Milwaukee just missed out on the playoffs for the second straight season and now with veteran guard Brandon Jennings and high-scoring guard Monta Ellis in tow, the Bucks should be an explosive team this year -- but have they put enough talent around their superb back court to get back to the post-season?
Jennings, the crafty left-hander, exploded onto the scene as a rookie three years ago and helped the Bucks get to the playoffs in 2009-10. Jennings averaged 19 points and 5 assists last season asMilwaukeefinished with adisappointing31-35 record. Even after Ellis came over from Golden State in a mid-season trade, the Bucks finished in the 9th spot in the eastern conference and headed to the draft lottery.
Milwaukee won't have a problem putting the ball in the basket as they were the 5th highest scoring team in the NBA last season. Ellis averaged 20 points and 6 assists and should increase his output now in his first full season with the Bucks.
Milwaukeeadded defense with its first-round draft pick of North Carolina's John Henson with the 14th overall selection. Henson was the ACC's defensive player of the year, averaging 3 blocks to go along with 14 points and 10 rebounds a game. Henson might turn out to be a steal since many experts had the 6'-10" power forward going in the top 10. Henson should immediately help the Bucks interior defense, which already has long shot blockers in Larry Sanders andEkpe Udoh.
Milwaukee also took Kentucky guard Doron Lamb with the the 42nd overall selection in the draft. Lamb could provide nice depth in the backcourt along with veteran guard Beno Udrih.
The Bucks big free-agency move was retaining 6'-10" forward Ersan Ilyasova who had a breakout season last year for Milwaukee, averaging 13 points and 9 rebounds in 41 starts.The 25-year old Ilyasova got a 5-year deal for 45 million. Milwaukeeobviouslybelieves there is a lot more to come from the Turkey native as he enters his fifth NBA season.
Ilyasova joins a crowded front court with center Samuel Dalembert, forward Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, forward Mike Dunleavy and forward Drew Gooden.
Milwaukee will depend heavily on Jennings and Ellis this upcoming season, which likely will be a make-or-break one for coach Scott Skiles who enters the final year of his contract. The Bucks are too talented not to make the playoffs. If they don't, heads will probably roll.