Originally posted on Fox Sports Wisconsin  |  Last updated 12/22/11
MILWAUKEE Exhibition game box scores are always full of interesting oddities, and the Bucks' preseason finale Wednesday night against Minnesota was no different.For your consideration: The Bucks' second-leading scorer in their 85-84 loss to the Timberwolves was none other than defensive specialist Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, who finished with 14 points on 6-of-11 shooting.His midrange jumper, especially the 20-footer from the corner, was falling beautifully all night and a successful three-point attempt just added to the surprise.Not that Mbah a Moute is reading too much into the situation, of course."That was just one exhibition game," Mbah a Moute said. "Let's talk after 20 games. I'll always try to continue to get better as a player and that's part of it."But while it was only an exhibition game, the Bucks are hoping its a sign of things to come for the 6-foot-8, 240-pound forward out of UCLA. He spent the lockout-lengthened offseason working on his game, with an emphasis on wSince being taken by Milwaukee in the second round of the 2008 draft (37th overall), Mbah a Moute's primary role has been as a defensive stopper. It's been his job to guard against the opponent's best player something he's excelled at during his first three professional seasons.Mbah a Moute has been a starter. He's been a sixth man. He's also been a closer, for lack of a better term. His versatility and defensive prowess have made him a valuable asset to Skiles and the Bucks.His perceived offensive limitations, though, have often left him wide open on the court. Any contribution on offense, especially in such situations, will be of great benefit for the Bucks, who are looking to improve on a dismal 2010-11 season plagued by injuries, lack of chemistry and more than anything, lackluster offensive play."He's usually open and it's important for him, it's important for us, if he's out there and he's open to step up and knock down a good percentage of (those shots)," Skiles said.Mbah a Moute got a late start to the 2011-2012 season. Once the lockout ended, he was a restricted free agent. The Bucks had every intention of resigning him to a new deal and eventually matched a four-year, 18 million offer from the Denver Nuggets.Even then, though, Mbah a Moute had to wait to begin working. Due to the lockout, the Cameroon native needed to settle some visa situations before joining his teammates. Those issues were cleared just prior to the team's first exhibition game, last Saturday at Minnesota.In the game, Mbah a Moute played five minutes and is slowly getting to full strength for the season, which opens Monday night in Charlotte.Armed with a new contract and with a little added offensive pop, Mbah a Moute is ready to go."It's always good to have the opportunity to do what you love for a living," Mbah a Moute said. "I just tried to get better and work on my game. If I get better offensively, it'll help me and it'll help the team."Camp update: In other news from training camp Thursday: -Mbah a Moute was one of four players held out of practice as he battled some soreness in his left knee, according to Skiles. Andrew Bogut (leg), Carlos Delfino (sprained right wrist) and Tobias Harris (still recovering from dehydration), also sat out. -The team will practice Friday and again on Christmas Eve before traveling to Charlotte Christmas Day for the season opener. -Stephen Jackson participated in the entire practice session Thursday.
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