Monthly Archives: octobre 2012

On the Comeback Trail

The beginning of the 2012 NBA season is just two weeks away, and although Luc Richard Mbah a Moute remains unsure when he’ll be able to rejoin his Milwaukee Bucks teammates on the floor, the continued progress of his recovery has him excited.

While his teammates have been on the practice floor the last two weeks, Luc has maintained his rehab from offseason knee surgery. Luc admits that being on the sidelines for practices and the first few preseason games has been hard, but he feels better about where he is and where he’s going every day.

 

« I feel like I’m making a lot of progress, so I’m excited, » he said. « I’m doing what I’m supposed to do in the weight room to get to the level I need to be at. I can tell the muscles are getting stronger. That’s a good thing. »


Luc is working hard to get back to a place where he can be aggressive on both sides of the ball (Getty Images).

After the surgery, Luc had to stay off his feet for a while, a condition that forced him to cancel his annual camp in Cameroon. With all that time off, Luc’s muscles weakened, especially in his right leg, both above and below his surgically repaired knee. At this point, No. 12’s goal is to keep strengthening the leg as he works to get his body into basketball playing shape.

« My right quad definitely has a ways to go to catch up to the left, » he said this week. « But there’s no timetable to it. Really, it’s how strong the muscles around my knee get and whether they can sustain that strength around my knee throughout a game. »

Jeremy Schmidt of Bucksketball believes that Luc has enough experience to return to the rotation without needing extended time to get ready.

« Mbah a Moute doesn’t need a camp to know how he fits in with the Bucks or to understand what they’re trying to do. He’s the old man of this group, at least in Bucks years. The longest tenured Buck, he’s only played for Skiles in the NBA. He knows what to do, he knows where to be. When he returns, it’ll be more of a question of how the Bucks want to use him. If Harris isn’t defending as well as the team would like, there will likely be no hesitation about throwing Mbah a Moute into the starting lineup, as it appears the team originally intended to do. »

Luc’s next doctor visit is planned for next week, at which point he and the Bucks will make plans for the next step in his rehab. The Bucks open their season on Nov. 2 in Boston against the Celtics.

RELATED ARTICLES

Luc vs. Kobe

No. 12 Frustrates Lakers Star

Steve von Horn of Milwaukee Bucks blog Brew Hoop has begun a series called « In Defense of Defense » wherein he will analyze Luc’s impact on the defensive end of the court against some of the game’s elite wing players. Over the next few weeks, von Horn will analyze every matchup between Luc and several star players over the past three years. He will post his findings to Brew Hoop and we’ll share them with you here on MbahAMoute.com.

Luc Richard has held his own against some of the league’s best with solid work against LeBron JamesKevin DurantCarmelo Anthony and Danny Granger. The next player in the Luc Moute Defensive Impact Study is one of the league’s all-time best, Kobe Bryant. Von Horn’s chart below tells the story:

Despite Luc’s size advantage on Bryant, the Lakers star was effective in the post, but outside of the paint, Kobe shot less than 25 percent from the field with Luc on the floor. Kobe also saw his effective field goal percentage drop by five percent and his offensive rating drop by nearly 10 points per 100 possessions.

Luc has now shown lockdown traits against five NBA perimeter stars. The final study will feature Luc vs. Boston Celtics forward Paul Pierce.

ORIGINAL ARTICLE

Luc vs. Danny Granger

Pacers Offense Allows Granger to Step Up Against Bucks

Steve von Horn of Milwaukee Bucks blog Brew Hoop has begun a series called « In Defense of Defense » wherein he will analyze Luc’s impact on the defensive end of the court against some of the game’s elite wing players. Over the next few weeks, von Horn will analyze every matchup between Luc and several star players over the past three years. He will post his findings to Brew Hoop and we’ll share them with you here on MbahAMoute.com.

Through three reviews, Luc has proven that he is every bit worthy of his reputation as one of the league’s premier stoppers. No. 12 has done solid work to hold down LeBron James, Kevin Durant and Carmelo Anthony, with each All-Star seeing their production dip when Luc is on the floor. The fourth participant in the Luc Moute Defensive Impact Study is Indiana’s Danny Granger and the findings were rather surprising.


Luc has done well with Granger inside the paint, but his mid-range game ticks up against No. 12 (Getty Images).

