Pressure Growing For Jennings, Bucks

HANG TIME, TEXAS – Coming off their impressive run to the NBA championship, LeBron James and his Heat teammates are undoubtedly in the firing line with every team from Oklahoma City to New Jersey to a pair of them in Los Angeles taking aim at that title.

The Lakers, reloaded and rejuvenated with the additions of Steve Nash and Dwight Howard, are back in their familiar place in the spotlight.

The Knicks, as usual, are in the glare of the media capital and once more under the unrealistic and misguided notion that they can turn the clock back to 1973.

But as we tiptoe through the calendar toward the opening of training camps, there might not be a team sitting collectively in the heat of the frying pan as the Bucks.

Consider that point guard Brandon Jennings has not yet signed a contract extension, while coach Scott Skiles and general manager John Hammond are also entering the final year of their contracts.

None of those facts have gone unnoticed on a team that has missed the playoffs the past two years, as Jennings noted to Charles F. Gardner of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:

“To be honest, I think everybody is (feeling pressure),” Jennings said. “We’re all on the bubble right now,  because we need to win. There’s going to be a lot of pressure on all of us, not just the coaching staff or the GM. We all know this could be it so we need to turn it around right now.”

The fact that the Bucks will lead with their miniature backcourt combination of Jennings and Monta Ellis has given fuel to the fire of their skeptics. But Jennings isn’t one of them.

“I really want it to work just personally, because everybody is doubting it,” Jennings said in an interview at his youth basketball camp at Homestead High School on Sunday.

“With everybody doubting it, I think it’s important that me and him, we just work together to show everybody it can work.

“Everybody knows we both can score like crazy. But I think everybody thinks we can’t win together. That’s going to be one of our biggest challenges. I’m up for it and I know he is.”

After Ellis arrived in Milwaukee on March 14 when center Andrew Bogut was shipped to Golden State, the Bucks finished the season 12-9 with the pair in the backcourt. It was good enough to feel somewhat encouraging, but not enough to catch Philly for the final playoff spot.

They re-signed free agent forward Ersan Ilyasova and will now be playing with a pair of veteran centers in Samuel Dalembert and Joel Przybilla. Yet it remains to be seen whether this iteration of the Bucks is capable of taking the next step up.

Jennings is coming off a season in which he started all 66 games and averaged a team-leading 19.1 points and 5.5 assists and was one of only 15 players to start all 66 games in the condensed schedule. He is hoping to get a deal on an extension by the Oct. 31 deadline:

“It would be something I’d love to get done with and over with so I don’t have to worry about it,” Jennings said. “But the main thing is just to come into training camp a better player, a better leader. . . just lead the team to the playoffs.”

Jennings said he believes the Bucks can be a top six team in the Eastern Conference.

“That’s something I’m going to go into training camp talking about with the guys,” Jennings said. “Instead of saying we hope we make the playoffs, we just need to start saying, ‘We’re going to do it.’ “

48 Comments

  1. Bucksfan1302 says:

    The Bucks were a good offfensive if you look in the statistics. And the Bucks have 3 go to guys on the starting lineup Ersan,Brandon, and Monta in statistic wise they couldn’t catch a defensive board and they couldn’t keep the ball in their hands. We still have offense on the bench Dunleavy and Doron Lamb and maybe even Drew Gooden. (Dunleavy and and Drew combined with about 21-20 points togather) Ersan can have some huge games for the 2012-2013 seaslon like his 29points 25 rebound game and how about thos other 30 point games he had.

  2. SixerFan says:

    @lbj dude i gave you the benefit of the doubt, thought you were kidding – but apparently this is not the case. please stop posting your comments if they’re not serious and RELEVANT. if you find that too difficult, feel free to play in the sandbox. thank you.

  3. WuT says:

    The Bucks will never be more relevant than they are now.

  4. EZfoRPREZ says:

    jennings should just leave and go to the knicks….clearly the bucks is not treating him as the player he is. Did u all forget that 57 point game he threw up his rookie season? The kid is a baller, Just needs the right pieces around him and he will easly become a great point guard. The bucks should really consider his contract extention, Cuz if not…they will regret it.

  5. zgillet says:

    Considering the Warriors evidence of Monta Ellis with a small point guard, I’m guessing the Bucks are a below .500 team.

  6. lbj says:

    brandon jennings will come play for the heat, then we will trade him for kobe and dwight

    pg: kobe
    sg: dwyane wade
    sf: lebron
    pf: bosh
    c: howard

    heat 2012-2020 champions!!!!!@@

  7. celtics fan says:

    east standings
    Miami
    boston
    knicks
    indiana
    nets
    sixers
    bulls
    bucks

  8. LakersHERE! says:

    They need big guys! not just big guys, but really big guys!

