Monthly Archives: octobre 2010

Taking the Next Step

After a 12-win upswing and a surprise run at the postseason last year, Luc Richard Mbah A Moute and his Milwaukee Bucks are working toward taking that all-important next step.

« We have a really good team this year. It’s just a matter of how everybody is going to come together and how quick it happens, » Luc told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. « With the pieces that we added, it gives us competition. Every time you have competition everybody brings their A-game. That’s what we need in order to be a good team. »

Luc is questionable for the game tonight with an ankle injury that kept him out of Milwaukee’s final four preseason games. Charles F. Gardner of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel had the latest on Luc Richard from Bucks shootaround this morning.

Skiles also said forward Luc Richard Mbah a Moute should be able to play despite not being 100% due to a still sore right ankle.

If he does play tonight, Luc will be coming off the bench for the Bucks as he did 11 times last season. He also started 62 times for Milwaukee last year. Before he suffered his ankle injury, No. 12 was getting big minutes for the Bucks, averaging 31.5 minutes per game.

He had 24 total rebounds and 25 points in those four games.

The big minutes likely mean that once Luc is back to full health, he’ll be a huge part of Milwaukee’s rotation as a defensive stopper and improved offensive option. Until then though, the Bucks will be cautious with his recovery because it is a long season.

CLOSER LOOK AT LUC
For their annual Bucks preview, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, profiled Luc and his work this summer in his native Cameroon.

12 Luc Richard Mbah a Moute
Position: Forward
Ht./Wt.:6-8, 230
Age: 24
From:UCLA
NBA season: Third

Over the summer Mbah a Moute conducted a basketball camp in his home country of Cameroon. He said it was the first time such a camp had been held in his country.

Mbah a Moute rounded up what he felt were the best 50 players from ages 12 to 17 and ran them through twice-daily sessions. Five of those players were then selected to take part in the NBA’s Basketball Without Borders camp in Senegal, where one of Mbah a Moute’s campers was named most valuable player.

He said interest in basketball had grown considerably in Cameroon.

« Basketball is very big and it’s getting bigger because it used to be soccer and then every other sport, » said Mbah a Moute, who is a prince is his home village of Bafia (Bia Messe). « Now it’s soccer and basketball and then every other sport. You see how far it’s gone from when I started. It was just like something that some people didn’t even consider a sport. »

Is Mbah a Moute more famous at home as a prince or a pro basketball player?

« As a pro basketball player, » he said. « There’s a lot of princes there and some of them are more powerful then me. »

NEXT UP

Luc and the Bucks begin the 2010-2011 regular season tonight as they take on the Hornets in New Orleans. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. CST and the game can be seen on FSN Wisconsin.

RELATED STORIES

No. 12 Hones His Shot

When Luc Richard Mbah A Moute walked off the court after the Milwaukee Bucks’ playoff ouster last season, he knew his team had plenty to build on going forth.

But for Luc, the focus shifted to what he could do to build on his status as an NBA player. For the widely respected defender, that involved getting better on the offensive end. So this summer, No. 12 went to work on his jumper.

« When I came in [to the league], a lot of people questioned my shot and I wasn’t as good a shooter as I am right now. It’s a process, » Luc told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. « You’ve got to take time and put work in over the summer and gradually get better. I am getting more confident, and my shot is getting more consistent. That’s the goal. »

Luc spent time in Atlanta with Mark Price, the former Cleveland Cavalier and owner of one of the best pure jumpers in NBA lore. Taking the trip to Atlanta with No. 12 was Bucks assistant coach Jim Boylan, who had worked with Price as an assistant when Price played in Cleveland. Boylan told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel about the trip’s purpose.

« We kind of broke down Luc’s shot and reconstructed it a little bit, » he said. « Now we’re back here working on it and staying consistent with our effort. We’re trying to be perfect every time we shoot the ball. Luc has been an unbelievable student. He’s been really fantastic, absorbing it and trying to bring that stuff to his game. »

No. 12 told the Journal-Sentinel that he has worked with Boylan on making his shot “tighter and more compact. »

Luc’s improvements have been on full display over the first week of exhibition play for Milwaukee.

