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We're just a few games away from being halfway into the season, and the Bucks are riding a 22-17 record to a 3rd place standing in the division (tied with New Orleans) and and 4th place standing in the conference overall (tied with NO again). Not too shabby for a team many predicted to be one of the 3-4 worst in the league, and just about no one predicted to be any better than a 7-8th place playoff team.

Personally, I'm more than a little surprised -- this is one of the two or three biggest shocks of the season for me. I was one of the ones predicting them finishing 14th in the east, just narrowly beating out the Hawks. If absolutely everything clicked just right, <i>maybe</i> they compete for the 8th seed. They had a borderline all-star in Redd, a solid 6th man in Mason, a lottery pick PG who was anywhere from a future all-star to a future bust depending on who you talked to in Ford, and a jumbled bunch of guys who are marginal role players (Gadzuric, Skinner, Strickland) or underachievers (Thomas, Smith). It just didn't sound the the recipe for success.

However, pretty much everything that could go right has, and it shows in their record. Redd is playing as well as most thought he could, no big surprise there for me. Other players though have stepped up beyond what I expected of them. I wasn't sure either way on Ford in the preseason, but he's doing a very good job leading the team from the toughest position for a rookie to play. Skinner came from more or less nowhere to become a very solid player in the middle, and I'm sure more teams would have tried to sign the guy if they knew he'd be putting up 10/7 in 26 MPG. It's a shame he got hurt early in the season; maybe his presence could have gotten the Bucks a few more wins than they already have. Smith, while not exactly a force, has proven to be a nice complimentary player. He won't ever be the player many expected in his early career, but his 10/8.5/1.5 BPG is nothing to sneeze at.

Thomas is the guy that has surprised me the most so far. Like Smith, he hasn't become the major player that many were expecting him to, but he's really been a good player all around so far this season. While he is and never will be worth his contract, if you look past that, he's a nice and versatile player. I thought he would kind of fizzle this year, with Redd taking a bulk of the offensive load and Mason taking over the second option role. I figured that Thomas would have to settle into being a role player and little more. However, he's second on the team in scoring with 15 PPG, and he's doing that with a very respectable 45% FG.

So, what's everyone else's thoughts on the Bucks at the almost-midway point of the season? Surprised or not? Can they keep their excellent play up?

(Note: I really can't watch any Bucks games, unless they're on national TV or playing the Wizards. Most of what I said about the individual players came from their stats, game recaps, and what I've read from others at this forum. Just letting you know in case I got something majorly wrong on someone).
 

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Originally posted by <b>MJG</b>!
So, what's everyone else's thoughts on the Bucks at the almost-midway point of the season? Surprised or not? Can they keep their excellent play up?
I have to admit I'm very surprised (in a good way!) at their first half of the season.
As for the rest of the year I think if they continue to stay relatively healthy and Ford doesn't hit the wall physically we're looking at a realistic 5th-6th seed.
 

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I'm very happy with our team. At the beginning of the season, I said that if they won 30 all year, I'd be happy. With it looking that they could win 30 through 55 games, they could make a run to possibly the 2nd round, which even diehard Bucks fans (both of them, me and Mavs Dude) thought was impossibe this year. But what really makes the differance for the Bucks is by far Bench play, with Kukoc, Dez, Gadsuric (big part, suprised you didn't mention him) and Jones, them averaging together almost 35 ppg. What I don't like is them not taking advantage of the possibility of Gadsuric and Haislip together, along with Tim, Tj and Dez making the most athletic group of 5 on any team in the league. C'mon, give Haislip more minutes.
 
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