Not gonna lie…. I won’t miss Scott Skiles.
It’s not that he’s a bad coach. I think he’s actually pretty good, and he’s had a fair amount of success in this league. But his distribution of minutes is famously unpredictable, which has destroyed the fantasy value of quite a few players on Skiles’ teams. I’ve been consciously avoiding Milwaukee players – with the notable exceptions of Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis – in fantasy drafts for that very reason. Given the choice between a guy who will play 30 minutes consistently and one who will play 35 one night and then 13-14 for three straight games, I’ll take the guy getting regular run every time.
Inconsistent playing time might also have hurt the development of promising young frontcourt players like Larry Sanders. Sanders (71 percent owned) could get a nice boost under new coach Jim Boylan. He played 31 minutes in Wednesday’s win over Chicago – up from his season average of 24.8 – and has been a force in the paint of late (13 blocks in Boylan’s two games calling the plays). It’ll be nice to plug Sanders into lineups and have confidence that he’ll get starter-type minutes on a much more regular basis.
Of course, rotations can also be too predictable. Brooklyn’s Avery Johnson was known for having carved-in-stone substitution patterns, which may have allowed some of his more-established players to get a little too comfortable. And that level of comfort – and the lackadaisical play that followed – is a big reason why Johnson is no longer employed by the Nets.
Interim coach P.J. Carlesimo has been preaching accountability since taking over the job. Specifically, he’s said that players that aren’t playing up to par on both ends of the floor will get pulled. That probably doesn’t mean we’ll see a big shakeup in the Nets’ rotation, but it’s possible that someone like MarShon Brooks – a promising second-year guard who spent much of this season in Johnson’s doghouse – could re-emerge.
via Waiver Wire: Bad Rotation – RotoWire.com.
Just yesterday, in the context of a Twitter discussion about Dirk Nowitzki, I was idly wondering what Robert “Tractor” Traylor was doing.
@ wonder what Tractor Traylor is up to these days...
Less than 24 hours later, I heard the news. Traylor has been found dead in his Puerto Rico apartment. He has been playing for a professional team on the island this season, appearing in 10 games for the Vaqueros de Bayamon, and was in the process of working his way back from an injury. According to Internet reports, Traylor suffered a massive heart attack.
He was just 34 years old.
Traylor was the 6th overall pick of the Dallas Mavericks in the 1998 NBA Draft, and shipped to Milwaukee in exchange for 9th overall pick Dirk Nowitzki. He played seven seasons in the NBA, most recently for the Cavaliers in 2004-05.
Another slow start doomed the Knicks to their fifth straight loss; Brandon Jennings and the Milwaukee Bucks exploded out of the gate for a 35-point first quarter on their way to a 102-96 win at The Garden on Friday.
Mike D’Antoni gave the Knicks Thursday off, citing team fatigue. But that wasn’t enough to shake the team out of its collective rut. The Knicks nearly overcame the slow start, cutting the Milwaukee lead to one point early in the fourth quarter, but poor execution down the stretch — on both ends of the floor — cut short the comeback.
via Bucks Get the Better of Knicks – Charlie Zegers – MSG.com.
New York’s scoring struggles extended from the fourth quarter of Friday’s game to the first quarter of Sunday’s as the Knicks managed just nine points in the opening 12 minutes of a 100-95 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks.
It was the Knicks’ worst offensive quarter since 1956.
Despite starting the game in a 32-9 hole, the Knicks managed to claw their way back to within three, but couldn’t get over the hump. The Bucks hit seven of eight free throws in the final minute to seal the win.
The Knicks slipped to 35-34 on the season, and 7-8 since the acquisitions of Carmelo Anthony and Chauncey Billups. They’ve also dropped to seventh place in the Eastern Conference playoff race, one-half game behind Philadelphia (36-34). Losing their grip on a playoff spot isn’t a concern – yet, as they still have a four-and-one-half game lead over eighth-place Indiana.
via Slow Start Dooms Knicks in Milwaukee – Charlie Zegers – MSG.com.
The Milwaukee Bucks have been mired in an awful shooting slump for much of this season, but you wouldn’t know it based on last night’s game against the Knicks. Led by Brandon Jennings, the Bucks exploded out of the gate with a 41-point first quarter, building up a huge lead they’d never relinquish. The Knicks made things interesting in the third quarter, when an 8-0 New York run cut the deficit to 14, but Milwaukee responded with a run of their own and cruised to a 107-80 blowout win.
The Bucks entered yesterday’s game last in the NBA in scoring, averaging a mere 89.6 points per game. They topped that number in three quarters last night.
In a performance sure to touch off a number of “what if” conversations today, Brandon Jennings keyed the Bucks’ hot start, scoring 12 of his 19 points during Milwaukee’s 40-point first quarter. The Knicks passed on drafting Jennings with the eighth overall pick in the 2009 NBA Draft, instead opting for forward Jordan Hill. Hill was later traded to Houston in the deal that brought Tracy McGrady to New York.
via Fear the Deer: Knicks Blown Out in Milwaukee – Charlie Zegers – MSG.com.