Welcome to “Kulning the Herd,” our weekly recap and preview of everything going on with the Milwaukee Bucks’ G-League affiliate, the Wisconsin Herd. What is kulning exactly? It’s an old Scandinavian herding call/song form. Take a listen to a small sample here.
The week started off with news that the Milwaukee Bucks had found a replacement for Gary Payton II’s vacated two-way contract slot. The man tasked with taking over, is former Cincinnati Bearcat, Sean Kilpatrick. The guard has yet to see any action with the Herd as he was on Bucks duty for the week.
There was a burst of excitement with the news that Jabari Parker was assigned to the Wisconsin Herd. Unfortunately, that excitement was quelled as further news came out that the rehabbing forward would only be practicing with the Herd in Milwaukee. As Parker nears his return date in mid-February, I would not be surprised if he made a rehab appearance or two in Oshkosh and shake off some rehab rust.
Bucks first-round pick, D.J. Wilson, made his second appearance in Oshkosh on Wednesday night. Wilson has struggled to find consistent playing time with Milwaukee and if that trend continues, I suspect Wilson will be making more appearances for the Herd in the new year.
The Milwaukee Bucks have assigned forward D.J. Wilson to the Wisconsin Herd of the NBA G League. https://t.co/svcGlRq16J— Milwaukee Bucks (@Bucks) December 20, 2017
It was a busy week for roster moves, so let’s take a look at how the Herd performed on the court.
Wednesday, December 20th vs. Grand Rapids Drive (Detroit Pistons)
In their second meeting of the season, the Herd could not repeat their previous performance against the Drive. Grand Rapids rolled on into Oshkosh and came away with a 111-104 win. Xavier Munford and Joel Bolomboy both recorded doubles-doubles in the loss.
This was Bolomboy’s third consecutive game with a double-double, unfortunately, Wisconsin is 1-2 in those three games. D.J. Wilson was underwhelming, finishing with 12 points and six turnover. As a whole, the Herd committed 26 turnovers which enabled the Drive to close out a close game. The ugly loss moved the Herd to 2-2 against divisional foes. The good news is that the team finds themselves in first place in the Central Division.
Saturday, December 23rd @ Westchester Knicks (New York Knicks)
The Herd were able to bounce back from Wednesday night’s tough loss and squeaked out a 123-117 victory in the New York City suburb. Xavier Munford led all scorers with an icnredible 36 point performance and finished with a +19 rating on 11/18 shooting from the field. Saturday night’s match-up marked the Herd’s debut on streaming site, Twitch, which became a new G-League broadcasting partner last week.
An exciting finish down the stretch between the @wcknicks and the @WisconsinHerd on @Twitch!— NBA G League (@nbagleague) December 24, 2017
Final Stats@xaviermunford : 36 points | 8 rebounds @bigshin32 : 31 points | 4 rebounds @TreyBurke : 32 points | 4 assists pic.twitter.com/FTLJ6eCmL6
Joel Bolomboy was one point away from recording his fourth straight double-double. He finished with nine points and 12 rebounds and a +17 rating. Harvard alum, Kyle Casey, was able to record a double-double of his own with 14 points and 11 rebounds. Casey converted on four of his five three-point attempts which contributed to Wisconsin shooting 50 percent from three-point range on the night.
Three games for the Herd this week, all on the road. The team will hang out in Greensboro, North Carolina and then head to Canton, Ohio. The games can be heard on 99.1FM in Oshkosh and 95.3FM in the Fox Cities and seen on Facebook Live and Twitch. So let’s dive into this week’s upcoming Herd action.
Tuesday, December 26th & Thursday, December 28th @ Greensboro Swarm (Charlotte Hornets)
A bit of a scheduling oddity here as the Herd will be staying in Greensboro for two games in three days against the Swarm. The Herd will face off with another team that is plural name for their respective parent clubs. I’m a big fan of the Swarm name and even though they currently sit at 7-12, I think this mid-week series will end in a split, just like the parent clubs did this past weekend against each other.
Saturday, December 30th @ Canton Charge (Cleveland Cavaliers)
The Charge feature former NBA champion big man, Kendrick Perkins, and former University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee transfer, Akeem Springs. Canton also features a measly 2-5 home record, so I think the Herd will handle them accordingly. Wisconsin has been great on the road, going 6-3 at this point in the season.
I had the Herd going 1-1 last week, but with the game-by-game results flipped from what reality yielded. Three road games against two sub-.500 teams has me believing the Herd will pull of a 2-1 week.
Any predictions of your own? General comments or questions about the Herd, or even the G-League? Share them in the comments below and stop by next week as we recap the games above and look forward to week number four of the Herd’s inaugural season.