When Luc Richard Mbah A Moute walked off the court after the Milwaukee Bucks’ playoff ouster last season, he knew his team had plenty to build on going forth.
But for Luc, the focus shifted to what he could do to build on his status as an NBA player. For the widely respected defender, that involved getting better on the offensive end. So this summer, No. 12 went to work on his jumper.
« When I came in [to the league], a lot of people questioned my shot and I wasn’t as good a shooter as I am right now. It’s a process, » Luc told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. « You’ve got to take time and put work in over the summer and gradually get better. I am getting more confident, and my shot is getting more consistent. That’s the goal. »
Luc spent time in Atlanta with Mark Price, the former Cleveland Cavalier and owner of one of the best pure jumpers in NBA lore. Taking the trip to Atlanta with No. 12 was Bucks assistant coach Jim Boylan, who had worked with Price as an assistant when Price played in Cleveland. Boylan told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel about the trip’s purpose.
« We kind of broke down Luc’s shot and reconstructed it a little bit, » he said. « Now we’re back here working on it and staying consistent with our effort. We’re trying to be perfect every time we shoot the ball. Luc has been an unbelievable student. He’s been really fantastic, absorbing it and trying to bring that stuff to his game. »
No. 12 told the Journal-Sentinel that he has worked with Boylan on making his shot “tighter and more compact. »
Luc’s improvements have been on full display over the first week of exhibition play for Milwaukee.
The Bucks opened the preseason with a 92-83 win over the Chicago Bulls, in which No. 12 came off the bench to score 11 points on 4-5 from the floor. Three nights later, Luc was in the lineup and scored six points and grabbed six rebounds in a Bucks loss to the Detroit Pistons.
In Milwaukee’s third game, No. 12 was a rebounding machine, pulling down eight boards in an 86-78 win over the Charlotte Bobcats.
Bucks coach Scott Skiles has been impressed most with Luc’s mechanics, which he told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, have clearly improved:
« He’s put in a ton of time and his balance is better, his footwork is better, » Skiles said. « Normally if your mechanics and technique are getting better, you start seeing the ball go in, you start being more confident and you become a better shooter. »
Improvements in Luc’s game will be key for both the Bucks and Luc himself, given the depth the Bucks have all over the floor this season.
« This team is really deep and at every position you’ve got guys who can play, » Mbah a Moute said. « It’s good for coach because he has a lot of options to work with. And it’s good for us because we know we can have guys coming off the bench giving great effort. »
Luc and the Bucks get back to work on Thursday night when they head to our Nation’s Capital, to take on the Washington Wizards.
Tip-off is scheduled for 6 p.m. CST and the game can be seen nationwide on NBA TV.
Bulls at Bucks Box Score (NBA.com, October 5, 2010)
Bucks at Pistons Box Score (NBA.com, October 8, 2010)
Bobcats at Bucks Box Score (NBA.com, October 10, 2010)
Mbah A Moute shifts his focus to jumper (Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, October 7, 2010)
Review: Bucks-W, Bulls-L (Chicago Now, October 6, 2010)