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Shining at the Four

Luc Richard Mbah a Moute grabbed two rebounds and the Bucks took the first of two straight games against Dwayne Wade and the Miami Heat, 95-84, at home in Milwaukee.

Saturday’s win combined with Wednesday’s over the 76ers are the first back-to-back wins for the Bucks since they started 2010 with three straight.

SKILES LIKES LUC AT THE 4
Luc Richard had been playing mostly from the small forward position this year but Jan. 20 against Toronto he started at the power forward position to make room for Carlos Delfino. Said Head Coach Scott Skiles of his current rotation:

“We decided to get Mbah a Moute in the (power forward) spot, where he played his best last year. Take a look at that for a little bit and see how it worked. Obviously that means either Ersan or Hak don’t get as many minutes. It’s hard to play three guys at the same position.

Switching Luc between the three and the four can help with depth but it also creates a log jam as Skiles notes:

“We can also get Ersan in there and put Mbah a Moute back at (small forward). There’s some ways to get guys minutes, but it’s difficult to get all three of them significant minutes.

The primary reason for the shuffle is that Luc has been playing much better at the power forward position, something Skiles relates to his maneuverability with bigger players:

“We’re trying to get some better play out of Luc. For whatever reason, he rebounds it better when he’s at (power forward). I think maybe some of the bigger players lose track of him a little bit and he’s able to get in there and do some things that he’s not necessarily able to do at (small forward).”

DEFENSIVE DAP FROM DIME
Once again Luc Richard is drawing praise for his excellent defense. No. 12 has been called to guard some of the NBA’s best players including Kevin Durant and Dirk Nowitzki.

Dime Magazine recently published its Midseason All-Defensive team and it was no surprise that Luc Richard was one of the 12 chosen players from the East squad.

EAST
G – Dwyane Wade
G – Andre Iguodala
F – Gerald Wallace
F – Josh Smith
C – Joakim Noah
Bench
G – Kirk Hinrich
G – Rajon Rondo
G – Stephen Jackson
F – Luc Richard Mbah a Moute
F – LeBron James
F/C – Kevin Garnett
C – Dwight Howard

LUC AT THE MOVIES
Avatar has been making waves throughout the movie world recently surpassing Titanic as the number one grossing movie of all time. Avatar has so far brought in an estimated $2,039,222,000 according to Boxofficemojo.com and somewhere in there is Bucks’ power forward Luc Richard.

The 23-year-old asked Twitter fans this week for advice on what movie to see. The response was overwhelming for Avatar and Luc Richard was very grateful. Said the Bucks’ starter on twitter:

“Avatar was definitely the best choice”

Following it up with:

“Especially IMAX 3D the graphics were ridiculous!!!”

NEXT UP
Luc Richard and the Bucks once again take on the Heat, this time in Miami. The Bucks held Dwayne Wade to just 6-20 shooting; including 0-6 from beyond the arch Saturday night. Watch them try to repeat their defensive performance at 6:30 CST. The game can be seen on FSN Wisconsin.

RELATED ARTICLES
Dime’s Midseason All-Defensive Teams (Dimemag.com, Jan. 29, 2010)
http://dimemag.com/2010/01/midseason-all-defensive-teams/
Miami Heat vs. Milwaukee Bucks-Box Score (ESPN.com, Jan. 30, 2010)
http://scores.espn.go.com/nba/boxscore?gameId=300130015
Giving things a spin (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Jan. 30, 2010)
http://www.jsonline.com/sports/bucks/83180832.html

 

No. 12, Bucks Snap Skid

Luc Richard Mbah a Moute finished with eight boards and a game-high four steals Wednesday night, and the Bucks held on to take down the 76ers, 91-88, at home.

No. 12 continues to hear praise on his defensive prowess, and got plenty of it from Rob Mahoney at TheTwoManGame.com, a Dallas Mavericks blogsite:


Luc battles for a rebound during the victory over the 76ers (Getty Images).

