• Bucks Lineup Needs Shuffling

    The second unit for the Milwaukee Bucks saved the day Monday at Chicago. Facing a 27-point deficit and getting little production from some of their key players in the second half, the backups helped lead the charge to beat Chicago, 93-92, to snap a nine-game losing streak against the Bulls.

    Fast forward to Wednesday's game at home against the New York Knicks and down by as many as 22 in the fourth quarter. Head coach Scott Skiles sat his starters and reserve forward Larry Sanders in the final quarter because they couldn't help the team get out of the hole they dug themselves. Guards Beno Udrih and Doron Lamb and forwards Mike Dunleavy and Ekpe Udoh played all 12 minutes in the fourth. Forwards Marquis Daniels and Ersan Ilyasova played 5 and 7 minutes, respectively.

    It's never fun for the starters to watch a beatdown by the Knicks from the bench, knowing that there was nothing they could do about it. Skiles wasn't too happy about the physical and psychological pounding that went back to last season. He may make some changes.

    "If you're going to fall behind by 20 points in the second half of back-to-back NBA games, you're fortunate to win one," Skiles said. "I tried to get that lineup out there again and see if they could bounce back a little bit. It's not going to happen very often."

    According to Skiles, the Bucks came back and beat Chicago because the bench players tightened up on the defensive end and played unselfish basketball. That unselfish play failed to show up at the BMO Harris Bradley Center against New York.

    "I thought that I would ride (the reserves) as long as I could until until it was clearly over, and that was about really the 2-minute mark (in the game)," Skiles said.

    As a result of the Bucks facing huge deficits against their last two opponents, Skiles won't hesitate to revisit the lineups he put on the floor and maybe shake it up, with the possibility of removing one starter and replacing him with a second unit player.

    Skiles likes Dunleavy to come off the bench and score, but he may have to rethink that philosphy. Larry Sanders deserves to be a starter instead of John Henson and having Dunleavy to start the game in the place of Tobias Harris would offer the Bucks more scoring options besides guards Monta Ellis and Brandon Jennings.

    Milwaukee must get the lineup issue solved in a hurry before their road game at Minnesota on Friday and the home contest against Boston on Saturday. There's still good news for the Bucks. They still lead the Central Division with a 7-6 record.