Bucks Made Out Like Bandits

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS – The Charlotte Bobcats received plenty of praise for their Draft night haul, which included picking up two fresh faces in raw big man Bismack Biyambo and playmaking former UConn star Kemba Walker.

What the Bobcats gave up, however, was the real prize — at least for the Milwaukee Bucks.

And if you need proof, drop into Bucks training camp and ask Andrew Bogut and Brandon Jennings how happy they are to see Stephen Jackson, Shaun Livingston and Beno Udrih.

Jackson’s a volatile sort, but check with his teammates at every stop and they’ll swear by him. Livingston, one of HT’s all-time favorite Draft prospects when he entered the league as teen phenom and 6-foot-8 playmaker in the mold of Penny Hardaway, proved last season with the Bobcats that he is still a factor even after that catastrophic knee injury he suffered as a Los Angeles Clipper during his third season. And Udrih provides the sort of quality depth at point guard that Luke Ridnour did two years ago, when the Bucks were one of the surprises of the league with the then-rookie Jennings as their starter.

As promising as the notion of exciting draft prospects might be to some, attaining proven veterans with something to prove is what helps a team go from a 35-win outfit that spends the playoffs window shopping back to an eager and able postseason participant.

It’s hard to do anything but enjoy Jackson, who described his colorful journey through the league in the way only he could when introduced publicly in Milwaukee Wednesday:

“I’ve never been in any trouble in my life until I got to the NBA,” Jackson told Charles F. Gardner of the Journal Sentinel. “I’m an assassin on the court, but at home I’m a nun. I can see why people would see me in the wrong light.”

Bucks general manager John Hammond and coach Scott Skiles know exactly what they are getting in Jackson, Livingston and Udrih.

So does Jennings:

“I feel like we got a piece in here that can control the locker room, a vet that is well-respected and wants to win,” Jennings said. “And he won an NBA championship before (with San Antonio).

“And a guy I know personally before I even started hooping in the NBA. It’s just going to be great for us. He’s going to bring a lot of scoring here, something we missed last year.

“And I think you’re just going to see a different Bucks team, overall. Just our attitude is going to be different and our passion.”

Scoring should no longer be a problem with Jackson joining Jennings in the backcourt and Livingston giving Skiles all sorts of lineup  options, since he can play three positions and immediately becomes the Bucks’ best passer.

Bogut won’t have to worry about toting the leadership mantle by his lonesome anymore either, not with Jackson around. He tried to wear that hat for the Bobcats last season, but they opted to go younger on draft night, a move that both sides agreed would not work for the future:

“Deep down inside, they didn’t want me there on a rebuilding team,” Jackson said. “And I didn’t really want to be a part of that.

“I think this was inevitable. Winning now is important to me, and this is a great place to win now. I know what it takes to get to the playoffs, and I think definitely we’ll be there come the end of the season.”

Skiles spoke about Jackson’s competitive edge and what it could mean to the Bucks.

“The season is so long and all the players want to win,” Skiles said. “But the really highly competitive guys can make a difference and get you through the season.

“And Stephen has always been that.”

We predicted big things for the Bucks this time a year ago, when they were coming off of a solid draft night after a seven-game first-round playoff series against the Hawks, only to see them buckle under the pressure of expectations (internal and external). We had them challenging the Chicago Bulls for supremacy in the Central Division, a prediction that proved to be only half true.

Call us crazy, but we’re going to try it again … given these new additions.

31 Comments

  1. This is a great blog post .. Jackson is a beast I wish the nets had him!! allen roth lighting

  2. QuestionMark says:

    They should get Redd back and sign David West, good line up then.

    PG Jennings
    SG Redd
    SF Jax
    PF West
    C Bogut

    Playoff team right there.

  3. enbea says:

    Why would JJ Barea join the Lakers when Bynum almost took him out of the playoffs? Unless they can trade him for Howard, I wouldnt see that happening. As for every Lakers fan excuse for why they lost about their lack of depth, just face the fact that your team is aging and you need a new young star to give Kobe a break. As for the Bucks, I can see them surprising some teams if key players are able to stay relatively healthy, which isn’t guaranteed. I’d like to see OKC get a decent big guy for a offense post presence. Ibaka is good, but he is still developing while Perkins is basically a walking pick lol

  4. Fags be quiet says:

    oh and @LATILLIDIE it was josh powell… not josh smith or joe… lool get it right bro

  5. Fags be quiet says:

    listen, real stuff here….

    first of all, the miami fans you can’t criticize the lakers for wanting a big 5? obviously their the team foundation of this league. I think its safe to say miami will never win a championship as long as le-choke stays in this team. Sure hes put up great stats every season but when playoff time hits, hes the choke master.