“Dirk Nowitzki definitely didn’t “do,” as Luc Richard Mbah a Moute channeled him into help defense and the subsequent turnover.”

“Luc Richard Mbah a Moute is one of the best defenders in the league. Not just in defending Dirk, but overall. The only shame is that at this point, he’s a bit of an offensive liability. Mbah a Moute really just needs one offensive move — a steady mid-range jumper, the corner three, SOMETHING — to make him impossible to take off the floor. The fact that this guy made it all the way to the second round is a travesty.”

Mahoney also gave the “Gold Star of the Night” to Jason Terry, citing Dirk Nowitzki’s “grapple” with No. 12.

NEXT UP
The Bucks take on Dwayne Wade and the Heat at home on Saturday night. Tip-off is 7:30 CST and can be seen on FSN-Wisconsin.

RELATED ARTICLES
Dallas Mavericks 108, Milwaukee Bucks 107 (The Two Man Game, Jan. 27, 2010)
http://www.thetwomangame.com/2010/01/dallas-mavericks-108-milwaukee-buck…
Jennings lifts Bucks over 76ers, 91-88 (Yahoo! Sports, Jan. 27, 2010)
http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/recap?gid=2010012715&prov=ap
Uneasy on the eyes (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Jan. 27, 2010)
http://www.jsonline.com/sports/bucks/82861927.html
76ers 88, Bucks 91- Box Score (ESPN, Jan. 27, 2010)
http://espn.go.com/nba/boxscore?gameId=300127015

 

A Chance at Victory

On Tuesday night, Luc Richard Mbah a Moute gave the Milwaukee Bucks the only thing they could have asked for: a final chance to overcome a late seven-point deficit to the Dallas Mavericks.

The Bucks fought back from 85-77 with 11:52 left in the fourth quarter and tied the game at 95 with just over six minutes left. But the Mavs fought back to go up seven with 2:06 left.


Luc defends against Dallas Dirk Nowitzki (Getty Images).

Carlos Delfino got the Bucks within four, and then cut it to one with a three-pointer well behind the arc. With just 27 seconds left in the game, No. 12 stepped up.

I NEED A HERO
The Bucks played tight defense, and it was Luc Richard that was given the task to guard Dirk Nowitzki, who got the ball in his hands for what Dallas hoped would be the game-sealing shot. With six seconds remaining, Luc stripped Dirk, stole the ball, and called a quick timeout, leaving the Bucks with just enough time to take a potentially game-winning shot.

Center Andrew Bogut finished with a career-high 32 points on 13-14 shooting, but Carlos Delfino had his number called with the game on the line. Said Head Coach Scott Skiles to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:

“We had a couple options depending on whether they switched or not,” said Skiles. “Carlos came to the top and was pretty much open. (Dallas center Erick) Dampier came out on him and I thought like he did the right thing and put it on the floor and try to go by him. He wasn’t able to get all the way by him, but that’s the right thought in that situation.”

The shot wouldn’t fall and the Bucks did, 108-107 to the Mavericks in Dallas.

The Bucks are giving it everything they have on the hardwood, but the losses are mounting. Luc Richard shared his feelings with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:

“We fought hard. We’ve been fighting hard the last couple games. Hopefully it will start to pay off pretty soon.”

NEXT UP
Wednesday night the Bucks go head-to-head against (AI) squared. Allen Iverson and Andre Iguodala and the 76ers are coming off a tough loss at home to Indiana and are looking for a “W.” They’ll have to go through Luc Richard and the Bucks to get it. Tip-off is at 7:00 CST and can be seen on FSN-Wisconsin.

RELATED ARTICLES
Lapses lead to loss (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Jan. 26, 2010)
http://www.jsonline.com/sports/bucks/82762792.html
Tuesday game report: Bucks at Mavericks (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Jan. 26, 2010)
http://www.jsonline.com/sports/bucks/82762057.html

 

One of Two

It was a weekend of one up, one down for Luc Richard and the Milwaukee Bucks, who routed the T-Wolves, 127-94, on Saturday after a tough 101-96 loss to the Toronto Raptors.

