Monthly Archives: décembre 2011

Luc Sticks With Bucks

Since drafting Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, the Milwaukee Bucks have been among the best in basketball on defense. By re-signing Luc on Saturday, Milwaukee ensured that would remain the case.


With Luc Richard and Andrew Bogut (right) locked up long term, the Bucks remain a defensive stalwart (Getty Images).

The Bucks matched a four-year offer sheet from the Denver Nuggets to retain the restricted free agent forward, locking him up through the 2014-2015 season.

« I’m back in Milwaukee, » Luc told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. « I’m still going to be playing as hard as I can when I get out there. I’m in a situation where I quadrupled my salary, and anybody in that situation should be happy… It’s a blessing to be in this position. »

The Bucks extended a one-year qualifying offer to Luc Richard at the outset of the offseason, but No. 12 was seeking a long-term deal. When the Nuggets offered four years, Luc signed the offer sheet, giving Milwaukee three days to match. They waited less than 24 hours to do so, showing just how much they wanted to keep the Prince around.

« Coach Skiles told me he wanted me back, » Mbah a Moute said. « They stayed true to their words. »

Skiles has praised Luc in the past as the best on-ball defender the Bucks have. Another head coach told NBA.com’s David Aldridge that Luc is one of the top five at his position in the game because of his ability to guard forwards, guards and even some centers. Steve Van Horn of Bucks blog Brew Hoop believes that Luc is on pace to become a candidate for the NBA’s All Defensive Team in the near future.

« Mbah a Moute is widely known around the NBA as a skilled defensive specialist, excelling as a matchup defender on the perimeter to accentuate his excellent foot speed and defensive anticipation. Although he has yet to be named to an NBA All-Defensive team, there is a very real possibility he could reach that honor within the course of the next four seasons. »

Bucks center Andrew Bogut, also widely considered one of the league’s best defenders at his position, is happy to have Luc by his side. And with Bogut entering just the third year of a five-year contract, the Bucks have two of the NBA’s top lockdown defenders locked up for a long time to come.

« I love playing with Luc, » Bogut said. « Most importantly, he’s on their best player every game. I read last night online he’s the best on ball defender, not just me saying it, but statistically someone did a stat and he’s the best on ball defender in the league. »

NEXT UP

The Bucks will hold a free open practice for fans on Wednesday night at the Bradley Center at 6 p.m. CST

Then on Saturday, the Bucks tip their preseason in Minnesota against the Timberwolves at 7 p.m. CST. The T-Wolves complete the home and home a few nights later when they visit the Bradley Center on Wednesday, December 21st at 7 p.m. CST.

Milwaukee opens the regular season on Monday, December 26th in Charlotte against the Bobcats at 6 CST. The game can be seen on FSN Wisconsin.

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Assessing Luc’s Value

As doors reopened to NBA players at team facilities across the country on Thursday, front offices around the league began assessing the value of players they can add to their teams. High on the list of many teams is defensive stopper Luc Richard Mbah a Moute.

Luc is a restricted free agent and can field contract offers from any NBA team this offseason starting on December 9th when free agency officially gets underway. However, the Milwaukee Bucks have the right to match any of those offers. Milwaukee GM John Hammond said Thursday that the Bucks have every intention of exercising that right.

« We appreciate Luc and what he’s done for us as an organization and what he stands for, » Hammond said. « We have every intention of bringing Luc back. »

Luc Richard’s value goes beyond what can be identified on the standard NBA stat sheet and as Jeff Zillgit of USA Today writes, his impact is something that surprised even Luc himself.

« The advanced stats … were surprising to some extent on how impactful I was defensively, » Luc said. « I never have looked at the stats, not beyond looking at a stat sheet after the game. I don’t try to get caught up in the numbers. »

But numbers compiled by Synergy Sports and cited by Zillgit tell an in depth story of Luc’s value to any team that might persue in him this offseason.

According to Synergy Sports, one of the premier statistical analysis tools used by NBA teams, Mbah a Moute:

  • Allowed fewer points per play than Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Tony Allen and Andre Iguodala.
  • Forced a higher number of turnovers while guarding an opponent in isolation than any of those four players.
  •  Helped the Bucks give up fewer points with him on the court than the previous season (and Milwaukee’s defensive efficiency improved in each of his three seasons).
  •  Is one of 13 players with at least 400 rebounds, 60 steals and 25 blocks in each of the last three seasons.
  •  Averaged 6.7 points and 5.3 rebounds last season but got the most rebounds per 40 minutes of any small forward and had the fifth-most free throws per field goal attempted among small forwards (behind such stalwarts as James and Boston Celtics forward Paul Pierce).

Hammond says the Bucks are well aware of Luc’s value and his ability to grow as an offensive player to become an all-around force.

« He’s a relentless worker, » he told the Journal-Sentinel, « and if you’re willing to put in the time I think you have an opportunity to improve. »

Offers can’t come in officially until December 9th, so until then Luc will continue to workout and wait to see where he will be spending the 2011-2012 season. He told USA Today that the idea of free agency brings mixed emotions, but he’s eager to see what’s next for him.

« Free agency can be a little stressful because you never know what the situation is going to be, » Mbah a Moute said of his status with the Bucks.  » But it’s also exciting to be in this position. I’ve put in the work and have a future where teams can use my service. »

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Luc Ready for Next Step

With the season less than a month away from its start, Luc Richard Mbah a Moute is ready to get back to work.


Luc is excited to get back to basketball this season, wherever he may end up as a restricted free agent.

It’s been a longer than usual wait for Luc and fellow NBA players this season. But while keeping up with labor negotiations, and even participating in some as the Bucks’ player rep, No. 12 has kept himself in shape and ready to roll once the parties came to an agreement.

« As a professional athlete, you’ve got to stay in shape, » Mbah a Moute told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. « It’s awful tough in this situation. Normally you try to get in peak shape before the season, but it’s hard when you don’t know when the season will start. You just have to keep training and stay ready so you’re able to perform from the beginning. »

This particular offseason for Luc is further complicated by the fact that he does not know where he will be playing when the season begins in the last week of December. As a restricted free agent, Luc can field offers from any NBA team and the Milwaukee Bucks have the right to match those offers. But many teams will be vying for one of the league’s best defenders, so anything can happen. Charlie Widdoes of ClipperBlog sees a possible fit in Los Angeles, where Luc played his college ball and makes his offseason home:

At 6’8″ and 230 pounds, he has the size and strength to guard both forward spots and the versatility to stick 2′s (see above).  For perspective, well-known lockdown defender, Tony Allen, allowed 101 points per 100 possessions each of the past two years, Mbah a Moute was not far behind at 103.  Synergy has him somewhere between « very good » and « excellent » from isolation situations to the post.  He’s a cerebral player with a history of achievement (a finals appearance and two other Final Fours in three college seasons, a playoff berth with the Bucks), the classic anti-Clipper that could be an asset to a young, developing core.

Luc will have a week to weigh all of his options as he cannot sign an offer sheet until December 9th. At that point, the Bucks will have three days to match the offer or let No. 12 continue his career elsewhere. Luc is just anxious to see how it all plays out and be able to get back on the court.

« It’s pretty cool to be at a point to finding out where I’m going to be at, » Luc told the Journal-Sentinel. « It’s good to be in this process and I’m blessed to be in this situation. »

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