Are the Bucks a good-bad team? Or are the Bucks a bad-good team? Neither one is very desirable in a league where it is better to be great or really bad. For a small market team to improve you have to strike it rich(or lucky) in the NBA draft. Free agency is not a viable options since no difference makers will consider Milwaukee, or any mid to small market team. If you are a middle of the pack team, or lower middle of the pack as the Bucks are, there is no clear way to improve.
The Bucks have lost back to back road games to the Miami Heat and Orlando Magic. That is by no means a crime as these are two of the top teams in the East and both are certain to make the second round of the playoffs, with a strong possibility that one or both make the Eastern Conference Finals. The Bucks are 13-20, tied for eighth in the Eastern Conference. They are on the edge of the playoffs and the edge of the lottery. Neither is a good spot.
If you are eighth in the Eastern Conference you will likely play the Heat who are now rolling. In the past when the format was a best of five the underdogs had a chance. Steal game one or two and hope the other team cannot handle the pressure. With the new format of best of seven in the first round there are no more upsets. This is why teams tank, or appear to tank. As a bottom seed you have little chance, especially if you are not good enough to have an above .500 record. You also have no shot at the lottery, which is the only way to really improve.
Would the Spurs have any titles if not for getting Tim Duncan? Which was very lucky because for some odd reason Duncan went back to school after his junior year where he would surely have been the number one pick. Would the Bulls be a contender without Derrick Rose? The Bulls also got lucky by moving up from the lower end of the lottery into the first spot.
For the Bucks to get better they need to first be somewhat bad enough to get into the lottery, than get lucky and strike it rich with the bounce of the ping pong balls. Then they also need to get lucky enough to be in the top spot in a year where there is a true difference maker. That is a lot to ask.
The other approach for the Bucks is hope. Hope that Brandon Jennings will continue to develop and blossom into a star, possible. Hope that Andrew Bogut can stay healthy for the majority of his career from here on out, not highly likely. Hope that Larry Sanders becomes a diamond in the rough and develops into a highly productive power forward, also possible. These three along with Chris Douglas Roberts and Ersan Illyasova should be the core, everything else can be moved for shooters.
The Bucks are ranked 6th in defense, 30th in offense. This cannot change with the current roster. One or two months can be a slump but we are almost mid-season and it is apparent this team cannot shoot for shit. Clear out Salmons, Maggette, Mbah a Moute, Drew Gooden and anything else for some better shooters. That may not be possible but this off-season, or as we approach the trading deadline, John Hammond needs to find a way to flip a player or two for some better shooting.
Defense is about effort and coaching, the defense will not falter drastically if more shooters are brought in as long as basket protecters such as Bogut and Sanders remain.
Whatever is done, something needs to happen because right now the Bucks are trending downwards without a ton of hope with the current roster.