Monthly Archives: janvier 2011

Luc Finds New Niche

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.

NEXT UP
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.

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Living His Dream

After years of practice and hard work, Luc Richard Mbah a Moute is now living his dream, playing against the best basketball players in the world in the NBA.

Though he didn’t start playing until he was 12 years old, No. 12 possessed an uncanny ability to adapt to the game and has taken his talent all the way to the top at every level he has played.
After falling in love with the game, Luc Richard knew he could never give up and his success today is a product of perseverance.

« I remained positive and I kept dreaming, » he said. « I knew what I wanted to accomplish which was to get into the NBA and I just kept putting that in front of me and I kept chasing it. My family support also played a big part in it. »

Luc recently sat down with Dulce Camer, a blog highlighting some of the best and brightest that represent the country of Cameroon. Luc was kind enough to share his break into basketball:

« When I was about 14, I joined a club in my hometown of Yaoundé called ONYX. After 3 years, my skills improved a whole lot so I was selected to represent Cameroon at the NBA Basketball Without Borders camp in S.A formally called Africa 100.

From there I got a scholarship to come play at Montverde Academy in Montverde, Florida where I played for 3 years. In 2004, UCLA recruited me to play for their basketball team. I played there for three years, I went to three Final Four [appearances], in two of those I played against Joakim Noah, the Milwaukee Bucks then drafted me and I’ve been playing here for the past three years. »

No. 12 has joined up with fellow African athletes such as Dikembe Mutumbo, to raise basketball awareness in such countries, making the children there aware of the opportunities that exist for them, as he told Dulce Camer:

« Well the first thing that we should focus on is I think the infrastructure and our material resources. The next thing we should focus on are the children from ages five to 12. By training them at an early age it gives them more time to develop their skills in order to maximize the opportunities for them to play at a professional level in Europe or the U.S. »

ROAD WARRIOR
Luc Richard showed of the talent that has made him an influential NBA talent on Friday night in Cleveland.

No. 12 pulled down a game-high nine rebounds and scored six points to help his Bucks to their second straight win, 102-88 over the Cavaliers.

Of Luc’s nine boards, three came on the offensive glass. He also had a steal and a block, scored his six points on 2-of-3 from the field and did it all in just 19 minutes of game action.

The win came on the tail end of back-to-back wins within the Eastern Conference. The Bucks welcomed the Washington Wizards Wednesday and sent them home disappointed, after a 100-87 Milwaukee victory.

But Milwaukee’s streak came to an end on Saturday when the Memphis Grizzlies knocked them off, 94-81.

NEXT UP
Tonight, the Bucks head to Chicago to take on the BullS.

Luc Richard was the Bucks’ top performer versus the Bulls on December 28 with a 12-point, 10-rebound, double-double.

Tonight’s rematch is scheduled for a 7 p.m. CST tip-off and can be seen locally on FSN Wisconsin.

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Luc Richard Mbah a Moute is living his dream (Dulce Camer, Jan. 18, 2011)

Luc Maintains, Even as Reserve

As the most versatile player on the Milwaukee Bucks, Luc Richard Mbah a Moute can take on many roles.

With the team in need of a shakeup to try and get back on track, coach Scott Skiles moved Luc to the second on Monday afternoon.

« It’s no reflection on Luc. We’ve got to do something. We’re not getting off to good starts, » Skiles told theMilwaukee Journal-Sentinel. « Luc can play the 4 obviously, play the 3. We’ll see how the game goes and go from there. »

So after starting seven straight games to begin 2011, Luc came out with the second team when Milwaukee visited the Houston Rockets on Monday.

No. 12 didn’t miss a beat off the bench, providing lockdown defense and helping limit Houston’s forward trio of Luis Scola, Shane Battier and Jared Jeffries to just 28 points on 32 shots. Scola in particular struggled, hitting on just 8-of 25 shots. For the 14 minutes Luc was in the game, the Rockets scored just 21 points.

But the shakeup wasn’t enough to push the Bucks past a surging Rockets team and they fell 93-84 in a Martin Luther King Day matinee. It was the third straight loss for Milwaukee and came on the heels of a tough to swallow 95-94 loss in Philadelphia on Friday night.

After recording a pair of points, two rebounds and a block in 20 minutes on Friday night, Luc posted a very similar line in Monday afternoon’s game, adding three points, two boards and another block in just 14 minutes. Monday also marked the fifth game in a row that No. 12 has recorded a block.

The Prince has averaged 25.7 minutes per game this season, but there has been no rhythm to how he gets them. In Luc’s five games since Jan. 7, the 6’8″ forward has played 41, 17, 30, 20 and 14 minutes respectively. But according to ESPN.com, his production hasn’t dipped much despite the roller coaster minutes.

