Search

15 Milwaukee Bucks Not even the artist in the lineup can make a pretty picture out of this

Oct. 27, 2003
Oct. 27, 2003

Table of Contents
Oct. 27, 2003

NBA Preview 2003-04
NBA Preview 2003-04: Scouting Reports
Departments

15 Milwaukee Bucks Not even the artist in the lineup can make a pretty picture out of this

Equal parts athlete and aesthete, Bucks swingman Desmond Mason is
surely the only NBA player who arrives at practice with his hands
stained from oil paint. A studio art major at Oklahoma State,
Mason often relaxes with a paintbrush in hand, though he is
reluctant to classify his style. "It's like basketball, where
it's better to have a number of skills," he says. "Sometimes I'll
be into landscapes or still lifes, then I'll switch and work on
something more abstract."

This is an article from the Oct. 27, 2003 issue Original Layout

Given Mason's appreciation for the vast potential of the blank
canvas, it's no surprise that he is among the few folks who
speaks excitedly about Milwaukee's prospects this season. "Every
position is up for grabs," says Mason, who was acquired from the
Sonics last February in a five-player deal that sent All-Star
guard Ray Allen to Seattle. "It looks like we're going to play an
up-down style with [first-round pick] T.J. Ford as the point
guard--which suits me great--but other than that, who knows?"

In whatever scheme rookie coach Terry Porter settles on, Mason's
role is likely to be significant. Displaying the same versatility
on the court that he demonstrates at an easel, Mason can swing
seamlessly between small forward and shooting guard, and in his
first three seasons he has established himself as an A-list
defender. While he could stand to improve his jumper (befitting
his surname, bricks can be his stock in trade), Mason is a
terrific finisher who dunks with as much flourish as anyone in
the league. Even as the third or fourth option on offense last
season, he still averaged 14.8 points on 47.4% shooting in 28
games with the Bucks. "If they're going to make me a big part of
the offense, it's fine with me," Mason says. "I feel like I'm
ready for a breakout year." --L.J.W.

COLOR PHOTO: NOREN TROTMAN/NBAE/GETTY IMAGES Desmond Mason

FAST FACT
As a scorer off the bench (minimum 20 games as a reserve) Michael
Redd averaged a league-high 15.2 points in 68
games.

ENEMY LINES
an opposing team's scout sizes up the Bucks

"I'll get some arguments on this, but the Bucks get my vote for
worst team in the league.... They have some decent talent, but
Desmond Mason, Michael Redd and Marcus Haislip look like they
need another season before they take on leading roles, and T.J.
Ford [the Number 8 pick from Texas] is years away. He lacks
consistency from the perimeter, he doesn't have a midrange jumper
and, while he's quick enough to get into the paint, he's not
strong enough to finish. When he drives I'm telling my guys to
not come over until he leaves his feet, which will still give
them time to block his shot because he's so small. I think about
him going up against Shaq, and it's almost frightening.... The
other scary thing is that they'll have to rely on Tim Thomas, who
has the body of a star, the all-around skills of a star and the
paycheck of a star--but he isn't a star. Maybe it's because he
had a hard time establishing himself in the company of Ray Allen,
Sam Cassell and Glenn Robinson before they were all traded away,
but it's also because Thomas prefers to play on the perimeter. If
you bang him a couple of times, he'll lose his enthusiasm for
putting it on the floor and taking it to the rim.... Rookie coach
Terry Porter was an assistant in Sacramento, and he's hoping to
push the ball and play an open style. That won't help much,
because they'll be the worst defensive team in the league: Thomas
and Toni Kukoc are bad, and Redd is a joke.... Their centers are
Joel Przybilla, a decent shot blocker and rebounder who kills
them at the offensive end, and Dan Gadzuric, an active guy around
the basket who kills them at the defensive end.... You'll be able
to tell if Porter is doing a good job by how much they improve
during the season, even if that doesn't translate into victories.
There's no way they win more than 25."

PROJECTED STARTING LINEUP with 2002-03 statistics

Record: 42-40 (8th in East)
Points scored: 99.5 (5th in NBA)
Points allowed: 99.3 (25th)
Coach: Terry Porter
(first season with Bucks)

DAN GADZURIC

POS. PVR PPG RPG APG
C 261 3.4 4.0 0.2

BPG SPG FG% FT%
1.06 0.45 48.3 51.8

TIM THOMAS

POS. PVR PPG RPG APG
SF 82 13.3 4.9 1.3

BPG SPG FG% 3FG%
0.61 0.88 44.3 36.6

T.J. FORD[1] (R)

POS. PVR PPG RPG APG
PG 114 15.0 3.9 7.7

SPG FG% 3FG% FT%
2.00 40.1 26.5 82.0

DESMOND MASON

POS. PVR PPG RPG APG
SG 68 14.3 6.5 2.0

SPG BPG FG% FT%
0.84 0.40 44.9 74.9

JOE SMITH[1]

POS. PVR PPG RPG APG
PF 90 7.5 5.0 0.7

BPG SPG FG% FT%
1.02 0.26 46.0 77.9

BENCH PVR* 2002-03 KEY STATS

G-F MICHAEL
REDD 72 15.1 ppg 4.5 rpg 1.22 spg 46.9 FG% 43.8 3FG%
F TONI
KUKOC 102 11.6 ppg 4.2 rpg 3.7 apg 1.29 spg 43.2 FG%
F[1] BRIAN
SKINNER 162 6.0 ppg 4.8 rpg 0.69 bpg 0.61 spg 55.0 FG%
G[1] ERICK
STRICKLAND 166 6.5 ppg 2.0 rpg 2.9 apg 0.54 spg 42.9 FG%
C JOEL
PRZYBILLA 276 1.5 ppg 4.5 rpg 1.41 bpg 39.1 FG% 50.0 FT%

NEW ACQUISITION[1]
(R) Rookie (statistics for final college season)
*PVR: Player Value Ranking (explanation on page 00)