Should Milwaukee Bucks center Andrew Bogut miss his fifth straight game due to back spasms when his team visits our Denver Nuggets on Wednesday night, the Nuggets will find themselves in an unfamiliar position: they won't be grossly undersized.
And here we thought the Nuggets had rebounding problems. In their loss to the Utah Jazz on Monday night, the Bucks grabbed 26 total rebounds. 26?! That's like Kevin Love's production by halftime. The Jazz, meanwhile, pulled down 48 and won handily by 21 points.
Not surprisingly, the Bucks are struggling mightily without the services of their very serviceable center, Andrew Bogut. Without Bogut for the past four games, the Bucks are 1-3 (with their lone win coming against the lowly Charlotte Bobcats) and are losers of six of their last seven overall since Bogut's back issues have come back into play.
Preseason darlings for many would-be NBA pundits (including this one), the Bucks have disappointed and currently sit at 6-11 near the cellar of the Central Division. A combination of injuries, illnesses, mixing in some new faces and unreasonably high expectations have done them in to date. Fortunately for Milwaukee, they play in the Eastern Conference meaning they can make a playoff run and find themselves holding down the four-seed with just a couple of wins.
Should Bogut miss his fifth straight game, the Bucks woes will be the Nuggets gain on Wednesday night. A rarity this season, a Bogut-less Bucks squad means that Nuggets small forwards Carmelo Anthony and Al Harrington won't have to play big man all night. And thus, I foresee a game similar to what we saw against the Suns on Sunday night: a small ball shootout.
In fact, we might see the highest scoring Nuggets/Bucks game since Doug Moe's Nuggets took on Don Nelson's Bucks in the mid-1980s. Bucks point guard Brandon Jennings has found his groove, averaging 28 points per game in his last three (lest we forget that he torched the Nuggets for 32 when the teams met in Milwaukee last season) and he has multiple teammates capable of going for 20-plus on any given night.
But if you really want to know about the Bucks, don't ask me...ask my soon-to-be 99 year old grandmother who lives in Milwaukee and has followed this team religiously for longer than any of us have been alive. As has become an annual tradition here at Denver Stiffs, my grandmother was kind enough to serve up a scouting report on the Bucks (and throws in a few comments about the NBA in general, too).
SCOUTING THE BUCKS (courtesy of Andrew's grandmother)
"I'm really concerned that the Bucks aren't doing well. I don't know much about the new players because I'm too focused on the old ones! But attendance is way off and we're just not playing well.
"Until Andy Bogut comes back we're going nowhere. When he's in there we're unbelievable. If Bogut is anywhere near the basket he can put it in. No one else on this team can do it. Bogut also gets severe migraines and has to sit out. You have no idea how painful those migraines are, it's like taking shots into your brain. It's the worst headache anyone can get.
"Brandon Jennings started out on fire and now he's just a little above average. In time he'll be fine. You know he scored over 50 points too soon last year and has does nothing near it since.
"John Salmons and Carlos Delfino are really good. Delfino can shoot a three-pointer from anywhere and he minds his own business, you know?
"Scott Skiles is a very good coach but he's having trouble with injuries and illnesses.
"Corey Maggette is okay. He's finally coming along and I think Skiles has faith in him. I've seen him do a few things.
"Michael Redd is coming back in February but he won't do anything. Lot of money involved there.
"We have that guy Denver used to have...Earl Boykins...he isn't so hot. I haven't seen him on the court."
While we were talking, I asked for her thoughts on our Nuggets and the NBA in general...
"The Nuggets aren't doing as well as they did a year ago. There's no way they're going to beat the Lakers. And you know who's getting strong? Oklahoma City. They're like in first or second place in their division!"
Like grandma, like grandson...
"Look at the Heat. LeBron James is full of himself. Dwyane Wade has so many personal problems, he doesn't know which end is up. And I don't know much about that third guy."
"And be sure to tell your friend George Karl that I'm still mad at him for trading Ray Allen. I'll never forgive him for that."
Opposition's Take: Brew Hoop