As a student of the game, Luc Richard Mbah a Moute knows there is a mindset that goes with coming off the bench.
Luc has started the majority of games this season, but Milwaukee Bucks Head Coach Scott Skiles made a change in the rotation last week, making Luc a reserve. For Skiles, bringing one of the league’s best defenders fresh off the bench is a boon. It’s also helped the Bucks, depth-wise, deal with the injuries to John Salmons, Drew Gooden and Brandon Jennings.
« It’s tough because we’ve had so many injuries during the whole year pretty much. It seems like every time we get somebody back, someone else goes down with an injury, » Luc told CineSport. « It’s been tough for us, having to deal with different lineups and we can’t really get our rhythm. It’s just something we have to try and fight through. We just have to continue to get better. »
To watch Luc talk more about what the Bucks have been going through, clickhere.
Luc Richard’s defense will be at a premiere level whether he’s a starter or a reserve, but since his move to the bench, he has also excelled offensively. In those five games, No. 12 has made 9-of-12 shots from two-point range, bringing his field goal percentage up to 45.5 percent. And most importantly, he has shown time and time again that he is always ready to play, a valuable asset to his coach off the bench.
No. 12 did it again Monday night in Chicago with an impressive performance, despite just 16 minutes of playing time. Luc continued this season’s success against the Bulls, with eight points to lead bench players on 4-of-5 shooting. No. 12 was also able to grab seven rebounds and record a steal in Milwaukee’s 92-83 loss. Frank Madden ofBrew Hoop was quick to recognize Luc for his tremendous effort:
« Luc Mbah a Moute. Mbah a Moute didn’t play much (16 minutes) and had the unenviable task of defending the stronger Boozer a few times down the stretch, but he had three terrific, aggressive drives and finishes (4/5 overall, 8 pts) in addition to seven boards. »
Luc finished the night second on the team in rebounds behind Andrew Bogut, who, combined with Luc Richard, compiled 25 of the Bucks’ 41 total rebounds.
The Bucks continue their rivalry against Joe Johnson and the Atlanta Hawks Wednesday night when the Hawks fly into Milwaukee.
Luc knows that Johnson will present a challenge for the Bucks defense.
« Joe is a very good player. I think he’s underrated for what he does, » Luc said. « He’s 6-8, as a two [guard] and really can get to the lane whenever he wants. He can shoot the ball really well and drive. He’s pretty much got the whole package. We just have to make it tough on him, deny him the ball and not let him get a lot of touches. »
Luc Richard will likely be tasked with defending both Johnson and Josh Smith, but he says the Bucks will approach the game with a team defensive mindset.
« A lot of times we rely on our team defense, » No. 12 said. « The way they run sets for [Johnson], you can’t do it on your own. »
The season series is split at one apiece after each team routed each other on the opponent’s home court.
Tip-off of the rubber match is set for 7 p.m. CST and you can see all the action on FSN Wisconsin.