Friday, September 21, 2007

Saturday Notes

  • Charles Gardner scraped together some more quotes from Larry Harris on the Bell situation. LH really wants us to believe the Bucks will be better defensively, though in fairness it'd be hard for the Bucks to be worse defensively than they were in 06/07. It sounds as though the Bucks are placing a high (and perhaps misplaced) value on Desmond Mason's defensive abilities, given the team otherwise really didn't do much to improve its defense. Either that or they think Larry Krystkowiak can simply get them to play much harder than previously.
    "He got an offer sheet, and we matched it," Harris said at a news conference at the Cousins Center. "That's the way restricted free agency works.

    "We never devalued what he did as a player. Never equate what we thought his production was by the amount of money we offered him. It's just the way the business is done today.

    "There was another team that said, 'Hey, he's valuable to us.' We always felt we were going to match (an offer). You get into a war of words, and that's not uncommon. It's something we can move forward from."

    "We have a lot of versatility," Harris said. "We can score, but now we have some defensive components that we didn't have last year

    I know there's a little skepticism, 'We've heard the story about defense the last three or four years, and are we going to see it?' I truly do believe it; it's not lip service."

  • Gardner also reports Yi is scheduled to arrive in Milwaukee October 4th. However, Larry Harris is hoping it might be possible for him to skip the Chinese national team's end of September games in order to arrive in Milwaukee in time for the opening of training camp October 2nd.
  • Yi had a quiet, foul-plagued night in the Chinese national team's 93-92 exhibition loss to the Australian Brisbane Bullets yesterday. He scored just 9 points along with three rebounds and two blocks in 24 minutes. Yao Ming had 28 to lead China.
  • Marc Stein ranks the Bucks' offseason as the fourth-best in the East.

    Yet you can understand why the Bucks feel victorious no matter what skeptics say. For awhile there, it looked as though they were going to get neither of their top two offseason targets, with Williams threatening to bolt for Miami because the Bucks' initial offer wasn't close to where it ended up ... and with Yi seemingly determined to hold out well into the season in an attempt to force Milwaukee to trade him.

    To have secured both signatures by Sept. 1? A dream double for Milwaukee.

    I think it's been a solid offseason: we re-signed our own key guys, got the best player available at six in the draft, but mostly tread water in free agency, opting to let Patterson, Skinner and Ilyasova go while replacing them with Mason and Voskuhl. Not that I was expecting the Bucks to throw a ton of money at one of the big free agent names, but they could have. Still the biggest plus of the offseason has been the encouraging injury news on Charlie Villanueva and Bobby Simmons, which didn't require any effort from the front office. Alex at Boeder Bucks weighs in as well.

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