The Bucks led by as much as 15 in the first half, and 10 at the midway point, but it was a huge fourth quarter in which they outscored the Wolves by 15 that put the game away for the home team.

No. 12 registered three boards and a huge block on Minnesota’s Kevin Love.

Head coach Scott Skiles finally found the consistency that he was looking for Saturday night. As he told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:

“We played a very unselfish game like we normally we do, and we were able to carry it through the whole game. We’ve had quarters and halves similar to this but, for whatever reason, not been able to carry it through, and tonight we did.”

FOUR’S THE CHARM
Carlos Delfino saw the starting lineup for the third game in a row on Saturday after coming off the bench since Dec. 28. Carlos started the team’s first 27 games before Skiles decided to restructure the starting five.

Delfino’s addition to the starting five moves Ersan Ilyasova to the bench for now, and keeps Luc Richard’s defensive abilities in the game. Some players will be coming off the bench, but it won’t be Luc Richard says Skiles. As he told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:

“We’re starting Mbah a Moute at the 4 now. When you’re searching like we are to find consistency, sometimes a guy gets left out.”

NEXT UP
The Bucks get a big test this Tuesday when they take on the Mavericks in Dallas, who were No. 3 in the same ranking. Tip-off is 7:30 CST and can be seen on FSN- Wisconsin.

RELATED ARTICLES
Bucks vs. Timberwolves (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Jan. 23, 2010)
http://www.jsonline.com/sports/bucks/82531922.html
Delfino leads charge (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Jan. 23, 2010)
http://www.jsonline.com/sports/bucks/82536117.html

 

Too Much for Toronto

Luc Richard Mbah a Moute dropped eight crucial points and the Milwaukee Bucks took down the Raptors at home Wednesday night, 113-107.

No. 12 played 31 minutes in the first of two consecutive games against Toronto, contributing five rebounds and four assists while committing just one turnover.

It was a close game from start to finish in Milwaukee, the largest lead by either team just 11, by Toronto. The Raptors went up 52-41 with 3:13 left in the first half but a pair of three-pointers by Charlie Bell and Carlos Delfino cut Toronto’s half-time lead to seven.

The Bucks enjoyed being down at halftime and you would know it judging from their impressive second half shooting. Milwaukee shot 14-25 from the field, including 3-of-4 from distance, outscoring the Raptors 32-22.

After Andrew Bogut fouled out with 4:11 left in the game, it was time to step up. With Chris Bosh on fire all night (finishing with 44), immediate action was necessary. The Bucks proceeded to go on a 7-0 run that led them to victory. Said Bell:

“It was gut check time. When [Bogut] went out of the game, it was time for other guys to step up. We could’ve easily laid down and said, ‘Oh man, we lost because Andrew fouled out.”

TIP DRILL
Luc Richard and Ersan Ilyasova provided the late game heroics for the Bucks. Up one with 2:13 left in the game, No. 12 tipped in a missed Ilyasova lay-up to put the Bucks up three. Less than a minute later it was Ilyasova’s turn. Ersan dropped in a tip off of a Brandon Jennings miss and converted the three-point play when he was fouled.

Scott Skiles described Ersan’s tip in as one of the game’s best plays. As he told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:

“We wanted (Andrea) Bargnani up defending the pick-and-roll. Brandon was breaking them down and getting into the paint a little bit. And we were able to at least get inside, and Ersan was left on the glass and put it in.”

NEXT UP
The Bucks get another look at the Raptors Friday night, this time in Toronto. The game won’t be aired on TV but can be heard on AM 620 for a 6:00 CST.

RELATED ARTICLES
Toronto Raptors vs. Milwaukee Bucks-Recap (ESPN, Jan. 20, 2010)
http://scores.espn.go.com/nba/recap?gameId=300120015
Raptors at Bucks (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Jan. 20, 2010)
http://www.jsonline.com/sports/bucks/82220372.html
Overcoming Bosh’s spark (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Jan. 20, 2010)
http://www.jsonline.com/sports/bucks/82208362.html

 

Red Hot Shooting

Though the Milwaukee Bucks lost in overtime Monday to the Houston Rockets, Luc Richard Mbah a Moute was on fire from the field.

