What a great trade for the Bucks is what I thought when New Jersey severed ties with Richard Jefferson in favor of the man they call Yi.
From then on I have proclaimed to any and all how much better the Bucks are. But somewhere, I lost confidence in the Bucks. Perhaps when they traded Mo essentially for Luuuuuu-ke.
But even though the Bucks were pounded in their opener at Chicago, 108-95, the lineup they trotted out of the tunnels of the United Center reminded me of why I was so high on this roster. Michael Redd, Richard Jefferson, Charlie Villanueva and Andrew Bogut create a lot of matchup problems. (Imagine if they kept Mo.)
Lately I’ve thought the Bucks were a guaranteed opening night victory for the inaugural Thunder. But watching their game Tuesday night (and, yes, I watched most of it all because of Derrick Rose) brought to mind the matchups the Thunder must deal with Wednesday.
Redd alone would make it a difficult defensive test for any team. And the Thunder’s defense wasn’t exactly impenetrable last season. The Bucks scored 97 points per game a year ago and upgraded in the offseason with the additions of R.J. and rook Joe Alexander.
The Thunder must find a way to limit the perimeter threats in Jefferson and Redd while also containing an inside-outside duo of Bogut and Charlie V. It’s a good first look at how the Thunder’s frontline will manage this year.
Remember, defense is what the entire focus was throughout training camp and the preseason and is a cornerstone this franchise wants to establish.
(You know they’re going to use the title of this post in marketing packages, turning money into some conjured currency that can be used only inside the Ford Center.