The Bucks opened the preseason with a 92-83 win over the Chicago Bulls, in which No. 12 came off the bench to score 11 points on 4-5 from the floor. Three nights later, Luc was in the lineup and scored six points and grabbed six rebounds in a Bucks loss to the Detroit Pistons.

In Milwaukee’s third game, No. 12 was a rebounding machine, pulling down eight boards in an 86-78 win over the Charlotte Bobcats.

Bucks coach Scott Skiles has been impressed most with Luc’s mechanics, which he told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, have clearly improved:

« He’s put in a ton of time and his balance is better, his footwork is better, » Skiles said. « Normally if your mechanics and technique are getting better, you start seeing the ball go in, you start being more confident and you become a better shooter. »

Improvements in Luc’s game will be key for both the Bucks and Luc himself, given the depth the Bucks have all over the floor this season.

« This team is really deep and at every position you’ve got guys who can play, » Mbah a Moute said. « It’s good for coach because he has a lot of options to work with. And it’s good for us because we know we can have guys coming off the bench giving great effort. »

NEXT UP
Luc and the Bucks get back to work on Thursday night when they head to our Nation’s Capital, to take on the Washington Wizards.

Tip-off is scheduled for 6 p.m. CST and the game can be seen nationwide on NBA TV.

RELATED STORIES
Bulls at Bucks Box Score (NBA.com, October 5, 2010)
http://www.nba.com/games/20101005/CHIMIL/gameinfo.html#nbaGIboxscore

Bucks at Pistons Box Score (NBA.com, October 8, 2010)
http://www.nba.com/games/20101008/MILDET/gameinfo.html#nbaGIboxscore

Bobcats at Bucks Box Score (NBA.com, October 10, 2010)
http://www.nba.com/games/20101008/MILDET/gameinfo.html#nbaGIboxscore

Mbah A Moute shifts his focus to jumper (Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, October 7, 2010)
http://www.jsonline.com/sports/bucks/104456979.html

Review: Bucks-W, Bulls-L (Chicago Now, October 6, 2010)
http://www.chicagonow.com/blogs/hoops-in-view/2010/10/review-bucks-w-bulls-l.html

A New Campaign

After a week of training camp, Luc Richard Mbah a Moute and the Milwaukee Bucks take the floor in their preseason opener tonight primed to build on last season’s playoff campaign.

Last season, Milwaukee turned a lot of heads with their success as the « Fear the Deer » campaign produced 46 wins and a trip to the postseason for the franchise for the first time in four years.

The Bucks have steadily improved since drafting Luc, which just happened to coincide with a regime change that brought in new coach Scott Skiles and has helped lift the Bucks from the cellar to legitimate contender in just two seasons. No. 12 spoke to theMilwaukee Journal-Sentinel about the journey:

« I’ve been living the dream, » said Mbah a Moute, the Cameroon native who just turned 24 on Sept. 9. « The first year was kind of rough. Last year was a great year for us. « I’m really excited about this year again. Everbody has to bring their best, and that’s when you have a good team. A lot of times when you play defense, if you’re good enough, you get moved to different positions. And it’s a blessing to be in that spot. One of my personal goals is to make it to one of those first-, second-, or third-team defensive all-NBA teams. I’m going to work at it and try to make it. »

Now in year three, Luc said there’s more of a comfort level in Milwaukee than there has been in his past two seasons, a positive effect of experience:

« This one is better, » Luc told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel when asked about the team’s progress in camp. « In terms of guys understanding what to do and also the coaching staff . . . it’s their third year around so they know how to put the stuff out there better so guys understand. I feel like the guys from last year are really understanding. We have a lot of veterans on this team, too, that pick up stuff really quick so I think it’s been better than the last two years. »

To go along with a strong core of young players like Luc, point guard Brandon Jennings, center Andrew Bogut and forward Ersan Ilyasova, the Bucks added some veterans this offseason. They retained veteran guard John Salmons, who was a sparkplug down the stretch after being obtained at the trade deadline last year. They also brought in veteran swingman Corey Maggette and veteran big man Drew Gooden.