In a season-high 44 minutes, Luc Richard shot 7-11 from the field, including a three-pointer, and finished with 15 points, eight rebounds, four assists and a block. His shooting percentage in recent games has people paying attention.

During the team’s six-game road trip, Luc Richard shot an incredible 19-31, good for just over 61%.

The loss was the last game of the six-game road trip for Milwaukee and they will happily return home on Wednesday to face the Toronto Raptors.

Monday’s loss was a tough one for the Bucks, who lost five of six on their road trip. After a big 34-point first quarter, the Bucks’ offense only connected for just 17 in the second and faced a seven-point halftime deficit.

Fast forward to the end of the fourth quarter and the game was as close as can be. With 1:04 left in the game and down by two points, Luis Scola, who had a season-high 27 points, was placed on the line to shoot two.

After making both, the game was all tied up at 91. With 18 seconds left, Rockets’ guard Aaron Brooks was called for an offensive foul on Andrew Bogut, leaving the Bucks with the last shot.

Rookie Brandon Jennings had a difficult shot after a high screen by Bogut and his three-point attempt fell short of the mark.

The Rockets scored seven straight to start overtime and took it in the end, 101-98.

NEXT UP
The Bucks return to Milwaukee to take on Chris Bosh and the Raptors. Tip-off is at 7:00 CST and can be seen on FSN Wisconsin.

RELATED ARTICLES
Milwaukee Bucks vs. Houston Rockets Box Score (ESPN, Jan. 18, 2010)
http://espn.go.com/nba/boxscore?gameId=300118010
Key shots fall short (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Jan. 18, 2010)
http://www.jsonline.com/sports/bucks/81994787.html

 

Down Go the Warriors

Luc Richard Mbah a Moute was a key factor Friday night, logging 13 points and nine rebounds as the Bucks rolled to a 113-104 victory at Golden State.

No. 12 continued to shoot at a high percentage, hitting 5-7 from the field, and adding three from the charity stripe.

Luc Richard’s stats were impressive across the board against the Warriors. The Cameroon native also registered an assist, a steal, two blocks and recorded zero turnovers. Luc also led all Bucks players in minutes played with 38.

Charles F. Gardner of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel described Luc Richard’s block of Monta Ellis as the Play of the Game, and a definite turning point.

“Bucks forward Luc Richard Mbah a Moute blocked Ellis on a drive to the basket with 3:15 left and the Bucks leading, 103-98. Ellis bypassed a corner three-pointer to make the drive, but Mbah a Moute stayed with him for the block.”

NO RESERVE-ATIONS
The Bucks were also involved in NBA history Friday night when for the Golden State Warriors ran out of reserve players.

After Stephen Curry fouled out with four seconds left in the game, the Warriors only had four eligible players left to finish the game, which by rule is not allowed.

Earlier in the game, the Warriors lost Anthony Morrow to injury and both Andris Biedrins and Chris Hunter to fouls. After Curry’s sixth foul, he was allowed to stay in the game after Rule No. 3, Section 1-Team had been invoked. It was the first time in NBA history that the rule was used. It states:

“If a player in the game receives his sixth personal foul and all substitutes have already been disqualified, said player shall remain in the game and shall be charged with a personal and team foul. A technical foul also shall be assessed against his team. All subsequent personal fouls, including offensive fouls, shall be treated similarly.”

Luke Ridnour made both free throws to complete the play.

HOW WILL THEY STACK UP?
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel is reporting that the Bucks will sign veteran Jerry Stackhouse for the rest of the season.

The Bucks are hoping to get back some of the scoring lost when Michael Redd went down for the season.

Stackhouse is set to join the team Wednesday when they return from a six-game road trip.

