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News » BUCKS NOTES Ridnour gets to point He focuses on system, team

BUCKS NOTES Ridnour gets to point He focuses on system, team

BUCKS NOTES  Ridnour gets to point  He focuses on system, team
Luke Ridnour shook off a case of the flu to do battle with Detroit Pistons guard Allen Iverson on Saturday night at the Bradley Center.

Ridnour's strong play has sparked the Milwaukee Bucks , whose five-game home winning streak was snapped with an 87-76 loss to the Detroit Pistons.

"I'm just trying to get better in the system and get used to all the guys, to get healthy," Ridnour said. "I've just got to keep competing.

"The biggest thing is winning games; that's all I care about."

Ridnour finished with six points, five assists and two steals in 26 minutes against the Pistons. But he did not play in the final quarter, along with fellow starters Michael Redd, Andrew Bogut and Richard Jefferson.

"He's shrugged off the injury thing," said Bucks coach Scott Skiles, referring to a back injury that plagued Ridnour at the start of the season. "I think he has a better understanding of his teammates, which is important for the point guard. He's got great hands. He's a very good pick-and-roll player, runs the offense well.

"He's been good on the break. As I've said a couple times, we need to help him more by getting up the floor with a little more thrust. We've done that the last few games. The past six or seven games he's been very, very good."

Ridnour's six steals against Utah on Tuesday were a career single-game high.

Entering Saturday, he had handed out 25 assists and committed just six turnovers over a three-game span.

"He does a lot of things in games even when it doesn't look like it or he doesn't have the numbers," Skiles said, "as far as keeping us organized and keeping us playing at the pace we like to play at."

The former Seattle SuperSonics guard said he enjoys playing for Skiles, and he also learned under another former point guard when Nate McMillan was head coach of the Sonics.

Ridnour said he doesn't think of himself as the general of the team but as one player in a unit.

Ridnour's game often has been compared to that of Phoenix Suns guard Steve Nash.

Both are smaller guards who push the ball and can find open teammates with pinpoint passes.

"I stay away from the comparison game for the most part," Skiles said. "There are 400-plus guys that are so talented; they all have their own style."

Jones in the building: Damon Jones put up some shots in warm-ups before the Bucks played the Pistons, but it likely will be a while before he appears in a game.

Jones has been on the team's 15-man roster since the start of the season but did not report by mutual agreement. On Friday, Bucks general manager John Hammond said both sides had agreed that Jones would join the team.

He is in the final year of his contract and being paid $4.46 million.

The 32-year-old Jones was part of the three-team deal that brought Ridnour to the Bucks and sent guard Mo Williams to Cleveland.

Jones played the last three seasons with the Cavaliers.

"We'll approach it the same way we would anybody who just came to our team," Skiles said. "We'll start going through our offense with him, all our defensive schemes.

"He'll practice in the next practice, and we'll see where we're at. From a Basketball standpoint, not much changes. It's just adding a new player to the team, and we'll try to get him acclimated to everything we're doing."

Copyright 2008, Journal Sentinel Inc. All rights reserved. (Note: This notice does not apply to those news items already copyrighted and received through wire services or other media.)

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Added: December 28, 2008


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