Wednesday , Feb , 28 , 2007 C.Y. Ellis

Buck-ing the trend

(Sports Network) – The Milwaukee Bucks finally put the brakes on a season-long
losing streak and have a healthy dose of home games on the horizon.

The Bucks were mired in a seven-game skid and the return of star guard
Michael Redd wasn’t enough. Redd missed 20 games with a left patellar tendon
strain and the team suffered without him, compiling a lowly 3-17 mark.

Redd returned in a loss to the division-rival Detroit Pistons on February 20
and recorded 17 points in 29:39 of action. Milwaukee’s captain didn’t have an
immediate impact on the squad with three straight losses, but the Bucks have
won two straight since. Redd has averaged 24.8 points in those five games.

Despite a 5-22 record since the turn of the new year, Milwaukee is in the
midst of playing 10 of 12 games at the Bradley Center where it owns a 13-12
record this season. It would be a crazy pipe dream to think the Bucks have a
chance to reach the playoffs this season, but playing at home is the best
cure for Milwaukee to start righting the ship out of the Central Division
basement.

After a home win versus Philadelphia on Saturday and Tuesday’s victory over
Golden State at the Bradley Center, the Bucks will now visit Toronto, head
back home to host Chicago, then take a trip to Orlando before starting a
seven-game homestand versus the Lakers, Cavaliers, Raptors, Spurs, Bobcats,
Clippers and Pistons.

Friday’s game against the Raptors in Canada is huge for Milwaukee, which has
lost 11 in a row as the visitor. That’s the worst streak since the Bucks
dropped 14 straight as the guest during the 2004-05 season.

Besides needing Redd to play at a high level, Bucks guard Mo Williams has been
ripping up the court lately. Williams entered Tuesday’s game averaging 26.0
points, 6.0 rebounds, 7.0 assists and 1.7 steals over the previous three
contests. Williams then notched 16 points and a season-high 13 assists in
the recent win over the Warriors.

Fellow guard Charlie Bell has scored in double-digits in 19 straight games
after registering 20 points in Tuesday’s win over Golden State. Bell has
reached the 20-point mark eight times over that span.

On the injury front, guard Earl Boykins missed his third straight game with
a right thumb sprain. Surgery could be in the plans for Boykins, who is
expected to get another medical opinion on the thumb.

MIL