« Though he has averaged six fewer minutes per game when coming off the bench, Mbah a Moute’s production has remained consistent whether he starts the game or not. »

However, Luc has proven that the longer he is in a game, the easier it is for him to find his game. He’s currently averaging just 4.8 rebounds per game. But averaged out over a full game, Luc would be 13th among Eastern Conference forwards at 9.1 rebounds per 48 minutes.

Corey Maggette, who replaced Luc in the starting lineup, understands what his coach is trying to do. Maggette said that, although the move may not be permanent, everyone agreed it was time to do something, as he told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:

« I know coach is searching to find something, » he said. We need to score the ball, because we’re in so much of a shooting slump that we can never cross that bridge. We’re really trying to figure out a way to do it. »

The Bucks current streak started with a home loss last Wednesday night against the San Antonio Spurs. Luc Richard scored seven points, grabbed four rebounds, struck down a block and picked up an assist all while shooting at a 60-percent clip.

But Luc pointed to a team-wide second half breakdown on defense as a culprit for the loss, he told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel:

« In the first half we were moving, cutting, passing the ball more, » he said. « And in the second half we could never get a stop when we needed it. They made threes. I had some poor closeouts on Bonner; he got by me. I think one possession they got three offensive rebounds. »

Though the game was lost, 91-84, it marked the ninth time in the last 10 games that the Bucks were able to keep their opponent to under 100 points. Clearly the defense is there for the deer, who now need their offense to regain its momentum.

NEXT UP
The Bucks (14-24) will look to regain their footing Wednesday night when they return home to face off against the Washington Wizards, and history is on their side.

Last season, a loss in Houston on a January Monday dropped Milwaukee’s record to 16-23. They went on to play nearly .700 ball (30-13) the rest of the way, losing just 13 more games and streaking into the playoffs.

Though the seventh and eighth seeds are still will well within reach for the Bucks, coach Scott Skiles told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel that his team can’t count on history:

« Right now, it looks like a bunch of teams battling for a couple spots, but over time that could clear up, » Skiles said. « We certainly don’t want to bank on that, thinking this is going to go down to the end of the season, and we’re going to be battling with these other teams. »

Wednesday’s game marks the first of three versus the Wizards this season, and Luc Richard is plenty familiar with them. No. 12 averaged 25.3 minutes per game in three match-ups last season against the Wizards, putting up seven points and 3.7 rebounds per game.

Tip-off is at 7 p.m. CST and you can catch all the action on FSN Wisconsin.

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Luc Fits in Any Role

On Saturday night in New Jersey, Luc Richard Mbah a Moute displayed the versatility that makes him so valuable to the Milwaukee Bucks.

One night after chasing and challenging Miami’s big three from the small forward position for 41 minutes, No. 12 scooted over and got the start at the power forward position on Saturday as the Bucks took on the Nets. With Andrew Bogut out, Bucks coach Scott Skiles deployed Luc to man the four as Ersan Ilyasova played center.

« Luc is better at the 4 anyway and maybe we can get (Brook) Lopez away from the basket a little bit and spread the floor, » Skiles said. « It’s a tough cover for Ersan to try to deal with him. »

The result was a dominant 115-92 victory for Milwaukee. In the 23-point win, Luc posted a point differential of +24, second best on the Bucks behind only Ilyasova. The two combined to lead the Bucks on both sides of the ball, as Jeremy Schmidt ofBucksketball wrote:

A night after Bogut tied the team record with 20 defensive rebounds, Ilyasova managed a strong game himself in his first start at center this season.  Ilyasova grabbed 12 defensive rebounds (13 total) and did a very good job helping to limit Lopez all night despite Lopez’s significant size advantage.  Ilyasova chipped in 22 points (10-14 FG) and three steals as well and looked comfortable up front with Mbah a Moute, who played well in his more natural power forward spot.

Luc Richard ended the game with a perfect shooting performance (2-for-2 FG), finishing with five points, one block, one board and an assist.

HEAT IN CHECK
The Saturday win was an important bounce back for the Bucks after a frustrating overtime loss to the Miami Heat one night prior.

It was a terrific all-around game for Luc Richard, who saw 41 of a possible 53 total minutes, in Milwaukee’s 101-95 overtime loss. He shot 5-of-7 from the field, finishing with 10 points, four rebounds, two assists, three steals and a pair of blocks.

But it was Luc’s effort on the defensive end that nearly pushed Milwaukee to the win. No. 12 saw plenty of LeBron James, Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh throughout the night and he made it difficult on all three. Dan Sinclair of Brew Hoop was sure to give Luc’s defense the credit it deserved in the « Three Numbers » portion of his game recap:

« 31%. The Big 3 shot 18-58 in this game, with LeBron James contributing eight of those makes. Chris Bosh, who actually gets a huge chunk of credit for saving Miami in this game, scored 10 of his 16 points in the fourth quarter after getting manhandled by Milwaukee’s defense (credit Luc Mbah a Moute above everyone) for most of the game. Dwyane Wade shot 4-of-19. »

James finished with a team-high 26 points, but it took him 23 shots and nine made free throws to get there. Wade’s night was much worse, as the shooting guard finished with 14 points on 19 shots and just over a handful of free throws.

