Yi meets Miss Teen Colorado. Garrett Ellwood/NBAE/Getty
- The Nuggets downed the Bucks 114-102 Tuesday night in Denver, evening their record at 3-3. It was a foul fest with the two teams combining for a whopping 88 free throws. The Bucks trailed most of the game, coming within a bucket of the lead in the final quarter before the immortal Chucky Atkins put the Nuggets over the top. Iverson had 21 to lead Denver. Read the JS recap here. Key facts:
- Charlie Villanueva was the biggest bright spot, filling up the stat sheet with 21 points (9/16 fg), 11 rebounds and 5 assists. He was aggressive going to the hoop all night, which was great to see given his recent tendency to float around the perimeter. If CV wants to step up and seize the starting PF spot that's just fine with me.
- Andrew Bogut left the game in the third with what appeared to be a leg injury, but was later revealed to be a left wrist sprain (x-rays negative). Hopefully it's not a serious sprain, because I sprained both wrists when I was in high school and it's not pleasant. Then again, Bogut is probably tougher than a 15-year old me.
- Redd also had a nice all around game, scoring 19 points along with 7 assists and 6 boards. Yes, you read that correctly, 7 assists.
- Yi was wasteful with 5 turnovers but continued to shoot well from the perimeter. He finished with 12 points on 4/6 fg (1/1 from distance) and 3 rebounds in 24 minutes.
- Mo got tossed after disagreeing with a foul call in the third quarter; Mason and LK got techs as well in the sequence.
- Bobby Simmons evidently wasn't interested in playing, picking up 5 fouls in only 8 minutes. He made 1/2 threes.
- Gadzuric missed the game with a strained knee.
- Truman Reed writes that Yi Jianlian is ready for the spotlight. While you would expect the stuff on Bucks.com to always have a positive spin, I always like Reed's stuff because it's a) long and b) full of quotes. Keep it up, Truman.
"An average NBA game in the United States is viewed by 10 million people," Harris said. "One Friday night Houston Rockets game (with China native Yao Ming on center stage) is viewed by 187 million people in China. Yi comes from the capital city in China that has 15 million people and a province of 74 million people.
"I've talked to Charlie Villanueva, who's from New York City. They have eight million people there. Yi's city doubles that, plus his province has 74 million people. I don't think people here can really comprehend that."
- Tom Enlund writes that the coaches will likely pick the team captain(s) this weekend. Last year the captains were Redd, Mo and Bogut, with Mason being the only new guy who might be in the captain discussion. It seems like keeping the same captains would be the safe and obvious choice, though I could also see them picking Redd as the sole captain. Those are the two most politically obvious options, so we'll see if the coaches try to send a message or not.
- NBA.com has an interview with Bogut about his journey to the NBA.
- Brandon Haraway has a pretty solid preview of the 07/08 Bucks.
The Bucks should have learned that they can compete in the East after so many straight dismal seasons. They have a true star in Michael Redd, a top pick center in Andrew Bogut, a better than average point guard in Mo Williams, and talent at the forwards positions in the form of Charlie Villnueva, Yi Jianlian, and Bobby Simmons. They have the personnel to do big things in the East, and they should know this, as the majority of this squad went through the good and bad last year. People forget this team was probably playoff-bound last year before Redd went down, and they played all year long without Simmons.