« We have a really good team this year. It’s just a matter of how everybody is going to come together and how quick it happens, » Luc told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. « With the pieces that we added, it gives us competition. Every time you have competition everybody brings their A-game. That’s what we need in order to be a good team. »

Luc played at both the power forward and small forward positions last year and is one of the more versatile players that Milwaukee has. His size enables the Bucks to go to a big lineup with Luc manning the small forward. And his lockdown defense will keep Luc on the floor, as his coach told the Journal-Sentinel:

« Luc’s probably once again going to find his spot out there, wherever it is, » Skiles said. « It might be a little more on the perimeter. The best work he’s done has been at the 4 spot but yet maybe defending a 3 (small forward).

« When you’re the best at something on your team, you generally get in the game. He’s the best defender we have on a team of good defenders – Bogues (Bogut) and Luc are together in being the two best defenders. That’s what makes it hard to get him out of the game. »

Already known as one of the league’s best defenders just two years in, No. 12 upped his offensive play last season and said he spent time this summer working to keep improving that area of his game.

« I’m always working on my game and that’s part of becoming a better player, » he said. « This year I’m going to continue to develop my jump shot. »

To watch Luc talk more about his offseason and the coming year with Garry D. Howard of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, clickhere.

TO BEAT THE HEAT
Like many of his fellow NBA players, Luc kept an eye on the news this offseason as LeBron James and Chris Bosh joined Dwayne Wade to make the Miami Heat an instant title contender.

With his Bucks being in the same conference as Miami, Luc knows he and his teammates are up for a great challenge this year.

« It’s going to be really intense, » Luc told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. « Any time you have a chance to put those great players on the same team, I think anybody would do that. They are going to be really good, and so are we.

« It’s just going to be a matter of competing. We have to go out with the same mentality and try to stop them, whatever one it is. I might end up playing all of them in the same game. That’s fun. I love doing that. That’s why you want to play this game, to have an opportunity to go at players like that. »

But Luc joked the move by Miami to unite the three players who had previously been on three separate teams might be a blessing in disguise for him personally, as the Journal-Sentinel reports:

« You know what, it’s actually better for me, » Mbah a Moute said. « You only play them four times instead of 12. I’m always guarding those three guys. Now they’re on one team, so you just get done with them.

« You don’t have to go to Cleveland and guard LeBron, and you don’t have to go to Toronto and guard Bosh. It’s just Miami.

« You only play them four times a year, so that’s good. »

The Bucks will play Miami at the Bradley Center on Dec. 6 and Jan. 7, and they will face the Heat in Miami on Jan. 4 and April 6.

NEXT UP
While the Bucks expect to see the Heat down the road in the playoffs, their first task at hand will be taking the Central Division crown and they’ll face their main competition for that title on Tuesday night.

The Bucks tip off their preseason at the Bradley Center on Tuesday when they play host to the Chicago Bulls. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. CST and for Bucks fans in the windy city, the game can be seen on CSN-Chicago.

RELATED STORIES
Bucks ready to see some new faces (Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, October 4, 2010)
http://www.jsonline.com/sports/bucks/104318648.html

Bucks Media Day: Luc Richard Mbah A Moute (Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, September 28, 2010)
http://www.jsonline.com/general/37714089.html?bcpid=8725036001&bctid=621065775001

Bucks hoping bigger will be better this season (Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, September 29, 2010)
http://www.jsonline.com/sports/bucks/104048868.html

Let’s see Luc, is it LeBron or D-Wade, or Bosh? (Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, September 21, 2010)
http://www.jsonline.com/blogs/sports/103471459.html

Six things to know about the Bucks (HoopsWorld, October 4, 2010)
http://www.hoopsworld.com/Story.asp?story_id=17502