Though they lost their lead late and fell in extra time, the defensive effort by the Bucks loomed large against the Heat. But that’s just the way they’ve been playing against all comers lately, as Sinclair writes:

« Over their last three games, Milwaukee is holding opponents to a Milwaukee-esque 45.7% shooting from the field, besting their already excellent 48.4 Opp. FG% season average. What really stuck out was how well the Bucks defended LeBron James and Dwyane Wade. The Heat shot only 33% within 10 feet, and the Big 3 combined for their worst collective shooting performance of the season, with LeBron and Wade missing 10 of their 13 shots at the rim. »

NEXT UP
The Bucks were scheduled to play the Hawks on the road tonight, but due to a severe snowstorm that hit Atlanta, that game has been postponed until March 15th.

Luc and the boys are back in action Wednesday night at home when they host the league-leading San Antonio Spurs at the Bradley Center.

Milwaukee almost pulled off a giant upset of the Spurs last month in San Antonio, but a Manu Ginobili buzzer beater gave the Spurs the win. The Bucks will be seeking payback on their home floor Wednesday night.

Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. CST and the game can be seen on FSN Wisconsin.

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Always Up For a Challenge

The Milwaukee Bucks face some of the NBA’s toughest challenges over the next week, so Luc Richard Mbah a Moute knew he’d have to be ready for anything.

That’s why not even a concussion, sustained Saturday night against the Dallas Mavericks, could keep Luc away from his challenge on Tuesday night.

Luc Richard drew LeBron James once again Tuesday as the Bucks played the Miami Heat for the second time this season, but No. 12 told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel he was ready for the challenge:

« LeBron is a really good player, arguably the best right now. When he’s hitting his shots he’s tough to guard, » Luc said. « He’s so physical, some people back off and make him hit shots. What I usually do is try to be physical with him, try to take him out of his rhythm. You can’t let a player get comfortable and start hitting shots. Even if he goes by you a couple times, you’ve got to hit him, rely on other people to help. Don’t give him the same look and try to make it tough on him. »

Luc showed no lingering effects from his concussion against the Heat, playing a game-high 42 minutes. No. 12 held James, who was red hot coming off a 38-point game, to 25 points on 15 shots and allowed the versatile Miami forward to grab just six rebounds.

Offensively, Luc Richard hit on seven of his 10 free throws, right in line with his career free throw average and finished with nine points while outrebounding James 7-6. Luc and the Bucks led 51-47 at the half, but couldn’t pull off the upset of the surging Heat, falling 101-89 to a Miami team that has now won their last seven and 19 of 20.

In the effort, the Prince posted one of the best point differentials on the Bucks (-5) and during the lone six-minute stretch Luc was not on the court, the Bucks were outscored by seven points.

No. 12 also brought with him an energy that was and is always key for Milwaukee according to Frank Madden of Brew Hoop:

« As usual, it was all about energy. Luc Mbah a Moute drove with intent on consecutive possessions, failing to finish, but getting to the stripe–which improbably became a theme of the period. After the Bucks failed to get a single free throw attempt in the first quarter, Mbah a Moute had eight of the Bucks’ 20 attempts in the second. Good old fashioned aggression was part of it, but the refs also weren’t letting the Heat get away with much on the perimeter–imagine that. »

COLLISION COURSE
Luc’s all-out 42-minute effort came just three nights after a collision in Dallas limited his playing time to just 12 minutes.

Luc Richard suffered a mild concussion Saturday night after colliding with Dallas center Ian Mahinmi. After the collision, Luc didn’t return to the game citing a bad headache, as he told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:

« I got hit in the head. Mahinmi had a cut so I figured we hit heads, » he said. « I went to the locker room and wasn’t feeling well, had a bad headache. »

Luckily for the Bucks, No. 12 had no setbacks when he woke up on Sunday and played as many minutes as they’d allow him in Tuesday’s matchup. But Milwaukee doctors will continue to monitor the forward to make sure there are no lingering effects.

« I’m still watching it., » Luc Richard said. « Concussions, you’ve got to be very careful. »

Luc scored two points and grabbed three rebounds in his 12 minutes and the Bucks held down the fort without him to beat the Mavericks 99-87. Dallas dropped to 26-8 with the loss and two of those defeats have come at the hands of the Bucks.

NEXT UP
At 13-19, the Bucks sit eighth in the Eastern Conference. Tonight they’ll get another chance to see how they matchup against one of the conference’s premier teams when they head up to Orlando to take on the Magic.

One month ago, the Bucks beat the Magic by 11 in Milwaukee. But two trades later, Orlando is a different team than Milwaukee defeated on December 4th and Wednesday’s matchup will be a big challenge for the deer.

Tip-off is set for 6 p.m. CST and you can catch all the action on FSN Wisconsin.

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