NEXT UP
On Monday, The Bucks travel to Houston to take on the Rockets for a matinee. Tip-off is at 2:00 CST and can be seen on FSN Wisconsin.

RELATED ARTICLES
Short-handed Warriors may have made history in defeat (Contra Costa Times, Jan. 15, 2010) http://www.contracostatimes.com/warriors/ci_14205224
Bucks to sign Stackhouse (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Jan. 17, 2010) http://www.jsonline.com/sports/bucks/81935422.html
Friday game report: Bucks at Warriors (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Jan. 16, 2010) http://www.jsonline.com/sports/bucks/81834427.html
 

Praise From Durant

Luc Richard Mbah a Moute and the Bucks put up a valiant effort last night against the Trailblazers in their 120-108 loss.

But a 37-point second-half deficit — which was still 26 points in the fourth quarter — was too much to overcome. Luc finished with two points, two boards and an assist in 17 minutes.


Durant called Luc one of the NBA’s two best defenders (Getty Images).

NOTEWORTHY PRAISE
No. 12 earned a lot of credit last week after nearly shutting down the Thunder’s Kevin Durant.

With Luc guarding him in the second half and overtime, Durant had just 10 points, including four during the fourth quarter and overtime.

Praise has come from the Durantula himself.

On his Twitter account, a fan asked KD who the toughest player to play defense against him was.

One of them was an obvious choice by the name of Ron Artest. However, Durant also mentioned one other player:

RT @Thrilla24×7: @KevinDurant35 who is the Best Defender you’ve faced so far?(luc Richard mbah moute and Ron attest)

NOT REDD-Y YET
The Bucks are in a tough position after losing Michael Redd for the season.

Redd tore both his MCL and ACL during a drive through the lane against the Lakers on Sunday night. The injury comes a year after Redd tore both his MCL and ACL last year against the Kings and was also lost for the season.

Luc Richard was on the bench at the time of the injury and was able to get a better look, as he told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:

“It happened right in front of me,” he said. “I just saw him go to the middle and kind of like shot-faked a little bit. He wanted to go up. I just saw him hold his knee and he looked at coach and said, ‘I’ve got to come out.’ So I knew it was really bad.

“He looked over and it was like, ‘I’m not good.’ Once he did that I knew it was really bad. But I didn’t know it was going to be a season-ending injury. A bad injury but not that bad.

“I feel really bad for the guy. I know how much work he put in to coming back this season after having that last year. And having the same injury again. It’s very tough.”

NEXT UP
On Friday the Bucks travel to the Golden State to take on Monta Ellis and the Warriors. Tip-off is at 9:30 CST and can be seen on FSN Milwaukee.

RELATED ARTICLES
Bucks 108, Trail Blazers 120: Box Score (ESPN, Jan. 13, 2010)
http://espn.go.com/nba/boxscore?gameId=300113022
Wednesday game report: Bucks at Trail Blazers (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Jan. 14, 2010)
http://www.jsonline.com/sports/bucks/81410842.html
NBA: Michael Redd’s career in doubt  (The Oregonian, Jan. 13, 2010)
http://blog.oregonlive.com/nba/2010/01/nba_michael_redds_career_in_doubt…

 

Luc, Bucks Fall to Lakers

After taking care of the Chicago Bulls in Milwaukee on Friday night, Luc Richard Mbah a Moute and the Milwaukee Bucks stumbled against the Lakers in LA, falling 95-77.

Luc Richard finished with eight points on Sunday night second among Bucks’ starters, with four rebounds.

No. 12 was cleaning glass on the offensive side of the ball, finishing with a team high three offensive rebounds.

DEFENSE WINS CHAMPIONSHIPS
Luc Richard has found himself in the starting lineup for the last five games, while competing for the starting small forward spot with Carlos Delfino.

Though Luc Richard has not hit double figures in points in his five starts, the Bucks have gone 3-2, and are finding out that it’s his defensive capabilities that truly make him an asset on the floor, as noted by Charles F. Gardner of Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:

“Luc Richard Mbah a Moute’s defensive ability could keep him in the Bucks’ starting lineup.”

