Throughout the first half of the season, Luc Richard Mbah a Moute has not only done everything asked of him, but has shined while doing it.
The third-year pro has, with ease, transitioned from starter to reserve, several times helping an injury-plagued Bucks team at every turn. But it’s not just that he’s been there. Luc has also played well in both capacities. While some players may not be as comfortable with a fluctuating role, Luc Richard has never wavered in his drive.
So far this season, Luc Richard has already accumulated six double-doubles, after compiling just four over the last two years. But the Prince’s offensive capabilities have been just the tip of the iceberg as far as his contribution to the team goes.
While the Bucks are thrilled with Luc’s offensive output, head coach Scott Skiles knows Luc’s biggest asset is his ability to shut down the opposition’s top player with his defense. Defending the best in the league is a night-in, night-out challenge for Luc, and he always meets the task with an unquestionable work-ethic:
« I never let anybody out-tough or out-work me, » Luc said.
Luc has been a shining example of heart and adversity in the NBA as he works to achieve the goals he dreamed of as a youngster halfway across the world in Cameroon. And while the Bucks are searching for their rhythm, a young core of players, including Luc, center Andrew Bogut, and point guard Brandon Jennings, has fans looking forward to the years ahead.
BY THE NUMBERS
Here are a few highlights from Luc’s season to date:
1 Games missed by Luc Richard this season, the least of any Milwaukee player
5 Career high in assists for Luc, accomplished February 3rd against Golden State
6 No. of double-doubles this year for Luc
11 Career high in offensive rebounds pulled down against the Warriors
19 Career high in total rebounds set that same night against Golden State
29 Starts for Luc this season, most of them in a pinch for injured teammates
46.1 Luc’s field goal percentage, third best on the Bucks
47:22 Career high In minutes played against Charlotte. Luc missed just 38 seconds.
286 Total rebounds for Luc Richard this season, fourth on the team
300 Total points for Luc Richard this season
THEY SAID IT
Those around Luc are quick to praise him for his effort, hustle and prowess on the defensive end. They agree he truly is one of the best defenders in the league:
Bucks Coach Scott Skiles:
« Luc has a knack laterally that a lot of people don’t have. If you put him in some sort of lateral race, I doubt he’d win too many of them. But he anticipates; he’s in a stance. That’s why he can guard people at multiple positions. And he’s got enough thickness to his body that he can battle somebody like that. »
Clippers forward Blake Griffin on Luc:
« He’s a great defender.”
Skiles on No. 12’s success against Blake Griffin:
« I doubt anybody is going to guard him any better than that, 1-on-1. That guy is so big and quick, and Luc did a great job on him, no question.
Bucks center Andrew Bogut on Luc’s defense of Kobe Bryant:
« He’s our best perimeter defender. Kobe’s going to score 20 just because of the amount of shots he gets up. We just need Luc to keep contesting every shot and make sure [Bryant] knows he’s there every shot. »
Bucks point guard Brandon Jennings on Luc’s defense of Monta Ellis:
« Luc Mbah a Moute did a good job on Monta Ellis; it’s not easy guarding that guy. I’d put him at the top right now as one of the hardest guys to guard in the NBA. He just goes and he can score at will. »
Coach Scott Skiles on Luc’s stability:
« He comes in with his defensive presence, and he knows everything we’re trying to do. Obviously, we still have some kinks to work out because we have half a new team, but he knows everything we’re trying to do and I thought he really stabilized us tonight. »
AS SEEN BY:
Astute NBA observers point out things like No. 12’s instincts, concentration, awareness and his hard work and dedication to the team and his craft, all making Luc Richard an asset to the Bucks and their fans.
Jeremy Schmidt, Bucksketball
« Anticipation and instincts were the words of the night when Mbah a Moute’s defense was a topic. All of the athleticism and studying in the world can make a player a good defender, but sometimes it’s the things we can’t measure that put a player over the edge and turn him into a great defender. Coach Skiles certainly seems to think that’s the difference for Mbah a Moute. »
Alex Boeder, Brew Hoop
« This is the player. The player who hauls in more than half (4) of your offensive rebounds, the player whose defensive prowess is never quantified statistically (1 steal, 0 blocks), the player who plays 38 minutes without a turnover or missing a shot (he missed only a 40-footer at the first quarter buzzer), the player who defends and frustrates and tugs at the other team’s star player, every team’s star player, even as his own home crowd is cheering for that star player (add Blake Griffin to that list which already includes Kobe Bryant, Ray Allen, etc.). This is the player you miss, someday.
Jeramey Jannene, The Bratwurst
« Moute Kicks Boute -Luc Richard Mbah a Moute is the silent assassin on the Bucks. He typically has to defend the best offensive player on the other team, be it Dirk Nowitzki or Kevin Durant. As a reward for his hard work, Mbah a Moute never gets a single play called for him. So how does he post a career average of seven points a game? The offensive glass. Despite being undersized as a starting power forward, Luc Richard yanks down over two offensive rebounds a game. Those rebounds usually go straight back up and result in two points for the good guys. »
Alex Boeder of Brew Hoop on the things that make Luc stand out:
« The defense, we know all about that, but it just doesn’t get old. A big offensive night producing a lot of points is a lot more straightforward, and is easier to understand and see. These ace defensive games from Mbah a Moute? We know his positioning, spacing, concentration, feet, and awareness make it work, but none of it is so obvious to make it routine to watch.”
Zach Harper of ESPN on Luc’s Defensive Player of the Year Credentials:
« LRMAM isn’t the type of guy to get his proper due defensively. However, Luc Richard has been one of the most versatile defenders while guarding just about every position on the floor and helping stop pick-and-roll plays with his quick feet and expansive wingspan. »
IN HIS OWN WORDS:
Luc remains steadfast in his pursuit of NBA achievement. Remembering where he came from drives him to get better on a daily basis.
« 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 Richard on his road to the NBA.