Luc Brings the Defense in Denver

Luc Richard Mbah a Moute and the Milwaukee Bucks took a rocky mountain road trip this week with stops in Utah and Denver along the way.

No. 12 got the start again for the Bucks on Wednesday in Denver, No. 12 on the season for him. The Prince chipped in three points, shooting one of two from both the floor and the foul line. He also recorded two assists and three rebounds, one of them coming on the offensive side of the ball.

Meanwhile, No. 12 was charged with defending one of the NBA’s top scorers in Carmelo Anthony and did a solid job.

Anthony, who averages about 45 percent from the field, made less than 33 percent of his shots (4-13) and finished with 14 points, nearly 10 off his season average of 23.2 per game. Anthony, usually a strong rebounder was also held to just four boards in 27 minutes.

With Luc doing the little things all over the floor, the Bucks took command early and at halftime led the Nuggets by five. But Milwaukee was unable to hold off a second half surge by Denver and fell 105-94.

In Utah, Luc started and grabbed four boards to go along with a pair of points and a steal in a 109-88 loss to the Jazz.

Milwaukee was without three starters for Monday night’s game, including center Andrew Bogut, and found it tough to handle the Jazz’ size. But the Bucks fought hard, falling behind just seven through three quarters before the Jazz ultimately put the game away in the fourth.

Luc’s defensive prowess in the NBA began when he was playing in blue and gold for the UCLA Bruins.

This season the UCLA coaches are trying to instill a bit of Luc into their current roster.

What better way to teach defense to follow in an alum’s footsteps. This past week at a team practice, after hours of watching game footage UCLA Head Coach Ben Howland put in a different kind of tape. This one, game footage of defensive stalwarts like Aaron Afflalo and none other than Luc Richard.

Sophomore Reeves Nelson, who leads the team in scoring with 17.6 points per game said that his coaches’ methods were extremely valuable

« They just took more pride in the defense because they knew that by doing that, they could generate their offense. That’s what Coach was trying to show us. He wants to put an emphasis on transition, but at the same time, if you don’t get a lot of stops, you can’t transition. »

After a one-point loss to Kansas on Thursday, the Bruins are 3-3 on the young season.

The Bucks return home for a four-game homestand starting Saturday night against the Orlando Magic.

Milwaukee is hopeful they will be at full strength with Andrew Bogut back at center on Saturday. Tip-of is at 7:30 CST and the game can be seen nationwide on NBA TV FSN Wisconsin will broadcast locally.

UCLA vs. Kansas Preview: Bruins Need to Channel the Force of Luc (Bruins Nation, Dec. 2, 2010)
Milwaukee Bucks-Utah Jazz (ESPN, Nov. 29, 2010)