Morning State Sports Briefs: Skiles takes responsibility for Bucks' seasonWisconsin Sports
- Milwaukee Bucks’ coach Scott Skiles took full blame yesterday for the team’s underachieving season.
MILWAUKEE - Milwaukee Bucks’ coach Scott Skiles took full blame yesterday for the team’s underachieving season.
Many observers expected the Bucks to make the playoffs again, after taking Atlanta to seven games in the first round a year ago. Instead, Milwaukee lost 11 more contests than last season, with a 35-and-47 mark. They had the NBA’s lowest-scoring average in three years with 91-point-nine points a game. Milwaukee’s shooting percentage of 43 was the lowest since the Bucks’ first season in 1969. And they finished 27 games behind Central Division champion Chicago.
Skiles finished his third year in Milwaukee by saying the evaluation process starts with him – and he can’t expect his players to look in the mirror unless he does it himself. The coach said there’s a lot of work to do, and there’s no reason to sugar-coat it. The Bucks never went above .500 overall, and they were only 22-19 at home. They lost 277 player games to injuries, and Skiles had to use 23 different starting lineups. Meanwhile, the prospect of an NBA owners’ lockout looms as the league’s collective bargaining agreement expires June 30th. Bucks guard Keyon Dooling, the vice president of the union’s executive committee, says he just wants a fair deal for both sides.
The Milwaukee Admirals won their American Hockey League playoff opener last night, 5-2 at home over the Texas Stars. Rookie Gabriel Bourque tied an Admirals’ playoff record with five points – two goals and three assists. Chris Mueller had two goals and two assists for the Admirals. Milwaukee took a 2-1 after the first period and never looked back, as they took a one-game-to-none lead in their best-of-seven series with the Stars. Game-Two is set for tomorrow night at the Bradley Center.
Stevens Point area native Joe Pavelski scored the game-winning goal in overtime, as San Jose won its NHL playoff opener at home last night. The Sharks got by Los Angeles 3-2 in Game-One of their Western Conference first-round series. Pavelski – who played his college hockey at Wisconsin – whipped a wrist shot in the right post with 5:16 left in the OT. Ex-Badger Dany Heatley also scored in regulation for San Jose, which will try to go up two-games-to-none in their best-of-seven series tomorrow night. This is not the first time Pavelski was a playoff hero. Last year, he had goals in five straight post-season games. And he became the first player since Mario Lemieux in 1992 to score more than once in three straight playoff contests.
University of Wisconsin linebacker Nick Hill vows to be healthy this fall for the first time as a Badger. He’s only getting limited work at the team’s spring practices, but he hopes to be fully cleared to take part in conditioning work in June. Hill tore the ACL ligament in his right knee last summer. The previous year, Hill injured his right shoulder at a practice for a high school all-star game. He played at Milwaukee Washington High School, and will be a third-year sophomore at Wisconsin this fall. The Badgers held their 11th practice of the spring yesterday. They’ll play their annual spring game a week from tomorrow at Camp Randall Stadium.
In the Arena Football League, the Milwaukee Mustangs lost at Dallas 49-21 last night. The Vigilantes scored 28 points in the second quarter as they ended a two-game losing streak and improved to 3-2. Former Mustang Tiger Jones caught six passes for 91 yards and a touchdown. Milwaukee could not score through the air, and they were intercepted three times. The Mustangs dropped to 1-4.
In the Midwest League…
Clinton 3, Beloit 0 in 13 innings
Cedar Rapids 11, Wisconsin 4
Burlington 5, Peoria 1
Kane County 1, Quad Cities 0 in 10 innings
Lansing 1, South Bend 0
Bowling Green 4, Fort Wayne 1
Lake County 7, Dayton 3
Great Lakes 3, West Michigan 1