In front of a lot of empty seats across the street from venerated Lambeau Field, Brandon Jennings provided a tantalizing vision of how great he could be (the empty seats are not a reflection of northern enthusiasm for the Bucks, but rather the end product of the NBA’s insistence on maintaining ridiculously high prices for exhibition games).
Jennings was simply awesome, compiling 9.0 win score points in only 24 minutes of action. Jennings played an extremely efficient and productive game. He turned 15.5 possessions into 18 points (+2.5), he grabbed 6 rebounds (+6.0), he helped out with 2 assists (+1.0), he stole the ball one more time than he turned it over (+1.0), and he committed only one foul (-0.5).
Jennings still had trougble finishing at the basket getting two of his in-close shots stamped “Return to Sender” by Bobcat defenders, but at least he was attacking the basket with alacrity. That aggressiveness produced 7 free throw attempts for Jennings, of which he converted 6. That is the secret behind Rajon Rondo’s success (the difference being that Rondo is an incredible finisher at the rim)
Besides Jennings, the rest of the Bucks backcourt, save for Chris Douglas Roberts, played very well in Saturday night’s exhibition win. Is this Chris Kramer from Purdue going to make the team? He’s a scrapper from the farm fields of Indiana, just like Skiles was when he came out of Michigan State. Kramer is tough as nails and he is very productive in the “little things” department. He played 32 minutes on Saturday night, and I suppose its possible he could make the team if the Bucks place Darrington Hobson on injured reserve.
Another player who impressed me was Keyon Dooling. Perhaps he will revert back to the player he was for Orlando, rather than the one he was in New Jersey. That would be a nice boost for the backcourt. It appears Dooling will be used as a shooting guard, and not so much as a point guard. He’s probably better at shooting guard.
I was unimpressed by both Chris Douglas Roberts, who recorded (-4.5) win score points in 28 unproductive minutes, and rookie Larry Sanders, who looked passive and who also recorded negative win score points in his nine minutes of action (-2.0).
As for Drew Gooden, I am not a fan, but he played very well Saturday night, mainly because he was effective on the backboards.
The accounts you will see in your Sunday paper will say that Ersan Ilyasova won the game for the Bucks. Not true. He rebounded well, but he didn’t shoot well, and he committed too many fouls and too many turnovers.
Is there an election going on in Wisconsin? I’ve got the football game on over my shoulder and I swear to you in the time I have typed this post I have heard six commercials from both sides of the pivotal Wisconsin senate race. Apparently one of the candidates is a mudslinger who is nothing but a Washington lachey, while the other candidate is in league with evil lobbyists and also favors moving jobs out of Wisconsin and down to Mexico. The funny thing is, I’m not really sure what either of them actually stands for. In American politics, discussions of political philosophy and actual policy positions are considered secondary concerns.
So I don’t know what I’ll do come the first Tuesday in November. Maybe, if he keeps playing like he did on Saturday night in Green Bay, I will just write the name Brandon Jennings in the blank slot on my ballot. After all, a championship level point guard is the change I really favor, and sadly, a productive Jennings would do more for this alienated Wisconsinite than either of those other two fellows could possibly do, I’m pretty sure of that.