If we were to give Bucks players a dose of truth serum and ask, “What resolutions do you have for 2019?”, what do you suppose they'd say? I've got a few guesses:
- Giannis Antetokounmpo - “Win that first MVP award”
- Khris Middleton - “Take and make countless mid-rangers”
- Eric Bledsoe - “Star in a reality TV show titled ‘The BledShow’”
- Brook Lopez - “Meet Mickey Mouse... again”
- Donte DiVincenzo - “Have more stuff to do”
- Tony Snell - “...”
- Thon Maker - “Perfect my spinning back-kick”
And so much more! With the way the team is playing it truly feels like anything is possible, both on and off the court. It isn't every day the Milwaukee Bucks head into a new calendar year atop the entire freaking NBA, so if the basketball impossible is no longer that why not shoot for other personal stars in 2019?
As we get ready to wave goodbye to the heartache-turned-heartthrob that was 2018 and welcome a limitless new year we've found a couple of articles that emphasize Milwaukee's arrival. We'll look at Christmas miracles, MVP odds, and DJ Wilson the human candy cane.
Let's roundup (one last time in 2018)!
This one is just awesome and completely worthy of your time. Plenty of national writers have given the Bucks a bit of shine in long-form pieces, but I really appreciate Kevin Arnovitz’s mixing of statistical breakdown and spotlighting the individuals behind the team success.
It is a long read, but I think it truly captures a lot of the essence that has made this iteration of the Bucks such a joy to behold.
Take it all in, everyone. THIS is a special thing to bear witness to. THIS is what being a basketball fan is all about.
It’s no Christmas miracle: Giannis Antetokounmpo has arrived (Charlotte Observer)
Everyone is aware of the significance attached when your team gets tapped for Christmas Day. In its own unique way, it is the NBA acknowledging that you've made it.
For more than four decades the Bucks had decidedly not “made it”. The NBA in 1977 was a different beast altogether than that of 2019, but the factors that make you the thing haven't changed much: Have star power, win lots of games, be exciting, and play in a big market.
That Milwaukee made its way onto the marquee is a sign that each of those requirements have been largely met. They’ve got the star, the wins, the on-court pop, and exist in a globalized basketball world where Milwaukee can exist alongside the New Yorks and LAs of the league.
NBA Power Rankings: Giannis, Bucks Return to Familiar Top Spot (Bleacher Report)
I wanted to throw this one in here if only to underline how quickly we're moving from “nice early-season story” to “oh, God, these guys are probably going to be sticking around”.
You can’t declare something a lock in January, but, barring serious injury, a Bucks team with few equals appears to be a reality the NBA at-large will be confronting into deep spring and early summer.
Giannis Antetokounmpo is totally going to win NBA MVP (SB Nation)
So, like, I think Giannis winning the MVP award this season is pretty much a lock, right? My head is still spinning from how quickly Anthony Davis and LeBron James were shunted aside as Antetokounmpo stepped fully into the light of winner-to-be, but it almost feels inevitable at this point.
And why not? According to Brew Hoop boss Mitchell Maurer:
“Giannis appears in the top-20 leaderboards in the following categories: total points, total field goals attempted and made, total free throws attempted and made, total defensive (and overall) rebounds, total blocks, field goal percentage, true shooting percentage, effective field goal percentage, player efficiency rating, defensive rating, win shares (offensive, defensive, total, and per-48 minutes), box plus-minus (both offensive and defensive) and value over replacement player.”
That's... that's a lot of stuff. Like, a LOT of stuff! Giannis sure has my vote.
The Social Media Section
Dude, are his biceps getting even bigger as the season goes on?
Giannis with the NY Post treatment!
Some Bucks holiday-themed nightmare fuel (I mean, just look at Bango the Bozo Clown):
Thon Maker is wearing a custom gingerbread man covered Christmas edition of his adidas Crazy Explosive shoes for his first Christmas Day game at MSG: https://t.co/dvh4x0YwVj pic.twitter.com/QFrZm3wLL1— Nick Metallinos (@NickMetallinos) December 25, 2018
A modern NBA take tale in two parts:
Enjoy Ryan Hollins talking about how Giannis can’t close out games, while Giannis closes out games in the background: pic.twitter.com/mCFKjr2wgS— Jonathan Gauthier (@jgauthier_23) December 26, 2018
Think I found the main reason why Ryan Hollins is so sour about Giannis. pic.twitter.com/Zd1Y32eD2T— Dakota Schmidt (@Dakota_Schmidt) December 27, 2018
This will definitely get Christian Wood in the organization's good graces:
I’ve been doing this for awhile now .. https://t.co/hjDdD2q6D3— Christian Wood (@Chriswood_5) December 21, 2018
DJ Wilson remains undefeated as Bucks team cheerleader:
What a difference a year makes:— Jonathan Gauthier (@jgauthier_23) December 28, 2018
Last year, DJ Wilson was celebrating Giannis dunks from the sideline.
This year, DJ Wilson is celebrating Giannis dunks from the court. pic.twitter.com/Ia3NETju7E
Also, I uh, think all this praise is turning DJ Wilson into a candy cane:
Riley’s 2018-2019 Weekly Prediction Record: 20-15
Thank goodness we're finally done having to purposefully consume Knicksketball this season. I've got nothing against the likes of Frankie Smokes, Luke “Just some guy” Kornet, and Enes “Hold that L” Kanter, but wow is playing New York an exercise in time-wasting.
With the orange-and-blues having been vanquished, the Bucks will begin 2019 at home as they continue their six-game home-stand.
2019 starts New Year’s Day with Blake Griffin and the Detroit Pistons giving it the “third time's a charm” try against the Bucks. Things move on to Friday as Mike Budenholzer's old employer the Atlanta Hawks swoop into the Midwest. And, to cap it all off, we’ve got an exciting match-up of East titans with the Toronto Raptors and Bucks set for a prime-time game Saturday night.
Strangely enough, it wouldn't be much of a shock to see the Bucks take all three games and burst into a six-game winning streak. This team has been very good at home this season (16-3), and I see no reason for that to change, especially since two of the three opponents have already been faced and dispatched. There are marginal changes in gameplans that could make a difference, but I'm expecting these three to all go in Milwaukee's favor.
So pop some champagne for the wins that were, the wins to-be, and a new epoch in Bucks history.
Happy Monday (and New Year)!