Editor’s note: Happy New Year! This installment is obviously late; our apologies. Enjoy!
Ah, New Years Day. A day filled with hope, possibility, and potential. A chance for all of us to look back on the year that was and to determine what the year ahead may hold. Most importantly, it a day that could mark the beginning of positive change.
While we all strive to make 2018 better than 2017, it seems fair to ask whether the Milwaukee Bucks will be doing the same. Their New Year could be filled with a bevy of resolutions ranging from winning at least four games in a row, abstaining from blaming a lack of #EnergyAndEffort for the team's shortcomings, or striving to exceed their now lowered expectations for the season. Will the Bucks be able to stick with their resolutions? Or will they be like millions of new gym members across the country who just stop showing up by the end of the month?
Competition committee to mull potential solutions on late-game out-of-bounds replays (ESPN)
I understand that the Oklahoma City Thunder might be a bit confused/upset that Giannis Antetokounmpo got away with a step out of bounds before slamming home a game-winning dunk, but @JustinSuperBuck has new evidence that clearly expunges the Bucks of all criticism:
OMG -- FOUND A SHOCKING NEW ANGLE #MKEvsOKC #thisiswhatiamgoingtobelieve #discussionover pic.twitter.com/9Q8gaoUtuk— Justin's Secret Bucks Account (@justinsuperbuck) December 30, 2017
NOTHING CONTROVERSIAL TO SEE HERE!
The Underachieving Milwaukee Bucks Have a Jason Kidd Problem (NBA Math)
Another week, another writer lamenting the proverbial shackle that appears to be Jason Kidd & Co. holding the Milwaukee Bucks back. This time around, NBA Math's Matt Day goes deep to try and understand in what ways, if any, Jason Kidd's impact is detracting from the Bucks’ statistical profile.
Unsurprisingly to Bucks fans, it is the defense that continually proves the Achilles's Heel, with spot-up attempts and three-point percentages being the most offensive metrics. Things looked to have changed at least marginally a few weeks back when the defense utilized switching strategies more regularly, but even now the team sits with an inexcusable defensive rating of 109.8 (23rd in the NBA).
I won't go on yet another diatribe about Milwaukee's shortcomings, but I do love Day's final line: “If things stay the same, Milwaukee is on its way to an early-round exit come May. When that happens, it will be time for Jason Kidd to leave as well.”
Kilpatrick adds scoring punch for Bucks (FOX)
Gary Payton II theoretically provided a once weak guard lineup a potential last-resort option, but since the arrival of Eric Bledsoe, Payton's utility declined overnight.
Payton's two-way contract ran out and instead of spending the rest of the season in the G-League, he was released in lieu of Sean Kilpatrick. Kilpatrick has yet to carve out a reliable role, but he is an interesting tool to work within a top-10 offense.
His previous stint with the Brooklyn Nets featured him as a solo scoring option, which may work well in a Milwaukee scheme that seems to rely heavily on guys who can create their own shot.
Maybe he'll show out the rest of his two-way contract forcing the Bucks to eject the likes of DeAndre Liggins to make room on the roster, or he'll fail to impress and be on his way out of town a month from now.
Milwaukee Bucks Embrace Esports As Integral Part Of Brand, Arena (SportTechie)
I've been reading articles like this for weeks now, and I think I'm finally starting to get the angle the Bucks are going with eSports. The NBA is a vaunted international brand with a following around the globe, but creating new fans for smaller franchises can be a bit difficult. We're lucky to have a fan community with the Bucks that includes people from literally everywhere (hi Aussies and Greeks!), but increasing the reach is probably a challenge.
So, why not use eSports as the avenue to hook more fans who may not have an affinity for basketball beyond 2K? First, you get someone to become a superfan of Bucks Gaming, then you sell them “Bucks Gaming” branded gear, and then you get them to spend money to see the team in-person in Milwaukee or in a town near them.
I, for one, now welcome our new Bucks Gaming fans.
Milwaukee Bucks' Jason Terry Slices Price on Mercer Island Mansion (SF Gate)
If you've ever wanted to own the same home as Bucks legend Jason Terry, now is your chance. At 6,000 square feet, you'll be getting a home featuring six bedrooms, five and a half baths, and an elevator, all for the reasonable price of $2.37 million. Your chance for a dream come true!
This was totally not a slow news week!
Locked On Bucks: January 1st, with Dean Maniatt
From the Social Media Realm
The only tweet worth your time this week:
Giannis gets an ICE BATH from his teammates after sealing the WIN!! #FearTheDeer pic.twitter.com/RMWOx8s8FH— Milwaukee Bucks (@Bucks) December 30, 2017
YEAH TONY, YEAH!
2017 summed up in one sentence:
*deep breath*— Mitchell Maurer (@WhalesLarry) December 27, 2017
GUHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH THE BUCKS ARE DUMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMB
WWE Raw feat. Giannis Antetokounmpo:
EXCLUSIVE: Milwaukee @Bucks' star @Giannis_An34 prepares for Tuesday's game against the @ChicagoBulls by taking in the special #Christmas episode of #RAW! pic.twitter.com/I3o0Yl586x— WWE (@WWE) December 26, 2017
And finally, a thank you from the Brew Hoop family to yours for making 2017 such a joy:
Thank you to everyone who read an article, commented on an article, followed us here, tweeted us, etc.— Brew Hoop (@brewhoop) December 31, 2017
Thanks for helping us make 2017 great.
2018 starts off with a number of challenges for your Milwaukee Bucks: Not only does this week feature four games, but they're all against competitive powers in the Eastern Conference. They'll start tonight in Toronto to play the Raptors, then host the Indiana Pacers Wednesday, face the Raptors again on home turf Friday, and finish the week on the road playing the Washington Wizards on Saturday.
Milwaukee's wins against the Timberwolves and Thunder last week were as improbable as they get, and we can't forget that they lost to the Chicago Bulls again less than a week ago. I'll bet the under on the week and peg Milwaukee for a 1-3 record across that span. The New Year usually brings a new bout of optimism, but we've become immune to positivity once Monday morning comes around. Go Bucks.
It has already been stated, but I would like to thank all of you readers for joining me and the rest of the gang here at Brew Hoop day in and day out. Rooting for the Bucks can feel like a chore at times, but even if they frustrate on the court we're able to come together and enjoy each other's company. I hope you had a wonderful conclusion to your 2017, happy New Year, and here's to the best for everyone in their 2018!