January 5, 2013; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Nuggets guard Andre Iguodala (9) drives to the basket during the second half against the Utah Jazz at the Pepsi Center. The Nuggets won 110-91. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

Milwaukee Bucks Links: Mountain Time Zone Edition

NBA.com:  The Bucks are about to enter a midweek Mountain Time Zone buzzsaw.  With a game Tuesday in Denver and another Wednesday in Salt Lake City, Milwaukee will face teams with a combined home record of 37-8.  In fact, Denver’s 20-3 mark at home is better than the home record of any Eastern Conference team.

Coming away with any wins on this two-day swing would be quite a feat for the Bucks.

BasketballReference.com:  Even as their standing as a playoff team solidifies, the Bucks’ position as a Central Division title hopeful has softened.  Milwaukee is now 3.5 games behind leader Chicago and 3.0 games behind second-place Indiana.

But one faint glimmer of hope lingers: according to Basketball-Reference.com, the Bulls and Pacers have played the two easiest schedules to date.

New York Times:  Larry Sanders has had more national features written about him this season than all the other Bucks combined.  The New York Times, did their part to maintain their status as a national news organization by making sure they were not left Larry-less.

He leads the league with 3.0 blocks per game, while playing just 25 minutes a night. In the last two months, he has tied a record that was held by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, shown flashes of vintage Bill Russell and, as the Knicks saw in their 96-86 victory Friday night, been transformed into a near replica of (Tyson) Chandler.

Teams that excel at stymieing the pick-and-roll rely on long, athletic big men who can quickly challenge guards on the perimeter and then rush back to protect the basket. Chandler often acts as the Knicks’ sole defensive threat because of his exceptional court coverage, and Sanders anchors a Bucks team that is seventh over all in the Eastern Conference standings with the same skill set.

“You realize how good he is in the games he misses,” Bucks forward Drew Gooden said. “You don’t have somebody to scare guys from going for layups.”

Between the Lines: Professor Yago Colas teaches a Cultures of Basketball course at University of Michigan.  A childhood fan of the Bucks, Dr. Colas blogged this weekend about meeting one of the founders of the Bucks, Dr. George Korkos.

At one point, thinking of players and individuals associated with those teams, he asked me if I remembered Eddie Doucette, the team’s radio and television announcer (it was mostly radio back then).  ”Remember?!” Dr. Korkos didn’t know it, but Eddie Doucette’s voice had been at least as big a part of my connection to the team as any of the players, as the thrill of seeing them play in person.  I told him this as soberly as I could and, with a mischievous and enthusiastic look, he said, “Let’s call Eddie!”

Behind the Buck Pass: (Self-promotional alert) We published this one on Friday afternoon, so if you missed it over the weekend, the punchline is:  Monta Ellis doesn’t have much at all when Luc Mbah a Moute is on the floor with him.

Kenosha News: On Sunday, Brandon Jennings and Jim Paschke are schedule to appear at the Holy Name Society Sports Night.

NBA Power Rankings:  John Schuhmann pegs the Bucks at #12.  This ranking feels like waaay too much responsibility for the Bucks just yet.  Could be a tad too high for them to live up to… yet.

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Tags: Milwaukee Bucks Monta Ellis

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