The Milwaukee Bucks' main objective this offseason was to significantly upgrade their interior defense.
The Bucks, who had a crater-size hole in the middle after jettisoning Andrew Bogut to Golden State in March, believe they have rectified that problem with the acquisition of veteran center Sam Dalembert and the selection of power forward John Henson from North Carolina in the draft.
The Bucks acquired the 31-year-old center in a trade with the Rockets, a move that included Milwaukee sending Jon Brockman, Shaun Livingston and Jon Leuer to Houston. The teams also flipped spots in the draft, with the Rockets moving up to 12 and Bucks moving back to 14.
Bucks officials contend Dalembert is the perfect fit for their team. They have plenty of firepower with high-scoring guard Monta Ellis and Brandon Jennings and desperately needed a defensive presence around the basket, which Dalembert can be.
The 6-foot-11 Henson was considered one of the best defensive players in the draft. He is extremely long: He has a 7-foot-5 wingspan, and his standing reach is an off-the-charts 9-3 1/2.
With Henson and Dalembert on board, Bucks general manager John Hammond feels much better about his team's defense.
"At the end of last season, we had a very difficult time protecting the basket," Hammond said. "We have done that (upgraded the defense), no question."
Added Bucks coach Scott Skiles: "We should be one of the best shot-blocking teams in the league."