Bucks back to losing ways
(Sports Network) – The injury-plagued Bucks are currently playing more like
the way Milwaukee’s Best tastes after a season-high six straight losses.
The bitter-tasting alcoholic beverage almost causes the same reaction when
watching a Bucks game. Despite coming close to halting the Suns’ lengthy
winning streak, the Bucks would have to be tipsy to think they can beat
mighty Phoenix even with a healthy roster.
Milwaukee is without its starting backcourt of Michael Redd (knee) and Maurice
Williams (shoulder). Redd has missed the last 10 games after going down on the
game’s final play against Cleveland on January 5. He was originally expected
to miss four to six weeks, but is optimistic for a faster return.
Redd is averaging 27.7 points, 3.8 rebounds and 2.2 assists this season.
Williams, meanwhile, has missed the last eight games because of a left
shoulder injury suffered against Denver on January 8. Williams is averaging
17.3 points, 6.2 assists and 5.3 rebounds this season and is expected to
return Sunday against the New York Knicks at the Bradley Center.
While Redd and Williams have been sidelined, point guard Charlie Bell and Earl
Boykins have stepped up their game. Over the last four games, Boykins is
averaging 24.0 points per game, while Bell is posting 21.5. They are also a
combined 35-for-37 from the free throw line and 17-for-26 on three-pointers.
Boykins dropped in a career-high 36 points in a loss to Sacramento last week,
the best effort by a player in NBA history at 5-7 or less.
Bucks forward Charlie Villanueva was back in action Friday night against the
Suns after missing the previous 11 games with right shoulder tendinitis. He
turned in 10 points and 10 rebounds in 30 minutes off the bench. According to
head coach Terry Stotts, Villanueva’s minutes will be monitored closely.
Milwaukee hasn’t been mired in such a losing streak since dropping eight
straight during the 2004-05 season. The Bucks are also 0-4 at home in January
after winning all seven games at the Bradley Center in December.
Since a season-high six-game winning streak from December 16 – 27 this season,
the Bucks have lost 12 of their last 14 games. They will host New York on
Sunday before opening a three-game road trip at Miami, Orlando and Detroit.