Just Better with Luc

The Milwaukee Bucks are starting to get hot and the team’s recent success can all be traced back to a night when Luc Richard Mbah A Moute joined the starting five.

Luc got his first start of the season in a 94-90 Bucks win over the Indiana Pacers last Friday, but was back on the bench for an 87-81 loss to the Hornets on Saturday.

However when No. 12 stepped up again on Tuesday night in Milwaukee, the Bucks clicked once more. Luc poured in 10 points and grabbed eight rebounds to go along with a pair of steals as the Bucks defeated the New York Knicks 107-80.

After another win with Luc starting, over the Hawks on Wednesday, the Bucks are now 3-0 when Luc starts and 1-4 when he comes off the bench. In that lone win, Luc played 35 minutes off the bench for Drew Gooden, scored nine points and grabbed nine rebounds. Those type of numbers don’t lie and it’s pretty clear at this point that Luc Richard is a pivotal part of Milwaukee’s success.

On Tuesday, Luc was one of seven Bucks players to record double digits in points, dropping 10 on 50 percent shooting (3-6 FG, 4-6 FT). His performance made No. 12 a part of the « Three Bucks » portion of Alec Boeder’s write-up over at Brew Hoop. A spot that he’s had a nice run in recently.

« The Prince missed both of his jumpers on the evening, but head-faked, pump-faked, and pivot-foot shifted his way to 3-4 at the hoop, including an and-one. Starting at small forward in place of Carlos Delfino (neck strain), Mbah a Moute excelled on both sides of the ball. »

The Bucks raced out to a 22-point lead after the first quarter and the game was never close. Luc Richard led the way with a game-high 35 minutes, as well as an impressive +26 point differential. No. 12’s eight rebounds were also good for second among Bucks’ players. All that came even after he left the game in the third quarter of Tuesday’s game with an injury to his right arm.

But Charles F. Gardner of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel wrote that Luc’s injury was nothing to worry about:

« Forward Luc Richard Mbah a Moute suffered a right arm injury and went to the locker room for X-rays early in the third quarter. Mbah a Moute said the X-rays were negative and he returned to the lineup with 7:05 left in the third quarter and the Bucks ahead by 16 points. »

Luc also played the injury off as a minor hiccup:

« I got caught in a screen and hyper-extended it. It’s sore now that the game is over. »

Sure enough, one night later, No. 12 was back in the starting five and had two steals and two points in a 108-91 win over the Hawks.

After falling behind 26-21 after the first quarter, a scorching offensive performance and a dominating one on defense pushed the Bucks to a 33-14 second quarter. Milwaukee’s 13-point halftime lead eventually led to a 17-point win on the road for No. 12 and the deer.

On the defensive end, Luc Richard helped limit the usually dangerous combination of Josh Smith and Joe Johnson to just 21 points combined on 8-of-22 shooting. Neither player was able to get to the line with much success either (5-7 FT combined).

NEXT UP

The Bucks are currently in an odd stretch of their schedule when they play just seven games in 18 days from November 6 to November 23, offering an opportunity for the team to get healthy

The fourth game of that slate is this Saturday in Milwaukee where the Bucks host the Golden State Warriors. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:30 pm. CST and the game can be seen regionally on FSN Wisconsin and nationally on NBA TV.

RELATED ARTICLES
Tuesday game report: Knicks vs. Bucks (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Nov. 9, 2010)
Bucks 107, Knicks 80: Bogut and Jennings dunk Knicks (Brew Hoop, Nov. 9, 2010)