HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — We told you the other day that the Bucks would remain dangerous after that horrific injury to Andrew Bogut (and no, you won’t see a replay here).
Clinching their playoff spot with a gritty win over Chicago Tuesday night is proof that there is life in this Bucks team after Bogut:
I love that the Bucks aren’t asking for anyone’s sympathy. They’re going to keep smacking people in the mouth on the defensive end, the way Scott Skiles loves it, and dare you to underestimate them.
Beside, they’ve been talking playoffs from the start, or at least that’s what Brandon Jennings told my main man Charles F. Gardner of the Journal Sentinel after the win in Chicago:
“I’ve been preaching it all year, since the first day of training camp, was trying to get to the playoffs,” Jennings said.
That’s what you want to hear from your rookie point guard, who assumes an even larger leadership role, along with John Salmons, with Bogut out.
The men charged with picking up the slack in his absence showed up against the Bulls, too. Kurt Thomas played well defensively and snagged 14 rebounds. He pointed to a couple of other veteran big bodies the Bucks will rely on as they head into the playoffs.
More on that from my main man Tom Enlund of the Journal Sentinel:
“We’ve got two 7-footers over there,” said Thomas.
The reference was to the Bucks’ twin-tower duo of 7-1 Primoz Brezec and the 6-11 [Dan] Gadzuric, who haven’t seen much playing time but now could figure in the rotation due to Bogut’s injuries.
Brezec, who was obtained by the Bucks in a trade with Philadelphia on Feb. 18, did not play against the Bulls and has played a total of 47 minutes in 10 games with Milwaukee. For the season, he has played a total of 114 minutes in 27 games (4.9 per game).
Gadzuric is averaging 9.3 minutes in 27 games.
Going into Tuesday’s game, both players admitted it was difficult to stay ready for game action when playing so infrequently, but both vowed to be ready when called upon.
“It’s always hard because you’re not in game-like situations,” said Gadzuric. “So when you’re out of the game, you do practice, you do one-on-one, two-on-two or do some skill work. But it’s never the same as being thrown into a game-like situation where there’s so many different X-factors that are going on that you normally don’t get out of practice or individual workouts.
“So when you’re put in the fire, you’ve got to apply all the stuff that you’ve done practice-wise and try to get into the chemistry and just try to just go with the game-flow.”
Said Brezec, “It is (difficult to stay ready). I can’t say (it isn’t). But I’ve been trying to do everything that I can to stay in shape, running on the treadmill and spending some extra time in the weight room. Work on my pick and roll stuff and just conditioning-wise.
“But it’s still different when you go into the game. But we’re professionals and we know that when we step on the court you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do, you know?”