You can’t overstate the importance of a lockdown defender in the NBA.
That was the message that Milwaukee Bucks coach Scott Skiles was sharing on Wednesday in regard to Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, his team’s best defender. Until recently, No. 12 had been coming off the bench, but Skiles has decided to replace Carlos Defino in the starting lineup with Luc to up Milwaukee’s defensive intensity.
But where does that leave the Bucks right now as they try to get back on a winning path after going 3-11 during a dismal December?
It has coach Scott Skiles doing some lineup juggling, particularly at the forward spots. Mbah a Moute returned to the starting lineup at small forward Wednesday and had eight points and five rebounds while playing 31 minutes in the Bucks’ 117-92 loss to the Orlando Magic.
As Skiles went on to explain the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, Luc is seen as a critical part of solving Milwaukee’s ongoing defensive puzzle.
Skiles wanted Mbah a Moute’s defensive ability to match against Magic star Vince Carter, who turned in a sterling performance with 25 points.
And that ability could keep Mbah a Moute in the lineup as the Bucks prepare to face hot-shooting Kevin Durant and the Oklahoma City Thunder on Saturday night at the Bradley Center.
Luc and the Bucks will look to take down Kevin Durant and the Oklahoma City Thunder on January 2nd.
Good Time to Move Forward (Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, Dec. 31, 2009)