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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2007

    Post JSO:Jennings,Ellis whatever it takes to win!

    Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis sat down for a chat Sunday, before the start of training camp.

    Much is expected of the Milwaukee Bucks starting backcourt tandem, but there are doubters out there, too.

    Way too small, they say of the 6-foot-1 Jennings and 6-3 Ellis.

    They can score, but can they win? How will they defend bigger guards on a nightly basis?

    "Like a little brother-big brother talk," was the way Jennings described the meeting at the apartment building where both of them live.

    "Everybody doesn't want it to work," Jennings said. "Everybody thinks it can't work. But we came to an agreement we'll sacrifice whatever just to win. Now that we have so much length (in the frontcourt rotation), people can't talk about our size and it won't be able to work.

    "We have three 6-10 guys back there waiting to block anybody's shot."

    Jennings and Ellis were the primary targets of reporters during the Bucks' media day Monday at the Cousins Center. How they work together over an 82-game schedule will be critical in determining if the Bucks can restore some glow to a franchise suffering from a two-year playoff absence.

    Ellis arrived from Golden State in the Andrew Bogut deal in mid-March and had just 21 games to adjust to a new team and different system of play. Now he will have a full training camp to gain a greater comfort level.

    "Whatever it takes," Ellis said. "If that means I have to sacrifice, if that means I have to go from averaging 20 points to 15 points. If I need to get my assists up to nine or 10, whatever it takes for this team to win, I'm willing to do it.

    "And I'm going to approach this training camp . . . it's just win. This is not Monta Ellis. This is the Milwaukee Bucks."

    Bucks coach Scott Skiles will be charged with making the talented duo click on the court. He saw positive signs at the end of last season.

    "There was no time to get our foundation down," Skiles said. "It will be nice to have a whole month now, not only to have those guys play together, but just to go through our whole system and really get it down."

    Jennings said one thing he and Ellis discussed was the leadership role they must play.

    "We talked about it (Sunday)," Jennings said. "At the end of the day, the good and the bad is going to fall back on us. It's going to be up to us to set the tone for the team and just leave it out there every night on the floor."

    Both players had good numbers last season, and Jennings made a run at an Eastern Conference all-star berth although he ultimately was not selected.

    Jennings averaged a career-best 19.1 points and 5.5 assists while starting all 66 games in the lockout-shortened season. Ellis averaged 17.6 points and 5.9 assists in 21 games with the Bucks and 20.4 points overall.

    "At 23 years old, you hope he (Jennings) can continue to improve," said Bucks general manager John Hammond.

    " . . . I think he's had a tremendous amount of pressure. You look at what he's been through for this team and what he's had to do for us - as more or less the face of this organization - I think he's handled it tremendously well."

    Hammond said Ellis should be able to take some of the pressure off Jennings.

    "It's great to have a 1-2 scoring punch in the backcourt," Hammond said. "I think Brandon looked around the court and said, 'Hey look, if no one else is going to do it, I'll do it myself.'

    "And I think he's very much assured that he can look over at Monta Ellis and say, 'If I can't do it, he can.' "

    Ellis admitted it was a big change going from a free-wheeling offense to the Bucks system.

    "It was different, me coming from Golden State and coming to the style of Scott Skiles," Ellis said. "But me, I can adjust to any situation.

    "That's all I have to do. As far as being here and playing for Scott Skiles, I love it. Last year he made more adjustments to me so it was an easier transition for me as I got comfortable being here."

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Also Woelfel mentioned with Moute side lined with injury Tobias Harris becomes starting sf.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2007

    Bucks working to improve 3 point shooting.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Ever since Scott Skiles became the Milwaukee Bucks head coach, he has insisted that he’s wanted his team to push the ball as often as it could.

    In those four-plus seasons, though, the Bucks seldom looked to get into the open court. Instead, they were primarily a half-court, run-the-shot-clock down type of team. In other words, hardly a fun team to watch from a fan’s perspective.

    The Bucks actually haven’t deployed a frenetic, up-tempo offense since Terry Stotts was at the helm during the 2005-2006 season. That’s when the Bucks constantly ran. During that season, in back-to-back games, the Bucks had games of 125 and 132 points.

    For comparison purposes, the most points the Bucks scored in a game last season were 119 against New York. The most points Skiles’ team scored during the 2010-2011 season were 116 – in overtime – against Toronto.

    The Bucks may never be an offensive juggernaut under Skiles whose coaching philosophy is grounded in defense. But there are signs that Skiles may be loosening the reins, or the players themselves have taken matters into their own hands. In either instance, the Bucks’ offense has suddenly become rather explosive.

