- Forget Yi Jianlian for a moment, because Bobby Simmons is probably the player I have the most questions about right now. His ability to recover from foot injuries will go a long way to telling us how good the 07/08 Bucks can be, but after day one it looks like we can be at least somewhat optimistic. And damn, Simmons was a big boy last year:
"Of course it was going to come," the 6-foot-6 Simmons said of his return. "I worked too hard for it not to come.
"Right now I look totally different than last season. I worked my butt off this summer."
Bucks strength and conditioning coach Tim Wilson, who worked diligently with Simmons during the off-season, said the former DePaul star has lost 26 pounds and is at about 240 pounds to open camp.
"It was a matter of getting down to a size where I felt comfortable playing, so there wouldn't be a lot of pressure as far as the injury itself," Simmons said.
- Tom Enlund writes Larry Krystkowiak will be running things a little differently this year.
Krystkowiak conducted two practices Tuesday with the morning workout - the one that was open to reporters - lasting 2 ½ hours. During that practice, the Bucks went through some high-energy five-on-five and four-on-four drills with an over-riding emphasis on defense and rebounding. At one point, Krystkowiak felt obliged to remind his players that they ranked 30th in the league last season in defensive rebounding.
Later, the Bucks worked on some defensive coverages and their secondary fast-break. Near the end, Krystkowiak exposed his players to one of his favorite drills - a pressure free-throw drill that often results in the entire team running wind sprints should a few falter at the foul line.
Krystkowiak intends to open many of his practices to reporters this season and by doing so, is going against the grain in today's NBA. League rules require only that a coach open the final 30 minutes to the media, and most coaches would close practices entirely if they had that option.
"It probably doesn't say much for my intelligence," said Krystkowiak when asked about the open practices. "For me, I think it's maybe trying to establish a different culture where we're not paranoid and we really don't have anything to hide.
"It could backfire if we have some knock-down, drag-out brawl or something. That'll be newsworthy and then we're going to get distracted and have to deal with that. But if you can get your guys to play 5% harder because they're being watched, it's worth it."
- The games haven't started, so Michael Hunt seems cautiously optimistic. And he sees Andrew Bogut is havign some fun:
Still, there was some explaining to do, and not necessarily for last year's fiasco. Andrew Bogut had to say why he told an Australian TV talk show that he plays in America's drunkest and fattest city.
"I was just quoting from JSOnline," Bogut said.
Hey, thanks for the plug; we can use all the international traffic we can get.
That wacky Aussie kids because he cares. "If I didn't like it, I wouldn't have bought a house here," Bogut said.
And about that new buzz cut, mate.
"I want people to think I've gone crazy," he said.
- Alex at Boeder Bucks interviewed David Noel.
- 620 WTMJ has interviews with Larry Krystkowiak and a number of players. Mp3 links:
- Could the Bucks have picked a worse name for their 60-and-over dance team?
- Justin over at RealGM talked with Charlie Bell at Best Buy today