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 biggest bit of off-court news came from the announcement of the G-League’s All-League teams and two current Herd players were named to the team with a former player getting recognition as well.
A big congratulations to Joel Bolomboy and Xavier Munford for their efforts all season long. Former Herd member, James Young, also found himself on the list but he is sporting that Delaware 87ers logo. Young did a majority of his G-League damage with the Herd before signing a two-way contract with the Philadelphia 76ers, so I will be counting him as the quasi third Wisconsin player to be named on the mid-season team.
We all know that Jabari Parker made his return to the Milwaukee Bucks’ lineup on Friday night, and we all know that he spent time practicing with the Herd during his rehab. He acknowledged his love of the time he spent practicing with the Herd in his comeback teaser video put together by the Bucks.
In Parker’s article on The Players’ Tribune he also gave a shout out to the Herd and shined a little more light on what he and trainer, Frank Johnson, went through and accomplished together with the G-League workouts. We never got to see a rehab start or G-League minutes for Parker which is a shame because that would have been an unbelievable sight.
All was quiet on the roster front with only one move taking place. Once again, Bucks rookie, D.J. Wilson, was given an opportunity to play in a weekend home game while the Bucks were not in action.
With Milwaukee travelling out to New York yesterday, I wonder if Wilson will join the parent club at any point during their four game road trip.
So let’s dive right into last week’s slate and see how the Herd were able to do now that they have found some roster stability for the first time in 2018.
Thursday, February 1st @ Fort Wayne Mad Ants (Indiana Pacers)
The streak is over! The Herd got a fantastic 108-99 win on the road against the current Central Division leaders. JeQuan Lewis registered 31 minutes off the bench and tallied 18 points, seven assists, and three steals. He also did not miss a single shot going 6/6 from the floor (2/2 from three) and 4/4 from the free throw line.
Joel Bolomboy led the Herd in scoring with 24 points and corralled seven rebounds on the night. He went 0/4 from three-point land, but the fact that he is working on extending his shooting range is a great sign in his development. James Blackmon Jr., who was acquired last week, got the start and dropped 15 points and collected six rebounds of his own. The Herd outscored the Mad Ants by 23 points in the second half to seal the comeback victory.
Saturday, February 3rd vs. Memphis Hustle (Memphis Grizzlies)
After a fantastic Thursday afternoon victory, the Herd dropped their Saturday night contest against the lowly Hustle, losing 104-85. The Herd managed to score only 24 points in the second half while giving up 58. Joel Bolomboy recorded a double-double with 12 points and 15 rebounds, but the effort was not enough.
Not the ending we hoped for. Herd falls 85-104. #MoreDeerToFear @Bolomboy21 ended with another double-double: 12 pts / 15 rebs@xaviermunford 17 pts / 5 rebs / 6 assists@JBlackmon2 13 pts / 5 rebs @thatlewiskid1 13 pts pic.twitter.com/qm8Ogug0TN— Wisconsin Herd (@WisconsinHerd) February 4, 2018
Xavier Munford led the Herd in scoring with 17 points on 8/20 shooting (yeesh) as the Herd just could not hit any shots in the second half nor could they get to the line at all, only attempting ten free throws on the night. D.J. Wilson had a muted night, only scoring 12 points and grabbing five rebounds in 33 minutes of action. Last night’s defeat put a damper on what was a great surprise Thursday victory.
Three, count ‘em, three games for the Herd this week as they find themselves three games out of the Central Division lead. 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.
Wednesday, February 7th @ Lakeland Magic (Orlando Magic)
Like the Herd, the Magic sit at .500 and second place in their division. Unlike the Herd, the Magic have a winning record at home. Neither team has been great of late either. The Herd are 2-8 in their last ten, while the Magic are 3-7. I think Lakeland will dispose of Wisconsin just like they did in their only previous meeting of the season.
Friday, February 9th vs. Grand Rapids Drive (Detroit Pistons)
The finale to what has been a great divisional match-up, so far. Grand Rapids holds the 2-1 edge on the season series, but weekend Wisconsin will show up and have their way with the Drive. The Herd are currently half a game up on the Drive in the standings and this one feels like it will culminate in a buzzing night of basketball.
Saturday, February 10th vs. Long Island Nets (Brooklyn Nets)
The Nets are one game ahead of the Herd in the Eastern Conference standings and the last time these two teams squared off, the Nets stole a victory in Oshkosh. Wisconsin avenges that disappointing defeat with a solid win to send the Fox Valley crowd home happy.
Last week, I promised the Herd would go 1-1 and they did! I hope to have earned your trust back because this time I’m taking the Herd in two of their three games and head into the extended break at 19-18 overall. The Herd are 6-3 in weekend home games and I expect them to get a weekend home back-to-back sweep for the third time this season.
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.