  9. japongs says:

    they need big guys, really big guys.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Oi MILTOWN, the Wizards actually do have a good team, once their rookies get more experience they will be very good.

  11. Yasan64 says:

    The bucks can be in the playoffs but the question is who’s going to be a good fit for SF. We need Tobias or Mbah to step up. We should’ve got a SF in free agency. But maybe we could get Mikeal Pietrus or see if terrence williams can play SF.

  12. ayobrah says:

    jennings is the modern day allen iverson, i mean he plays just like him, same hight quick amaizing handles and clutch, im not saying hes anything near A.I though, its like kobe and micheal jordan but kobe is at jordans level

    • zgillet says:

      You contradicted yourself like 4 or 5 times.

      • Anon says:

        Jennings has the speed and ability to score but A.I is better. If A.I were to play, I’m pretty sure he can still put up points. The only thing that would hold him back is that, he’s getting old.

  13. TKt says:

    A team that has Jeff Teague, a well improved Point Guard capable of distributing and scoring, Al Horford, who managed to turn up during the playoffs and has had an entire offseason to fully recover, and Josh Smith, who in my opinion is the second best PF behind K-Love, is capable of making playoffs. The idea of them falling out of the playoffs, I just dont agree with it. Look for Josh Smith to carry the team with 20pts + 10reb+ season.

  14. Pistons says:

    Very good comments, it’s good to see people debate realistically. The Bucks are in reach for a 7-8 seed position but Washington, Detroit, and Atlanta could make a solid run at one of those spots as well. Chicago will be in the mix with out Rose, so the 7-8 race will be pretty interesting.

  15. Daniel says:

    There is no way that the Bucks are a top 6 team in the league; defensively there’s not too many concerns, because all teams coached by Scott Skiles play good defense. Offensively however, they are nowhere close. Jennings is a good PG, but what weapons does he have? There’s no reliable post presence that can get 15 and 8 like Bogut could do, despite playing through injuries. In order for this team to become a playoff team, they are going to have to run and become smaller, playing Ekpe Udoh as an undersized 5 and having Luc Mbah a Moute at the 4. Tobias Harris of Tennessee is a dark horse; he’s gonna have to step up despite not playing many minutes last year in his rookie campaign. But if they can become a more up tempo offensive team, that will be the key for the Bucks

  16. LakerBoy says:

    hmmmm… its possible since the magic and the hawks are expected to fall off playoff contention, it could work for the bucks. But to advance through the first round is still a question

  17. BIG CAT says:

    i got 1. boston 2. miami 3. new york 4. indiana 5, philly 6 . brooklyn 7. chicago 8 . toronto heat got extremely lucky last yr. key injuries to drose and howard and just overall mediocre competition gave them an easy path through the east in the playoffs , won’t happen this yr that’ll be the only title they win, and they needed the michael jordan treatment with the whistle to get it too

    • cambo says:

      there is no way tat Boston will finish above the heat. Yuck

      • non bandwagoner says:

        no way? how about a bench? guys 1-15 can start for any other team so there’s an excellent chance that they get the number one seed come playoff time. that’s why i love the celtics, all of them can play and not just a big 3.

  18. Deshan says:

    brandon got my city 2 da playoffs his rookie season nd wit monta ellis i know both of them if they stay healty they can be a problem at the 6th or 5th seed

  19. The facts says:

    The bucks lost their chance when they gave up Andrew. True Monte Ellis is better, but in this era it is so hard to replace a big man who looked loyal to this Bucks team. But hey maybe the bucks will surprise people maybe they’ll get a great player at the deadline or before. Only time will tell, but at this rate, I’m not really seeing it.

  20. Jordan says:

    TorOnto making the playoffs y’all better watch out

  21. Jay Grant says:

    Jennings is talented! mostly offensively. With a great coach that can get into his frame of thinking, well then that could help mold that aspect of his game. As far as Bucks as a team and their chances. I only see 2 scoring guards.
    A lack of defense no real post game offensive or defensively, not great coaching. They are to easily beatable by several teams in the league Heat, Lakers, Spurs, Nets, Pacers, Bulls, OKC,etc. Will they make the play offs? … Maybe just maybe 8th seed.

    • Dieter says:

      Yes, he’s talented like most nba players. He’s capable of scoring alot but his FG % is disastrous for the Bucks which hurts them + he a good defender. If he asks more than 5m/year, they should let him go. He could be a good backup point guard, but he ain’t good enough to get the Bucks to the playoffs. The Bucks are better than the Magic, but Washington and Brooklyn are better this year and Toronto will be close. So I guess they will finish 10th, but lets see what Udoh can do in a full season for the Bucks, maybe they’ll beat Chicago, Washington and Atlanta after all, and finish 8th.

