The past ten years has been up and down for the Milwaukee Bucks. They were a fringe playoff team, then crappy, then a fringe playoff team again. All in all, from 2001-2010 they made five playoff appearances. They were seen as an up-and-coming team more than once in the decade, but never could make anything of it and take that next step forward. They enter the new decade looking like they yet again have a chance to develop a young nucleus that could lead them deeper into the playoffs for years to come. They are now being lead by the flashy Brandon Jennings, developing center Andrew Bogut and journeyman scorer John Salmons. They are hoping to make this decade full of better memories than the past decade was. Here are the best five Milwaukee Bucks from 2001-2010. (Only accomplishments and stats while playing for the Milwaukee Bucks from 2000-2010 were considered.)
1. Michael Redd
In recent seasons, Redd has struggled with major injuries and therefore has all but been forgotten by a lot of NBA fans outside of Milwaukee. Let’s not forget what Redd once was and what he very well could become again and that is one of the best scorers in the NBA. In the 2000’s, Redd averaged over 20 points per game in six different seasons, with 2006-07 being his best output, where he averaged 26.7 points per game. He is currently fifth all-time in points scored in franchise history and dropped in a franchise record 57 points against the Utah Jazz. Somehow he has been over looked for the Eastern Conference All-Star Team every single season.
2. Andrew Bogut
Bogut wasthefirst overall pick in the 2005 NBA Draft and is now starting to evolve into one of the NBA’s top centers. Bogut has always been solid, but in the 2009-10 season, he took a huge stride towards putting himself amongst the best NBA centers, by averaging 15.9 points, 10.2 rebounds and 2.5 blocks per game. He was also named the All-NBA Third Team.
3. Mo Williams
As a Cleveland Cavs fan, Williams instantly moved up my list of favorite players by showing so much passion to stay with the Cavs and always showing his heart on the court. Anybody that has seen Mo play can tell you, sometimes he will take some shots that make you wonder just what was he thinking. From what I’ve seen of him play, I’m guessing the answer is that he is just trying too hard to do whatever he can to help his team win. Mo is a triple double threat every single night, which shows how hard he plays since he stands at a mere 6 foot one inch. He played four seasons with the Bucks and during that time went from an afterthought in the second round of a draft, to one of the better all-around point guards in the league.
4. Ray Allen
Ray Allen is best known for being part of the Boston Three Party that brought the Celtics back to NBA glory. His best seasons in the NBA came with the Supersonics, but where did he start his NBA Career? Give yourself a Twinkie if you said Milwaukee. Allen played with the Bucks for a total of seven seasons, three of which were in the 2000’s. During those three seasons he never dipped below averaging twenty-one points per game, and was named to two Eastern Conference All-Star Teams. He led the Bucks to the Eastern Conference Finals in 2001, by averaging over twenty-five points a game in the Playoffs.
5. Sam Cassell
Cassell is known as a clutch player that has a knack for being on strong playoff teams. That doesn’t seem incidental, as he is a fiery hard-nosed player that makes for a great leader. A lot of his best seasons came with the Milwaukee Bucks, and it should come as no surprise that he was part of the big three that led the Bucks to the 2001 NBA Eastern Conference Championship, along with Ray Allen and Glenn Robinson. In 2001, Cassell averaged a career high 19.7 points per game, a feat that he would match the next season also, which happened to be his last with Milwaukee.