Two days after seeing their title hopes ended with a loss to Spain, Giannis Antetokounmpo and Greece closed out their EuroBasket campaign with a 97-90 win over Latvia on Thursday. Giannis scored a tournament-high 15 points (5/11 fg, 2/5 threes, 3/4 ft) and hauled in 7 boards before fouling out after 25 minutes. He also added had one assist -- and my goodness was it a beauty:
While only the top two EuroBasket teams will earn automatic berths in next summer's Olympics, Greece will have another chance to qualify next July -- they're one of five European teams that will compete for three spots in the 18-team FIBA World Olympic Qualifying Tournament. Giannis' final EuroBasket numbers: 9.8 ppg, 6.9 rpg, 1.1 apg, 0.9 bpg, 1.1 turnovers and a .492/.385/.615 shooting line.
The three point numbers are of course the most interesting -- after hitting just 7/44 threes as a sophomore, Giannis hit 10/26 from the shorter European line including 10/23 over the last six games. Practice makes perfect, right?
(thanks to Mike aka Shafftybro for the link -- skip to the 1:16 mark for Giannis)
We Got Gus | Bucks.com
I was thinking I should put together a post cataloging Gus Johnson's greatest hits, and then I found out my old friend Alex Boeder did it for us already (see above).
As a Jim Paschke/Jon McGlockin loyalist, I'm thrilled that both will be back this season, but I also see the Johnson/Johnson additions as big-time moves for a franchise that's made a bunch of them over the last year. So in many ways I look at this as a "best of both worlds" type thing (check out both Jim and Gus' interviews with 105.7 The Fan's Chuck and Wickett from this week). Like many people, I'd peg Gus as one of my favorite hoops play-by-play guys, and he's one of the few who might actually move the needle in terms of fans' interest in watching games on TV (just look at the reaction on Twitter). It's not to say ratings will skyrocket simply because he's calling a game, but he does bring a degree of brand recognition that may draw more casual fans to tune in. As for announcing? Well, his enthusiasm and passion are the reason for all the Youtube mixes dedicated to him, but he's also always struck me as a smart basketball guy who knows how to find the right balance between calmly-delivered substance and in-the-moment excitement. Though he called Knicks games on the radio and TV part-time for MSG network from 1994 to 2010, Johnson's done just about everything throughout his career, so it's interesting to see him take a local gig to complement his usual work covering college basketball and football nationally.
I can't say I know as much about Marques from a broadcasting standpoint -- I can't recall watching college hoops or Sonics games that he called -- but the pedigree is certainly all there. He's experienced as a broadcaster of both pro and college games, he's one of the greatest Bucks ever, and he seems thrilled to be coming back to work 55 games this year. Of course, two of those three also applied to his former teammate Sidney Moncrief, but unfortunately the polish as a broadcaster was just never there for Sir Sid. He earned points with me for brutal honesty and a willingness to drop interesting X's and O's nuggets from time to time, things that are in short supply in most TV broadcasts. Unfortunately, his rambling digressions and penchant for random statistical predictions didn't seem to win over a fanbase that otherwise had every reason to like him, and it seemed to make Paschke's job notably harder as well.
Common Council Finance Committee approves arena deal, full vote on Tuesday | Journal-Sentinel
The Milwaukee Common Council's Finance and Personnel Committee approved the city's $47 million financing package for a new arena on Tuesday, setting up the expected full Common Council vote next Tuesday, September 22.
FOX: MCW not getting called up to Brewers rotation
Michael Carter-Williams' first pitch at Thursday's Brewers game left something to be desired:
Let's hope his three-point shot is coming around better than his pitching mechanics, eh? To his credit he had a sense of humor about it:
Ball 1, stop hugging the plate. Gotta keep the batter honest. Simmer down. Fear me on the mound. pic.twitter.com/ItKIQoFO13— Michael Carter-Willi (@MCW1) September 18, 2015
Rim Protection Data Revisited | Nylon Calculus
Interesting work from the always-excellent Seth Partnow on "points saved" inside. John Henson (and Larry Sanders!) grade out well, Greg Monroe not so much.
Giannis Antetokounmpo and playing up the positional scale | Hardwood Paroxysm
Our friend Ian Levy ponders whether Giannis' added strength could matter as much as an improved outside shot.