With the entire first month of the NBA season now cancelled, we've lost more than just our hope for a swift resolution to the lockout--we've lost a month of exciting, high-octane highlights from the Milwaukee Bucks. Pump fakes, slow developing plays leading to contested 19-foot jumpers, corner threes off the left iron, these are the pulse-pounding moments we'll all be left yearning for when November rolls around devoid of professional basketball.
In order to satiate that hunger, I delved into the occult with a deck of tarot cards and predicted what kind of performances we missed out on...from the future.
Of course, tarot card reading is an imperfect science, even for trained professionals, and my tarot cards were actually just doodles on some note cards. As a result, these predictions do leave a little room for error. But I'm feeling pretty confident and frankly, I think these all seem pretty plausible.
November 2 - @San Antonio Spurs: The Metal Folding Chair Card
After Milwaukee's monster step back during the regular season and San Antonio's disappointing playoff exit, both teams find it difficult just getting up off the bench to start the game. The players drag their chairs into a circle at midcourt as a motivational speaker ensures everybody that it's going to get better. A predictably lethargic game follows, eventually won by the Bucks when Brandon Jennings tosses the ball over his shoulder as he walks off the court, finally defeated by soul-crushing depression, only to have it drop in for the go-ahead 3 pointer. It's Jennings' third made basket of the game.
November 4 - @Charlotte Bobcats: The Inigo Montoya Card
Corey Maggette, basically granted full reign over the Bobcat's offense, barrels into the lane time and time again, finishing with 28 points (2-4 FG, 24-27 FT) before fouling out in the early 3rd quarter on his 6th charge. Jon Brockman draws 5 of them.
November 5 - vs. New York Knicks: The Scrooge McDuck Card
Knicks management, upset at the hardlining small-market owners for allegedly digging in their feet and dragging out the lockout, brings a truck full of chocolate coins and dumps it at midcourt as some sort of protest. Bango dives into it off a ladder.
November 7 - @New Jersey Nets: The Tower of Babel Card
Deron Williams, mired in an early-season slump as he tries to adjust back to the NBA game, grows frustrated with his teammates when he starts calling out plays from his Turkish team, in Turkish. The Bucks enlist Ersan Ilyasova to translate, but Ersan betrays them as an act of rebellion for not releasing him from his contract, repeatedly shouting "cover Petro!". Milwaukee holds Petro scoreless in 13 minutes but loses 139-88.
November 9 - vs. Indiana Pacers: The Mirror Card
The Pacers, basically the 2010-2011 version of the 2009-2010 Bucks, continue to follow in their footsteps. Indiana clangs shot after shot off the rim and Josh McRoberts' left arm falls off.
November 12 - vs. Phoenix Suns: The Black Spot Card
Tobias Harris, playing in his 7th career game, records a triple-double with 28 points, 18 rebounds, and 12 assists. Black cats swarm the court, Bango walks under his ladder, and everybody assumes Harris is destined for stardom.
November 16 - @Minnesota Timberwolves: The Five-Leaf Clover Card
I'll give you three guesses.
November 18 - @Toronto Raptors: The Basketball With A Face Drawn On It Card
Amir Johnson accidentally rebounds Andrea Bargnani. Literally. Grabs him around the waist after he misses a 6-foot hook shot. The Wages of Wins Network publishes a post criticizing Bargnani for never rebounding his teammates.
November 19 - vs. Portland Trail Blazers: The iPhone Card
Paul Allen stands in front of the scorers table in silence, refusing to allow a basketball game to take place.
November 23 - vs. New Jersey Nets: The Eggs, Milk, Cinnamon Toasters, Frozen Lasagna Card
Sorry, this was just a grocery list that got mixed in.
November 25 - @Boston Celtics: The Icy Hot Patch Card
The Bucks get revenge for last season's embarassing loss in Boston with an efficient performance, shooting 56% and from the field and holding Paul Pierce to 9 points on 12 shots. Boston rallies in the 3rd quarter to take a 5 point lead entering the 4th, but a 3-point play by Stephen Jackson ties the game with 1:37 left and Jennings' deep three with 1:09 remaining gives the Bucks the lead for good. Seriously, it looks like this game was going to be awesome. Too bad it's never going to happen ever in a million bazillion years ever.
November 26 - vs. Chicago Bulls: The Doctor of Psychology Card
This card has nothing to do with basketball, unless the rules have changes to include sleds and watchmaking.
November 30 - vs. Toronto Raptors: I ran out of cards after the last one
Probably for the best. This one would have been ugly.