The regular season is over, and the Bucks are in a familiar position. Questions about the future of the roster and the coaching staff are sure to dominate the discussion over the next few weeks as we turn our attention to free-agency and the draft.
We're not quite ready to forget about Milwaukee's 2011-2012 campaign just yet, though. There's still time to draw sweeping conclusions, point out convenient benchmarks, and identify the specific point where everything went horribly, horribly wrong.
The other thing we get to do is hand out player awards! Like a youth rec. soccer team, there are always a plethora of trophies up for grabs, even if the team fell short of
your friend's dad's the coach's expectations. So in the interest of brightening everybody's spirits, the Brew Hoop staff has cast our votes for the major player awards among the Bucks' roster. First off is Newcomer of the Year, standing in for rookie of the year.
Dan - Mike Dunleavy Jr.
Outside the stars stuck on rookie-scale contracts, you'd be hard-pressed to find a $3.75 million better spent than what the Bucks paid Dunleavy this season. Whether it was their plan from the start or just something they stumbled into, the Bucks morphed into an up-tempo offensive engine this season, and Dunleavy fit in beautifully. His passing kept the offense fluid, his shooting kept the offense spaced, and his size kept the offense...tall. He just looked incredibly comfortable in his role, and flourished accordingly. How great would it be if he were even just 29 years old, instead of 31?
Mitchell - Stephen Jackson
- Uttered some of the best quotes from any players' introduction press conference, including my favorite, "Scared? Go to church."
- Gave the fans some hope before disappointing on the court
- Opened the door to some much-needed Scott Skiles scrutiny
- Was widely regarded as the mentor Brandon Jennings so desperately needed...ultimately proving that any player who we think needs a mentor is (hopefully) not yet a finished product
- Allowed the Bucks to erase Corey Maggette and John Salmons from the payroll
- Helped force the franchise give up on Andrew Bogut
- Indirectly facilitated the acquisitions of Beno Udrih, Tobias Harris, Shaun Livingston, Monta Ellis, and Ekpe Udoh