If this is the case, Luc Richard proved he can bounce back well after only connecting for one point on Friday. No. 12 went 3-5 from the floor, an impressive 60% field goal percentage, and a perfect 2-2 from the charity stripe.

SKILES’ STARTERS
Bucks’ Head Coach Scott Skiles is currently using a performance-based system to determine who his starters will be.

In his second year as Bucks’ coach, Skiles is making sure that no one is going to be handed a starting position on this team. Said Skiles to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:

“We’ve got multiple guys that are all good players that can all bring something positive to the team in Carlos (Delfino), (Luc Richard) Mbah a Moute and Charlie Bell. Unfortunately for them, right now it has to be based on performance. If you get in the game and don’t perform, we’ve got to go to somebody else. Until somebody kind of jumps in front of somebody, that’s just what we’re going to have to do.”

NEXT UP
Luc Richard and the Bucks travel to Phoenix to take on Steve Nash and the Suns on Monday, Jan. 11 at 8 p.m. CST. This will be the Bucks’ first look at the Suns this season and an opportunity to bounce back from a tough loss to the Lakers. You can catch the game on FSN Wisconsin.

RELATED ARTICLES
Sunday game report: Bucks at Lakers (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Jan. 11, 2010)
http://www.jsonline.com/sports/bucks/81114537.html
Good time to move forward (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Dec. 31, 2010)
http://www.jsonline.com/sports/bucks/80452872.html

 

Undefeated in 2010

Luc Richard Mbah a Moute and the Milwaukee Bucks had no trouble racking up another win on Tuesday night, downing the struggling New Jersey Nets, 98-76.

No. 12 played a mere 18 minutes in the victory, which saw Milwaukee jump out to an early lead and gradually grow it over the course of the contest.

Milwaukee maintained a perfect 2-0 record in the new decade.

PLAY OF THE GAME
For the second straight outing, Luc found himself highlighted in the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel‘s « Play of the Game. » As reported by Charles F. Gardner:

Early in the third quarter, Bucks guard Brandon Jennings drove the baseline and found Luc Richard Mbah a Moute with a nice underhanded flip pass that Mbah a Moute took to the rim for a dunk and a 64-50 lead.

RELATED STORIES
Tuesday game report: Bucks at Nets (Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, Jan. 5, 2009)
http://www.jsonline.com/sports/bucks/80763882.html

 

Luc Shuts Down Durant

When the Milwaukee Bucks needed someone to stop one of the NBA’s young, talented offensive stars, Luc Richard Mbah a Moute answered the call.

Luc defends Kevin Durant (Getty Images).
Luc was instrumental in all but stopping Kevin Durant late in Milwaukee’s win over the visiting Oklahoma City Thunder (Getty Images).

Luc was put on Oklahoma City’s Kevin Durant during the final seconds of regulation on Saturday, and with 4.8 seconds to go in the game, used Milwaukee’s one foul-to-give to force the Thunder into an in-bounds pass.

On the next possession, Luc and teammate Hakim Warrick « blanketed Durant and forced him to take a long, off-balance shot, » according to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. And in overtime, it was more of the same, prompting the Journal-Sentinel’s Charles F. Gardner to name Luc his player of the game.

Bucks forward Luc Richard Mbah a Moute helped limit Oklahoma City’s Kevin Durant to 10 points in the second half and overtime. Durant had only four points in the fourth quarter and overtime as the Bucks defense limited the Thunder to 24 points in the final 17 minutes.

The Bucks went on to win in overtime, 103-97, and Luc finished with six points, two rebounds, two blocks and a steal in 38 minutes. No. 12’s defense on Durant earned some serious recognition from the opposing team and the newspapers that cover it. As reported by The Oklahoman:

Durant went 2-for-6 in the fourth quarter and overtime, leaving his teammates to figure out how to compensate for offensive production that they’ve come to count on.