    In their 105-96 victory over Philadelphia Monday in Philly, the Bucks busted out of the gates with a 34-point first quarter. They had 62 points at halftime.

    In their 99-84 triumph over Indiana Wednesday night, the Bucks put on their track shoes again and repeatedly beat the slow-footed Pacers’ big men — mainly Roy Hibbert and David West — down the floor.

    The Bucks rang up 82 after three periods against the Pacers and were well on their way to another high-octane offensive showing until Skiles called off the dogs after his team had a commanding lead.

    For Monta Ellis, who had played in a run-and-gun system in Golden State before being dealt to Milwaukee last March, the Bucks’ new-and-improved offense is precisely what the Bucks need to do on a regular basis if they are to halt their two-year playoff hiatus.

    “We talked about doing this when I came here last season, but we never really did it,” Ellis said. “The last two games we’ve been doing it. And we should.

    “We have two of the best at doing this (he and fellow guard Brandon Jennings). When we get out there (in the open court), we’re not easy to guard.”

    With Ellis and Jennings leading the charge, the Bucks are averaging 98.7 points through the first seven games. It’s the 10th-best scoring average among the NBA’s 30 teams. It’s also a vast improvement over last season’s ineffective and rather boring offense, which averaged a meager 91.9 points a game.

    Challenging time

    These are not the best of times for Ersan Ilyasova.

    After signing a lucrative five-year contract over the summer that could pay him $40 million, Ilyasova is struggling mightily. He is averaging a mere 6.4 points and 5.3 rebounds a game compared to 13 points and 8.8 last season.

    Worse, Ilyasova is shooting a dismal 28 percent from the field, 28 percent from 3-point range and a horrific 43 percent from the free throw line. Last the season, he shot 49 percent from the field, 46 percent from beyond arc and 78 percent from the line.

    Ilyasova, who worked diligently during the offseason to get bigger and stronger, admitted he has felt the pressure of living up to his big contract.

    “I have had trouble sleeping lately,” Ilyasova said. “I just got to keep working and find my rhythm.”

    Quick hits

    * Luc Mbah a Moute, who has yet to suit up this season after having knee surgery during the offseason, said there is a possibility he may begin practicing next week. Mbah a Moute is easily the Bucks’ best defender.

    * The Bucks’ 5-2 start is their best since the 2009-2010 season when they advanced to the playoffs.

    * There has been some chatter among NBA folks that Shabazz Muhammad, the gifted forward who has yet to be declared eligible to play at UCLA, could wind up playing overseas, ala Brandon Jennings.

    * Cleveland power forward Tristan Thompson told me that fellow Canadian prep sensation Andrew Wiggins could be the second coming of Scottie Pippen. Thompson said he didn’t know where Wiggins would attend college, although the scuttlebutt has him headed to Kentucky.

    * Bill Sattler, a self-described “die-hard Bucks fan,” is doing his best to make sure Jennings and Ellis are not only the Bucks’ backcourt of the present but of the future.

    Sattler has created a Facebook page called “Stay Brandon and Monta” Sattler said the page was designed to gather support to keep the Bucks’ dynamic backcourt from leaving the team as free agents. Ellis has an opt-out clause in his contract after this season and Jennings will become a restricted free agent this summer.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    The Moderne, the first substantial residential tower west of the Milwaukee River, is now accepting its first tenants, and has landed Milwaukee Bucks guard Brandon Jennings. The 30-story high rise has a rather archaic address of 1141 N. Old World 3rd Street, but The Moderne is just a hop, skip and a jump-shot away from the BMO Harris Bradley Center, where the Bucks play, with Jennings (#3) as the starting point guard.

    Jennings has leased an apartment on the 25th floor, one of 203 apartments in The Moderne, which also features 14 condos on floors 28-30. His new digs (bye-bye Marine Terminal Lofts) give him access to concierge and maid service (“upon request”), a carwash, a “state-of-the-art” clubroom, a soon-to-be restaurant with room service and a fitness center to keep the 6’-1” 169 lb Jennings in shape.

    The 3 bedroom 2.5 bath apartment has 2,990 square feet and sets Jennings back $4,500 per month, which means his annual rent is less than 2 percent of his $3,179,493 salary. So, it’s really a bargain, you see. Just living within his means!

    Jennings is registered to vote at the address, and cast an absentee ballot in the presidential election. Jennings, an avid tweeter, encouraged his followers to do the same.

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