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Monday Morning Media Roundup: March 20th, 2017

Carrying a franchise, NBA fines, and an arena update

NBA: Milwaukee Bucks at Los Angeles Lakers Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The season is slowly starting to come down to the wire, and the Bucks continue to find themselves just about directly on the brink between a playoff berth or an unsuccessful season with a low lottery pick. After another 2-2 week, Milwaukee stands at 34-35 with the seventh seed. If the season ended today, they’d be heading east to take on the Boston Celtics.

However, there are still a few games ahead, and nothing is set in stone. The fifth seed is but three games out of reach (though vaulting the Indiana Pacers and Atlanta Hawks while keeping the Detroit Pistons at bay will be supremely difficult), and who knows what will happen at the top of the Eastern Conference.

Those problems are for our future selves, however, and this morning we will take a tour of the narratives surrounding the team off the court. This week, we’ll bask in Giannis Antetokounmpo’s glory, take a deep dive on the dual stadium situation in Milwaukee, and more.

Let’s roundup!

Buck up: Giannis Antetokounmpo puts Milwaukee on his shoulders (CBS Sports)

Forewarning: This is a long(ish), yet worthwhile read. James Herbert takes us back to the early days of the Antetokounmpo-era in Milwaukee in interviewing teammates and former coaches about the arrival of Giannis.

We all remember the first few months after the draft where, one way or another, Giannis stole our hearts. For some, it was the endearing stories of him getting a friendly ride to the Bradley Center his rookie year, or him tweeting out about his first real-live smoothie, or a plethora of other anecdotes.

Take some time and relive those early days in this piece. I highly recommend it!

Greg Monroe, Nick Young, D'Angelo Russell Fined After Lakers, Bucks Altercation (Bleacher Report)

You knew it. I knew it. We all knew it the moment the “HOLD ME BACK”s erupted Thursday evening that the NBA was going to be doling out fines for the shoving match between the Bucks and the Los Angeles Lakers.

Greg Monroe got hit the heaviest and will find himself $35,000 lighter this week after engaging with Nick Young after Young took offense from a perceived hard-foul by Malcolm Brogdon in transition.

Unfortunately, these teams won’t meet again until next season, so we won’t get to enjoy any further drama between the franchises for awhile.

New Milwaukee Bucks arena on schedule but pressure remains (Wisconsin State Journal)

Another in-depth look at the arena as it slowly takes form. This time, we’ve got the recent first weekend of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament in Milwaukee to contrast with the project going on next to the Bradley Center.

What’s interesting to note in this piece is just how much renovation or updating has gone on over the past two or so decades in bringing Wisconsin’s premier sports venues up to date. Whether it be the Badgers in Madison, the Brewers in Milwaukee, the Packers in Green Bay, or a host of minor league baseball teams across the state, everyone seems to be touching up their digs in some form or another.

For the Bucks, the arena represents a departure in viewing and entertainment experience from the BMO Harris Bradley Center, and the progress towards on-time completion is only good news!

Report: Larry Sanders returning to NBA with Cavaliers (Sports Illustrated)

No need to get the pitchforks and clubs out, folks. Larry Sanders inked a deal with the Cleveland Cavaliers last week, though it doesn’t look like he’ll be up with the Cavs-proper for awhile.

Instead, he’s going to get an extended tryout with the D-League Canton Charge, and he in fact made his successful return to basketball Saturday evening. Our sister site Fear the Sword has the roundup here.

It remains to be seen whether or not Sanders will be in good enough form to truly provide meaningful minutes inside for Cleveland, but get used to hearing his name a bit more often once more now that he’s back in the league.

With all of that out of the way, let’s get to this week’s predicted win-loss mark, shall we? The Bucks have a busy week ahead of them as they start by heading to Portland to face the Trail Blazers Tuesday evening. After that, they head down to Sacramento to face the Kings, and come home to host the Atlanta Hawks and Chicago Bulls.

I’m going with my gut this week (is that different from any other week? I’m not sure) and will peg Milwaukee at a 3-1 week. There’s your dose of optimism to start the week.

Enjoy the beginning of spring, enjoy yourselves some more NBA basketball, and as always:

Happy Monday!