Hollinger's Insider Gems: Jan. 26, 2009

1. In my fearless predictions for 2009, I said Milwaukee would make the playoffs. Perhaps I should have been more precise and said, "Milwaukee will make the playoffs provided Michael Redd doesn't blow out his knee in the next few weeks."

With their starting shooting guard on the shelf for the rest of the year, it's very much an open question whether the Bucks can hang on to the No. 8 spot in the East. The glass-half-full approach is to say that the Bucks have coped without Redd much better than they've done without Andrew Bogut, so as long as Bogut returns they might be OK. They have a major schedule advantage over New Jersey, New York and Charlotte, and a 3.5-game edge on Toronto and Indiana, so they may be able to hold off the competition regardless.