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 off-court news started with Milwaukee Bucks rookie, D.J. Wilson, heading on up to Oshkosh for another quick game while the Bucks had Tuesday through Thursday off.
The Bucks have assigned forward D.J. Wilson to the @WisconsinHerd of the @NBAGLeague.— Milwaukee Bucks (@Bucks) January 23, 2018
Wilson joins Bucks teammate Jabari Parker for practice today with the Herd. pic.twitter.com/h5Y3QIRTUU
Once again, Jabari Parker practiced with the Herd in Milwaukee as he inches closer and closer to a return.
With 2018 not going according to plan so far, the Herd acquired the rights to Gary Neal and Ricky Ledo.
The Herd has acquired rights to NBA Vets Gary Neal & Ricky Ledo. Details: https://t.co/tWGSIak7mV #MoreDeerToFear pic.twitter.com/oItMfJIegh— Wisconsin Herd (@WisconsinHerd) January 23, 2018
Both of these guys have ties to the Bucks, with Neal appearing in 30 games for Milwaukee during the 2013/14 season where he averaged ten points per game. Ledo was selected by the Bucks in the second round of the 2013 NBA Draft, but never saw any action with them.
But that’s not all! The Herd made a trade that sent Cameron Oliver and Shannon Brown to the Delaware 87ers in exchange for James Blackmon Jr. and Russ Smith.
Welcome to the Herd family, @JBlackmon2, @REALRICKLEDO1 & @Specter_Smit. Details: https://t.co/gkkiFI57Zq #MoreDeerToFear pic.twitter.com/hztqIk4Dkf— Wisconsin Herd (@WisconsinHerd) January 26, 2018
Blackmon Jr. played his college ball at Indiana University and while with Delaware, he averaged nearly 13 points per game and connected on 38 percent of his three-point shots. Smith was a national championship winning guard for Louisville and holds the record for most points scored in a single game (65) in G-League history.
So with the new acquisitions let’s see how the Herd held up in their two games this past week.
Wednesday, January 24th vs. Erie Bayhawks (Atlanta Hawks)
This game tipped off at 11:30 AM due to the Herd hosting a School Day Matinee. The kids and teachers were treated to a close game throughout, but unfortunately saw the Herd lose 95-94 to the Bayhawks. D.J. Wilson was the stand-out performer of the afternoon tallying a team-high 25 points and collecting ten rebounds.
Rook @Lanky_Smoove dropped 25 points and pulled down 10 boards yesterday for the @WisconsinHerd!!#FearTheDeer pic.twitter.com/9oFw749tpp— Milwaukee Bucks (@Bucks) January 25, 2018
I think I figured out what the Bucks should do with Wilson: only play him during afternoon games. Whatever the opposite of a vampire is I believe that Wilson is that. Marshall Plumlee joined in on the double-double day game action adding 21 points and grabbing ten rebounds of his own. Xavier Munford was one rebound away from a double-double as he managed to score 14 points on 5/14 shooting from the floor, including a doughnut from beyond the arc.
Saturday, January 27th @ Raptors 905 (Toronto Raptors)
The Herd had to make the trip through customs for the second time this month as they dropped a duel with the defending champions, 106-95. Xavier Munford led the way with a stat sheet stuffing day of 24 points, seven rebounds, and five assists. New guy, Ricky Ledo, made his debut and found himself inserted into the starting lineup.
Today's starting :— Wisconsin Herd (@WisconsinHerd) January 27, 2018
3️⃣3️⃣ Kyle Casey pic.twitter.com/6h2NXOh7Hk
Ledo would finish out his debut with eight points on 30 percent shooting. The Herd were never able to overcome the Raptors 905 13-2 lead to begin the game. Bruno Caboclo would score 14 points in the fourth quarter to put a stamp on the Herd’s fifth consecutive loss.
Another two game week awaits the Herd as they have slipped to 2.5 games back in the Central Division. The games can be heard on 99.1FM in Oshkosh and 95.3FM in the Fox Cities and seen on Facebook Live, Twitch, and Eleven Sports. So let’s dive into this week’s upcoming Herd action.
Thursday, February 1st @ Fort Wayne Mad Ants (Indiana Pacers)
The Herd head down to the Hoosier state to tango with the first place Mad Ants. The two teams have played just once this season, with Fort Wayne edging out a victory. With the Herd reeling and the Mad Ants starting to pull away in the standings, I cannot see this ending in anything other than a loss.
Saturday, February 3rd vs. Memphis Hustle (Memphis Grizzlies)
The Hustle are the owners of one of the coolest wordmarks in all of the G-League, but an aesthetically pleasing typeface won’t do them any favors in Oshkosh. The Herd will bounce back and steamroll one of the worst teams in the G-League. The roster will have another week to gel and more practice time to build chemistry.
I had the Herd going 1-1 last week and with even more roster shake-ups I don’t think they will be able to steal a win on the road, but that game against Memphis on Saturday night will be the streak snapper. This time the Herd go 1-1, I promise.
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 next week in the Herd’s inaugural season.