as Bogues in protecting the basket, he does provide basket protection. He’ll take a charge or block an occasional shot. We’re talking about a guy who has been through all this before. He’s not the type of guy who’s going to be hanging his head like `Oh no, now I’ve got to go out and perform.’ “
Truth is, however, Thomas is 38-years-old, as immobile as he is rugged and prone to foul trouble. So Plan B has to be ready to go for half the game. The Bucks will play their usual ball-pressure defense, shoot a lot of threes and try to get out in the open court.
“It’s pretty simple, really,” Skiles said. “We’ll struggle to get to the foul line. We’ll make our share of threes. Probably try to keep our opponents to the upper 80s, low 90s. Play small some and see if we can get out and run people and open it up a bit.”
I wish Skiles had mentioned the edge that Ersan Ilyasova‘s shooting and uncanny Bobby Jones-like ability to be in the right place at the right time gives the Bucks off the bench, but maybe it’s better he didn’t. The opposition will figure that out soon enough. Hopefully their fans will end up hating Ersan as much as Bucks fans used to hate the Sixers and Jones.