According to von Horn’s research — which spans 223 total minutes over nine game across the last three years — Granger is the first player of the four studied so far to take his game up a notch with the Prince in the game,

The numbers clearly show that Luc’s size and length bothers Granger on the inside, as the Pacers scorer managed just 13-of-30 when matched up against Luc in the paint. But once the game goes toward the perimeter, Granger steps up. Despite taking only slightly more mid-range shots against No. 12, Granger connected at a much higher rate and his three-point shooting was on par with his career averages.

After watching hours of tape, Von Horn believes Granger’s success to be a product of Indiana’s offense, which often allows Granger to get loose off screens, catch and shoot.

Granger manages to play well against Luc in part because he’s not a star player of the magnitude of LeBron James, Kevin Durant or Carmelo Anthony. Danny gets to play off-ball a lot more than those guys, and his ability to catch-and-shoot means LRMAM is constantly bombarded with screens. There is a special emphasis on using stagger screens, because they give two screeners the chance to disrupt angles that Luc can take to stay physical with Granger. This explains why the perimeter shooting numbers look so good in comparison to the bigger names already covered in this series.


With such a rise in perimeter shooting production, comes a rise in Granger’s offensive rating, which goes up 4.7 pts per 100 possessions from his three-year averages with Luc on the floor. By comparison, LeBron, Durant and Carmelo each saw their offensive rating drop by that much against Luc.

That’s four perimeter stars in the books, with just a few more to go in von Horn’s thought provoking study. Next up is the Black Mamba himself, Kobe Bryant.

ORIGINAL ARTICLE

Luc vs. Melo

The Prince Keeps Melo in Check

Steve von Horn of Milwaukee Bucks blog Brew Hoop has begun a series called « In Defense of Defense » wherein he will analyze Luc’s impact on the defensive end of the court against some of the game’s elite wing players. Over the next few weeks, von Horn will analyze every matchup between Luc and several star players over the past three years. He will post his findings to Brew Hoop and we’ll share them with you here on MbahAMoute.com.

So far Luc has graded very highly in his matchups with LeBron James and Kevin Durant, now Brew Hoop’s Steve von Horn turns his attention to a matchup between the Prince and one of the league’s most cold-blooded scorers, Carmelo Anthony.


Luc has controlled Melo inside and forced him to take mostly low percentage mid-range shots (Getty Images).

Von Horn made his way through nearly five hours of footage with Luc and Melo on the floor and found that No. 12 gives Anthony all he can handle.

« Luc caused plenty of problems for Mr. Iso in the painted area. The Knicks’ designated scorer pushed into the paint on plenty of plays, but the Bucks’ designated stopper did well to cut off the best angles and easiest looks. In sum, Anthony only converted 32-79 FGs (40.5 percent) in the paint during stints with LRMAM on the hardwood. That’s a damn fine job by Mbah a Moute. »

The lone success point for Anthony in von Horn’s findings is mid-range, a spot where Anthony is one of the league’s most difficult to stop. But von Horn believes the shots Luc forces Melo into from mid-range are so low-percentage, that the Bucks can live with the results.

« Melo at least partially holds himself down my sticking to mid-range attempts, where it’s tough to draw fouls and conversion rates are lower than almost any other spot. Luc funneled him into tough shots on a huge chunk of possessions, as more than half of Anthony’s attempts came from mid-range or the non-restricted paint area. »

 

Luc’s outstanding work against Melo makes him three-for-three against the NBA’s top wing players and after studying hours of footage of Luc against three elite NBA players with very different skillsets, von Horn admits he’s astounded at how well the Prince has been able to handle each of the league’s best.

I started this study because I wanted to know more about how LRMAM has affected top scorers — it’s a simplistic way to test his defensive reputation and try to gain some insight into the value of perimeter defenders in the NBA — and he has impressed me at every stage of the process. LeBron James, Kevin Durant and Carmelo Anthony are supremely talented, but they all score in very different ways and have very different ways of approaching the game.

The one constant is that LRMAM knows how to suppress the best skills of each player and undermine their offensive production.

Next up, von Horn will analyze Luc’s matchups with a divisional rival, Indiana’s Danny Granger.

