Taking the Next Step

After a 12-win upswing and a surprise run at the postseason last year, Luc Richard Mbah A Moute and his Milwaukee Bucks are working toward taking that all-important next step.

« We have a really good team this year. It’s just a matter of how everybody is going to come together and how quick it happens, » Luc told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. « With the pieces that we added, it gives us competition. Every time you have competition everybody brings their A-game. That’s what we need in order to be a good team. »

Luc is questionable for the game tonight with an ankle injury that kept him out of Milwaukee’s final four preseason games. Charles F. Gardner of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel had the latest on Luc Richard from Bucks shootaround this morning.

Skiles also said forward Luc Richard Mbah a Moute should be able to play despite not being 100% due to a still sore right ankle.

If he does play tonight, Luc will be coming off the bench for the Bucks as he did 11 times last season. He also started 62 times for Milwaukee last year. Before he suffered his ankle injury, No. 12 was getting big minutes for the Bucks, averaging 31.5 minutes per game.

He had 24 total rebounds and 25 points in those four games.

The big minutes likely mean that once Luc is back to full health, he’ll be a huge part of Milwaukee’s rotation as a defensive stopper and improved offensive option. Until then though, the Bucks will be cautious with his recovery because it is a long season.

CLOSER LOOK AT LUC
For their annual Bucks preview, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, profiled Luc and his work this summer in his native Cameroon.

12 Luc Richard Mbah a Moute
Position: Forward
Ht./Wt.:6-8, 230
Age: 24
From:UCLA
NBA season: Third

Over the summer Mbah a Moute conducted a basketball camp in his home country of Cameroon. He said it was the first time such a camp had been held in his country.

Mbah a Moute rounded up what he felt were the best 50 players from ages 12 to 17 and ran them through twice-daily sessions. Five of those players were then selected to take part in the NBA’s Basketball Without Borders camp in Senegal, where one of Mbah a Moute’s campers was named most valuable player.

He said interest in basketball had grown considerably in Cameroon.

« Basketball is very big and it’s getting bigger because it used to be soccer and then every other sport, » said Mbah a Moute, who is a prince is his home village of Bafia (Bia Messe). « Now it’s soccer and basketball and then every other sport. You see how far it’s gone from when I started. It was just like something that some people didn’t even consider a sport. »

Is Mbah a Moute more famous at home as a prince or a pro basketball player?

« As a pro basketball player, » he said. « There’s a lot of princes there and some of them are more powerful then me. »

NEXT UP

Luc and the Bucks begin the 2010-2011 regular season tonight as they take on the Hornets in New Orleans. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. CST and the game can be seen on FSN Wisconsin.

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