Somehow, someway, a God's honest NBA preseason basketball game happened yesterday between the Milwaukee Bucks and Minnesota Timberwolves, and there was no way to watch it. Last time I checked, this was 2018 CE, not 2018 BCE.
Poor broadcasting logistics aside, the Bucks have come through the first week of preseason play with a 2-0 record intact. Their whooping of the Chicago Bulls was an offensive barn-burner that had even the most pessimistic among us at least smirking with joy. The win against Minnesota? It was witnessed by what I can only assume was a crowd of 30-40 Iowans who had not much else to do on a Sunday night. (Editor’s note: try 11,000+!)
With every passing day we edge ever closer to that magical date of October 17th where Bucks fans big and small get their wishes granted and meaningful basketball begins. To pass the time, we've got a few articles about our friendly superstar, the Wisconsin Herd, and how the Bucks are making it increasingly difficult for me to see them in person.
The Man, the Myth, the MVP? Why Giannis Antetokounmpo’s Time Has Arrived (The Action Network)
Did I include this article simply because our wonderful site was cited? Maybe.
But it is still worth your time reading over. Matt Moore has long been a leading light in the basketblogging zeitgeist, so it is a pleasure getting to read his takeaways of a week spent in Milwaukee last month.
What did he glean during his stay? That Giannis Antetokounmpo may finally have gotten the right coach and the right on-court help at exactly the right time.
Star Track: Giannis Antetokounmpo (The Ringer)
Why not have a little more Giannis love? With the Ringer going through a number of the NBA's top stars-to-be, it was only a matter of time until Giannis went under the magnifying glass.
What was most interesting was finding out that Giannis was the only player in the league to finish 100+ possessions as pick-and-roll ball handler and as the roll man. That he's able to function seamlessly in both roles is a testament to the nigh-limitless nature of his offensive game, and God help whatever team tries to stop him as he works in a legitimate system of play.
People Want To Watch The Bucks (Bucks.com)
There was once a time when the Bucks would visit the Twin Cities, and a young and bright-eyed Riley Feldmann would be able to meander of the U of MN's campus and see the team for $5. Rush forward to today and I'm lucky to get decent tickets for anything less than $50 a pop.
While the team's increasing popularity comes at my personal expense, I'm happy to grit my teeth (and my wallet) while watching ever more dude-bros across America show up to road games in fake Bucks jerseys. So this is what it is like being one of the popular kids!
2018-19 Season Preview: Milwaukee Bucks (NBA.com)
A relatively straightforward season preview from the NBA's Ministry of Information website, but at least they, like everyone else on the planet, can hit the “ticking clock” narrative regarding Giannis’s future with the team.
Even with that veiled reference, the positive vibes are flowing with a predicted 51-31 record on the year. If we can only be so lucky.
Wisconsin Herd reflects on inaugural season, relationship with Milwaukee Bucks (Oshkosh Northwestern)
The headline is a bit confusing (how does a minor-league direct affiliate of a NBA team “reflect” on their relationship?), but it will be interesting to see how the Herd approach this season with a new coaching staff in place in Milwaukee.
Will two-way contracts get reduced, reused, and recycled with the same regularity as last year? With six players from last year's team having signed overseas pro contracts, how do they go about building a team essentially from scratch? How closely shall the Herd style of play mimic that of the Bucks?
Their 21-29 record of last year was a disappointment, but not too shabby for a start-up. Now, with the organization turning a united corner, who knows what directions the Herd may take?
From the Social Media Realm
Dr. Middleton and his humble sidekick Mr. Henson attend a baseball game:
All Quiet on the Timberwolves Front:
Per league source, the Bucks have not had any substantive talks with the Timberwolves regarding Jimmy Butler. No players have been put on the table and there is no ongoing dialogue between the teams. That could change, but right now there's nothing going on.— Matt Velazquez (@Matt_Velazquez) October 3, 2018
One last time for good measure (thanks Elijah Price aka @DavidDunn21):
Donte has officially replaced the Rashad Vaughn-shaped hole in our pre-game dance hearts:
Does... DJ have two phones in his hand? Why?
In case you ever wondered what Tony Snell sounds like...
Shoutout to the Milwaukee Brewers, too:
Riley's Weekly Prediction Record: 1-1
- Sadly (for me) the Bucks decided to be perfect to start the preseason, making my 1-1 prediction of last week look like a bout of unnecessary cynicism. I won't be fooled again, though, because...
- The Bucks will be heading to Oklahoma City on Tuesday to play the Thunder, then returning to Milwaukee to play the Minnesota Timberwolves once again to close the preseason
- I'm feeling a bit more confident this time around, if only because of the possible relative strength of Milwaukee's backups compared to those of the coming competitors. OKC may be a bit scrappy with guys you've never heard of fighting for potential rotational minutes, and Minnesota may get a post-Jimmy Butler trade boost, but Donte DiVincenzo is set for a big week to prove the haters wrong. Bucks will go 2-0 and a perfect 4-0 before the season.
With any luck last night will be the final time a secret basketball game is played in central Iowa in our lifetimes. Bucks basketball isn't yet the global phenomenon that we all anticipate it will be, but it is at least worth getting an arena feed set up to watch. At least the fans who got to watch in-person are discerning basketball minds...
Folks at Hilton Coliseum have broken out a couple of what I believe to be "WE WANT ROSE" chants directed at Derrick Rose who is out (rest) tonight. I don't know how to feel.— Matt Velazquez (@Matt_Velazquez) October 8, 2018
Bucks up, 104-86, with 7:29 left.