    Second, this year its gonna come down between the knicks, lakers, boston, and probably chicago. Miami will get in again but they will fall in the conference semis i guarantee

    Last, I can’t believe Ryan Dunn died!!!!!!!!! ;(

  6. Jersey thing says:

    The Bobcats really need to change their jerseys !!! ugly as hell !

  7. jj says:

    i think the bucks just need to pick up another big man like kris humphries or deandre jordan to help them in case of injuries so they dont have to play bogut as much. also, they should resign luc mbah moute

  8. Rolexander of Tondo says:

    I agree with you ?.. Laker fans have so much praises for kobe for not booting out of the laker team years ago.. but see, even kobe cant win a championship and got swept by the eventual champions even with the kind of crew he has.. they are even asking for CP3 and Dwight cause they know they cant win anymore with Dallas Heat Bulls and even OKC.. haha! And still a lot of people hate lebron for leaving cavs where its a one man show.. Kobe should retire while he still has that stature of an all-star player..

    • NJ Netsfan says:

      well said :)

    • LATILLIDIE (lakers2011-3peat) says:

      the kind of crew we have? Our bench is trash, it kind of always has been outside of Odom and Brown, but with good play from the startes it is covered up. But this year Barnes didnt do his duty and neither Blake…then we have Theo Ratliff and Joe Smith sitting there never seeing any minutes. COmpared to Dallas, OKC, Bulls, and even the Celtics are bench is NOTHIING…

      If we solidify the bench, and try to get a young pg, like jj barea (who may not get resigned by mavs, u never know) then I think we will be back in the title race for sure

  9. BOOM BOOM says:

    good pick up bucks. jackson is a beast. i wish we had him back with the spurs!

  10. kaare says:

    …and you are crazy. Jax is a disgruntled vet, Shaun has a worse injury record then Greg Oden, Bogut is not far behind (injury-wise) and Jennings is erratic at best (play). they won´t make the playoffs.
    Ps: Don´t fear the deer

  11. EEE says:

    You mean Joe Smith, not Josh Smith. And enough, You Lakers fans need to calm down.

  12. Stan says:

    The Buck would have been a playoff team last year if they were a healthy team. Props to the blazers for winning through injuries.

    The Bucks will be a playoff team next year and will be no lower than a 6 seed and no higher than a 3 seed. They brought guys that can score (which was there issue), but at the same time these guys can defend. This means there defense will still be top 5, and there offense will shoot up significantly. The depth they have now is really good. I see alot of forgotten players on this team resurecting there legacy.

  13. Zar The Knicks Fan says:

    I like Livingston, i thought he’s gonna be a pretty good guard till he hit the Clippers curse (not hating on clippers) i wish him well with the bucks. i think bucks will let go of Redd since they got jax, jennings and livingston.
    i wonder if miami will pick michael redd for their second unit….

  14. LATILLIDIE (lakers2011-3peat) says:

    we need jackson on the lakers, a good solid veteran man…..not like those old fools we had josh smith and theo ratliff

    • QuestionMark says:

      First Melo, Dwight, CP3 and now Jax?? Why not ask MJ to join the Lakers.

      • @ says:

        He probably would if he wasnt retired. Why do people like you hate on the idea of Melo, Dwight, or CP3 coming to the Lakers.It was or is possible for any of those three to end up with the Lakers.

      • TRIBINSKI says:

        BUCKS WIN!

      • Heat says:

        Well said

      • dj3 says:

        i know right. stupid laker fans. and they criticize miami for getting a big three. yet they want a big five.

      • LATILLIDIE (lakers2011-3peat) says:

        dj3 first F you, because I never wanted Melo….dont really care about getting Howard….CP3 i already know he wants to go go NYC so no need to dream. The Lakers have issues with their bench and the pg position…I just want those problems fixed, I dont endorse everyone joining up and creating superteams like your first year fail in Miami

    • RRC II says:

      Its Joe Smith not Josh Smith… Just thought id clear that up

    • UFC iTard says:

      Josh Smith plays for the Hawks genius.

      • LATILLIDIE (lakers2011-3peat) says:

        And i think I know Josh Smith plays for the HAwks, but Joe and Josh, to similar names….you knew I was talking about that old 15 year has been that didnt play a minute for the Lakers all season, so why try to get a quick laugh on a blog? Just as stupid as your display name….

  15. bobcha says:

    stephen jackson is one of the best triple jumpers i bobcats because they have not missed like Livingston is a good guard play of bobcats i have reached a fairly regular team i low level for both bobcadianos.

  16. bobcha says:

    shaun is a best player in the market this of bobcats