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2008: In BrewReview (Pt.1)

2008: When some amazement did happen. (via kleinco's creativity)

This was the first entry of 2008, a notes post that reflected on the team's brutal 45-point loss to the Pistons a couple nights earlier.

But that game happened in 2007. And this is all about 2008.

Here are the five games and five articles I most enjoyed authoring this past year:

Games

5. January 16 - Bucks 87 Hawks 80. This represented the only win in a seven-game stretch in cold, cold January for the Bucks.

Bogut confirmed our suspicions that if he played his 82-game schedule against only the Hawks, he'd be an All-Star shoo-in.

4. November 15 - Celtics 102 Bucks 97. A loss, sure, but also an exciting, excellent game by Milwaukee against the defending champs.

Bucks' pluck. This is very different than luck. Luck is having good fortune purely by chance. Pluck refers to resourcefulness and courage, making one's own good fortune in a sense. And pluck is what these Bucks possess, a trait that makes them inherently watchable, even in losses like tonight.

3. December 20 - Bucks 119 Clippers 95. A blowout is rare, so this game elicits uniquely fond memories. A dozen days ago, Milwaukee delivered an early Christmas present by running and stomping all over the Clip-show.

In a truly terrific trampling, the Bucks alliterated obliterated the Clippers thanks to a balanced team effort which saw eight players score in double figures and only one score more than 18.

2. December 30 - Bucks 100 Spurs 98. You probably recall this win in the Alamo. Just in time for 2008.

In a game that ran the emotional gamut from disbelief to relief, and from horror, uhh, to euphoria, the Bucks prevailed, giving them the 2-0 season-sweep of the Spurs.

1. October 29 - Bucks 98 Thunder 87. Ah yes, the first regular season win of the Scott Skiles' era. Good times all around.

The Bucks marched into Loud City and proceeded to hush the crowd in a 98-87 win over the Thunder. In the process, they restored some of the wide-eyed hope that comes with the start of every season but was dampened in a discouraging opening loss to the Bulls:

Hope that the starting frontcourt of the future for the past three years is ready, here and now. Hope that new coach Scott Skiles can cultivate a defensive character in a cast known more for offense. Hope that Michael Redd can score and win, rather than one or the other. Hope that the hometown team makes you want to watch, and not only because they are the hometown team.
 
Hopefully those trends continue.

Articles

5. August 17 - Starting PG: Ridnour or Sessions. Sessions won the poll, but Ridnour still starts.

Sessions and Ridnour also went a combined 1-11 starting at point guard last season, with Ridnour getting the lone victory on March 24 against the Blazers.

That's not terribly inspiring, but basketball is a team game, and Ridnour and Sessions are team players. Not only that, the 2008-09 Bucks hardly resemble the clubs Sessions and Ridnour played on last season.

4. June 27 - Summerfest: Starring Joe Alexander. This takes me back to a warmer time, and my internship with 540 ESPN, when Alexander visited our tent for an interview. 

And you can't help but think that Alexander's starkly dissimilar Bucks' beginning from last year's first round draft pick foretells a story that doesn't end in less than a year's time, like that of Yi's.

3. March 18 - The Final Month: A Win-Win? At this point, I was focusing on the small possibility of the playoffs or a number one pick. Neither scenario was in the cards, but the final month did provide Bucks fans with a shiny young point guard (Ramon Sessions) and a fresh new administration (John Hammond/Scott Skiles).

Spring is almost here, and optimism is consuming us. Wait, it's not?

Fine.

Just please adjust the grocery bag out of your line of vision and read on.

2. February 13 - Jim Eichenhofer Talks to Brew Hoop. I was lucky enough to interview the Hornets.com beat reporter prior to a Bucks/Hornets tilt.

JE: I’d like to believe that the players and everyone else affiliated with the Hornets who returned here in summer 2007 have a unique understanding of why they should be grateful for how blessed they are to either be playing or working in professional sports.

1. January 30 - Yi Jianlian: The First 31 Weeks. Reflecting on the first few months with the Chinese import.

It didn't take long for conversation to shift from the 7'0" rookie's play on the court to his massive commercial appeal and potential off the court. It's no secret that Milwaukee isn't the gigantic, bustling metropolitan area of New York City or Chicago. With Yi in the fold, one of the NBA's smallest markets was instantly provided with international intrigue.

*Also see: Jim Paschke connects the dots and witnessed change in 2008 while Truman Reed runs down seven signature wins. Frank will deliver his most memorable BrewHoopness soon.