      My guess for the standings after the regular season: 1 Miami, 2 Boston, 3 Indiana, 4 Brooklyn, 5 New York, 6 Philly, 7 Chicago, 8 Atlanta. Maybe I’m underestimating Atlanta, an all star season from Horford could result in a 4th place, and I’m probably overestimating Philly: Losing Iggy is a big thing, they got Bynum in return but it’s gonna take alot of time to get where they were in the Playoffs last season, if it’s even possible for them to get to that level again, maybe they won’t make the Playoffs… but the teams I’m looking most forward 2 are in the West Conference: New Orleans, Minnesota and Golden State, they all got alot better, hopefully my Blazers got a really good rookie in Lillard, otherwise i guess they won’t even make a chance.

  22. Fefe (Nets) says:

    To everybody there: I’m a Nets fan, but don’t forget Chicago. No D-Rose? And so???? They will still make the playoffs easy.

    • TKt says:

      AGREED… Bulls still had a +.500 record without Rose, didnt they? And he isnt out ALL season. With all his time off last season they still finished as the top seed in the east

      • Basketball Jones says:

        The bulls did thrive despite the los of rose but remember, the bulls lost alot of their core players (Korver, Asik) so I think it might be a challenge for the bulls to make the playoffs this year. But since they’re in the weak eastern conference they’ll most likely be able to get a 7th or 8th seed because coach Thibbs is an amazingly crafty coach and will get the best out of all his players.

      • celtics fan says:

        this is full 82 games so its going to be hard to play without rose and a diffrent bench i still think they will be playoff team
        also out until the all star break 7th seed

  23. jjjj says:

    I like the confidence, but personally i think the Eastern Conference willl go: 1.Heat 2.Celtics 3.Pacers 4.Nets 5.76ers 6.Kincks 7.Bucks 8.Hawks… I think the Bucks will be a top 5 team in 2-3 years

  24. MILTOWN says:

    @NY_Fan did u really just say that Washington is better than Milwaukee???? What about Chicago and Atlanta buddy?

    • Bryan says:

      Idk about atlanta, mediocrity only can last for so long and they are without joe johnson…but yeah, aint no way the wizards r better. Fear the Deer!

  25. NY Fan says:

    The Bucks have a decent team, but they are not better than Miami, Ny knicks, Nets, Boston, Sixers, indianna, washington, and if the bucks are lucky, will get th 8th seed no higher.

    As far as jennings, He is a good point guard but is not the best and is not and will never be an allstar in this league but will put up decent numbers.

    In addition, when it comes to jennings salary, he is not a max salary player based on the fact that he does not average a Double Double for the season and also scores below 20 points

    • Bryan says:

      U don’t think they’re better than washington? Even with all the trades washington made I don’t see them in the playoffs for a least a couple of years. I think the bucks with the team they have and if they stay healthy can be a team much better than the wizards

      • me says:

        yea washington? hmm hard to tell, they are pretty much on a similar level…..but John Wall said he’s going alll out next season too so we’ll see

    • Fredl says:

      bucks can be better than sixers, wizards and if they make a run they could also be better than the knicks. and with rose injured jennings has a chance to be an all star this year.

      • leggomymelo says:

        thank you

      • NBA Jam says:

        Rose will be an all-star voted by the people. But if still injured Jennings would have to be putting up bigger number and/or be leading the Bucks to at least .500 to be considered.

    • TKt says:

      Or Chicago or Atlanta..

    • lbj says:

      Is bucks a team in nba? bec I do not heard them in any nba report, have they into playoffs? Do they have any known players inlcuding the past. why they just sell the franchise to other states or maybe canada or europe

      • this guy says:

        dude are you serious they dont have any known players from the past? how bout ray allen oscer robertson kareem abdul jabbar when he was known as lew alcindor they are one of the handful of teams in the nba that has a championship banner. NBA.com should make people take an basketball IQ test before they comment on stuff

    • NO fan says:

      ok first of all NY the only point guards who averaged a double double last season were rondo and nash besides jennings took fewer shots than russell westbrook who isn’t even a point guard and is better than every point guard on every team you just mention exect boston and brooklyn. and dude milwaukee were 10 games better than washington last season. so because they added three has beens there better. brooklyn just added joe johnson who’s so good atlanta got rid of him for nothing and he was the third best person on the team he didn’t play defense. did i forget to mention that he’s the highest paid player in the league. and terrible