Bucks forward Luc Mbah a Moute, an unheralded but up-and-coming man-to-man defender, wore out Durant with his length, strength and commitment on screens.

« Luc did a good job of putting a body on Kevin,” said Thunder coach Scott Brooks. « He just wore Kevin out at the end. I think he was a little fatigued. I probably could have done a better job of giving him a minute or two of rest longer in the fourth quarter.”

RELATED STORIES
Milwaukee Bucks top Thunder in overtime (The Oklahoman, Jan. 3, 2010)
http://newsok.com/streak-stops-here/article/3429428
Saturday game report: Bucks vs. Thunder (Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, Jan. 3, 2010)
http://newsok.com/streak-stops-here/article/3429428

 

Luc Starts, but Bucks Fall

Luc Richard Mbah a Moute replaced Carlos Delfino in the Bucks starting lineup, but it didn’t stop Milwaukee from suffering a blowout loss in its final game of 2009.


Luc dunking on Orlando’s Dwight Howard (Getty Images).

No. 12 finished with eight points, five rebounds, a steal and an assist in 31 minutes as Milwaukee fell, 117-92, to the Orlando Magic, and his presence in the lineup was greeting with gratitude from the Bucks blog, Brew Hoop:

Luc starts. I’ve been whining about Mbah a Moute not starting for a little while now–not that I was the only one. So I’m pleased to report Skiles came to his senses and benched Delfino for the first time this season, the only lineup change following the horrible first half in Charlotte. Not a fantastic night or anything from Mbah a Moute, but the Bucks’ starting five did their job, staking the Bucks to an early lead that they maintained throughout the half.

CONTRIBUTIONS AGAINST CHARLOTTE
It was the second straight game that Luc logged significant minutes — in Milwaukee’s 94-84 loss to Charlotte days earlier, he played 36 minutes, scoring nine points and grabbing 10 boards. His presence and attitude were worth noting, as reported by the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.

Mbah a Moute…said the Bucks need to do whatever it takes to stop their current slide.

« We’ve got to try harder, » Mbah a Moute said. « Guys have got to give a little more. If you get tired after the game, you’ve got to get exhausted now. That’s what it will take to come back from this. »

RELATED STORIES
Bobcats 94, Bucks 84: Starters Sit After fizzling (Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, Dec. 27, 2009)
http://www.jsonline.com/sports/bucks/80245242.html
Recap: Magic 117, Bucks 92 (Brew Hoop, Dec. 31, 2009)
http://www.brewhoop.com/2009/12/31/1227488/recap-magic-117-bucks-92

 

A Defender Is Needed

You can’t overstate the importance of a lockdown defender in the NBA.

That was the message that Milwaukee Bucks coach Scott Skiles was sharing on Wednesday in regard to Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, his team’s best defender. Until recently, No. 12 had been coming off the bench, but Skiles has decided to replace Carlos Defino in the starting lineup with Luc to up Milwaukee’s defensive intensity.

But where does that leave the Bucks right now as they try to get back on a winning path after going 3-11 during a dismal December?

It has coach Scott Skiles doing some lineup juggling, particularly at the forward spots. Mbah a Moute returned to the starting lineup at small forward Wednesday and had eight points and five rebounds while playing 31 minutes in the Bucks’ 117-92 loss to the Orlando Magic.

As Skiles went on to explain the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, Luc is seen as a critical part of solving Milwaukee’s ongoing defensive puzzle.

Skiles wanted Mbah a Moute’s defensive ability to match against Magic star Vince Carter, who turned in a sterling performance with 25 points.

And that ability could keep Mbah a Moute in the lineup as the Bucks prepare to face hot-shooting Kevin Durant and the Oklahoma City Thunder on Saturday night at the Bradley Center.

NEXT UP
Luc and the Bucks will look to take down Kevin Durant and the Oklahoma City Thunder on January 2nd.

RELATED STORIES
Good Time to Move Forward (Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, Dec. 31, 2009)
http://www.jsonline.com/sports/bucks/80452872.html