ORIGINAL ARTICLE

Luc Targets Early Season Return

Like many teams around the NBA, the Milwaukee Bucks opened their 2012 Training Camp on Tuesday, but while his teammates were able to get right to work, Luc Richard Mbah a Moute had to take it slow.

Luc is still recovering from surgery this offseason on his right patella tendon and though rehab work this summer has brought him closer to a return, Luc isn’t quite ready to dive right into training camp. He said that in this situation the waiting game and the slow process involved with knee rehab is a necessary evil, but he feels it getting better every single day.

« The plan was just to get rid of the pain and to get back to playing at a high level, » he said. Now I’ve addressed that, which was the big thing going into the summer. Now I’m just excited about being back out there and playing pain-free. »

The injury hampered Luc from the start of 2011 Bucks training camp last December and lingered throughout the season. Though Luc did average a career-high in points per game and continued to play lockdown defense when he was on the floor, the injury did force him to miss 23 games and he said it greatly impacted his play and rest didn’t do much to help.

« Obviously over the last year and a half that’s been hurting me a lot and affecting my game, » he said. « [After the surgery] was the first time I felt like it was really healing. [The Doctor] said everything looked good but I just needed to get some strength on the muscles around the knee. That’s what we’re focusing on right now. »

Not timetable was given for that process, though Luc is unsure he’ll be ready by the end of training camp. Instead, he’s targeting the first few weeks of the season for his return.

« I don’t think I’ll be on the court during training camp, » he said. « I’m hoping to be back sometime soon, though. »

RELATED STORIES

Luc vs. Durant

Luc Matches Up Well with KD

Steve von Horn of Milwaukee Bucks blog Brew Hoop has begun a series called « In Defense of Defense » wherein he will analyze Luc’s impact on the defensive end of the court against some of the game’s elite wing players. Over the next few weeks, von Horn will analyze every matchup between Luc and several star players over the past three years. He will post his findings to Brew Hoop and we’ll share them with you here on MbahAMoute.com.

After a study of Luc’s defense against the league’s best all-around player — LeBron James — was complete, the next step for Brew Hoop’s Steve von Horn was to measure Luc against the NBA’s best scorer, Kevin Durant, the three-time defending scoring champ. Through their various matchups since Luc entered the NBA in 2008, Durant has gained a great deal of respect for No. 12, to the point where KD mentioned Luc as one of the two best defensive players he’s faced, in a chat with fans on Twitter.


Kevin Durant has called Luc one of the toughest matchups in the league (Getty Images).

Von Horn’s findings showed that Luc did his best work against Durant on the perimeter by crowding the star scorer and forcing him to make difficult decisions because he couldn’t drive to the basket.

« By crowding Durant and staying physical with him — while still having the quickness and length to effectively challenge shots and shut down driving lanes — LRMAM forces KD into tough situations on the perimeter. The choices for Durant are often whittled down to:

  • 1) Give the ball up
  • 2) Take a contested jumper
  • 3) Try to force a drive into the paint

The degree of difficulty imposed by Luc leads to more turnovers and less free throw attempts for Durant. »

Von Horn’s chart shows that the one area Durant had success against Luc was once he got into the paint, within close range of the basket. But Steve argues that those numbers are deceiving as well.

« The paint scoring numbers look worse for LRMAM than they are in reality. The simple way to demonstrate this is to point out that over the last three seasons in stints with Mbah a Moute on the court, Kevin Durant is 7-9 in the paint and 7-26 everywhere else on the floor. »

It’s also important to note, that Luc didn’t control Durant on his own, quite the opposite in fact. Luc has often talked about how his ability to play great defense is dependent on the others around him to do the same. Von Horn writes that some praise for limiting Durant should go to Luc’s teammate Carlos Delfino.

« When I checked the tape, Carlos Delfino spent a good amount of time defending Durant man-to-man when LRMAM shared the floor with him, so he deserves some of the credit for the great numbers as well. Even so, Mbah a Moute clearly had a big impact on the plays where he matched up against No. 35. I’ve created a video to give you a better idea of how LRMAM regularly got stops against the best scorer on the planet. »

 

So far, Luc’s defense is holding up well against the best in the game and he’s earning every bit of his reputation. Next, Steve von Horn will look at Luc’s defense against New York Knicks scorer Carmelo Anthony.

ORIGINAL ARTICLE