What is with this team?
They send their entire fan base spiraling into pits of despair and loathing losing multiple games in frustrating fashion. The season teeters on the edge of being lost, legitimate worries about whether the Bucks would stumble even further outside of the playoff picture, and grumbling about wasting another year of Giannis got fully underway. The last week or two was peak Bucks.
And then, somehow, some way, they come back from down 20+ two times in the same night to inexplicably beat the Philadelphia 76ers in an unbelievably important Sunday evening national game.
The only consistent thing about the 2017-2018 Milwaukee Bucks is the maddening inconsistency.
Thanks to their chaotic nature, I no longer feel comfortable guessing which way their season may go from here. We can take solace in only one thing: #NeverTrustTheBucks can work both ways; they'll lose gimmes against cellar-dweller opponents and snatch signature wins at the most crucial moments.
Hopefully the upheaval works in a way which translates to lessened reliance on nightly usage of Tums.
Calm After the Storm: Bucks’ Coaching Change Rightens the Ship (Sports Illustrated)
The timing couldn't really be worse given the extensive slide the Bucks have been on, but it is important to take note of the positive developments since Jason Kidd's firing.
Most importantly, up until the past week or so, the Bucks had been playing some of the best defense in the league. Combine that with increased production from Eric Bledsoe (February was his best month as a Buck) and the return of Jabari Parker, and the Bucks saw upticks in rating on both ends of the floor.
And then they decided to lose five straight. Obviously the questions plaguing Milwaukee earlier this season have yet to fully go away.
Milwaukee Bucks: Center position may ultimately hold them back (Hoops Habit)
I think this article sums really well the current state of Milwaukee's big-man rotation: John Henson is useful on defense, but isn't elite in a way that helps make up for his offensive deficiencies. Thon Maker can potentially stretch the floor, but his sophomore campaign has been close to a disaster in every category. Tyler Zeller is Tyler Zeller.
Will weakness inside eventually undo the Bucks? In a smaller and smaller NBA, it may not be fatal, but it could prove to be a major handicap as the season winds down.
Giannis Antetokounmpo has plenty of raw talent - but he’s no Eddie Murphy (The Score)
Come for Giannis's bubbly personality, stay for the lame-as-hell knock-knock jokes. I present to you, an article chronicling the evolution of Giannis Antetokounmpo: Stand-up comedian in training.
Milwaukee Bucks: Why sign Shabazz Muhammad? (Hoops Habit)
We've all been confused as to why the Bucks picked up Shabazz Muhammad in favor of Sean Kilpatrick last week, and this piece is just one of many doing a wonderful job of summarizing just how bad of a player Muhammad has been in the NBA.
Three-point sharpshooter? Nope, he takes 14% of shots there. Efficient from inside? Nah, he loves missing mid-range jumpers. Willing passer? Negative, he's statistically a black hole. What about defense? Sorry, but he's charitably named a “trainwreck” on that end in this article.
Long live the Shabazz Era!
Back in Wisconsin, Brandon Jennings Hopes A Return to the NBA Is Next (GLeague.com)
It seemed preordained that Brandon Jennings would find his way onto the Bucks roster after joining the Wisconsin Herd a few weeks back. Now that Shabazz Muhammad is on-board, Jennings's path to the NBA is a bit more cloudy.
He’s been scoring at a prolific rate for the Wisconsin Herd, though his turnover numbers are pretty eye-popping in their own right. At 28 years old, there's still a chance he has enough juice left to find a way onto a NBA training camp roster prior to next season. For now, he'll be doing his best to assist the Herd as they push to make the G-League postseason and seeing where his basketball journey takes him.
From the Social Media Realm
Giannis loves nothing more than punishing former Bucks who dare to stand against him:
Stepped over Ersan and went straight over to Bayless— Rob Perez (@World_Wide_Wob) March 5, 2018
Leave the Bucks and Giannis will come for you https://t.co/yru8YoVev1
Really makes you think:
As a society, we don't talk about the 2000-2001 Bucks enough https://t.co/ANbGDPMAcs— The Players' Tribune (@PlayersTribune) February 26, 2018
I swear I only cried for, like, 10 minutes when this came across my desk:
Joel Anthony To Play In Argentina https://t.co/q31E7dAOBH pic.twitter.com/Az5Z1RWIU6— Hoops Rumors (@HoopsRumors) February 27, 2018
When the Bucks posted this all-access video, I was absolutely convinced they were bringing Brandon Jennings in. Instead, Shabazz is going to try and save the day:
Go All-Access as @BrandonJennings makes his @WisconsinHerd debut in the @NBAGLeague!! #MoreDeerToFear pic.twitter.com/7bcLGrMTFK— Milwaukee Bucks (@Bucks) February 27, 2018
Malcolm Brogdon - Rookie of the Year, critical component to any semblance of Bucks’ success, and humanitarian:
Throughout his life, @Bucks guard Malcolm Brogdon has been passionate about providing the less fortunate parts of the world with clean drinking water.— The Players' Tribune (@PlayersTribune) March 1, 2018
Now he's partnering with @WaterboysORG and @JOEL9ONE to bring their mission to the @NBA. pic.twitter.com/hmkdglut8d
This one is for all our native Greek speakers:
UNIQUE @nbahellas: @Bucks owner Marc Lasry talks about his relationship with @Giannis_An34, a future preseason game in Athens, the tough situation with coach Kidd and shares a "crazy" story about two greek families in New York:— Harris Stavrou (@harris_stavrou) March 2, 2018
Enjoy ▶ https://t.co/Mzbs7M9nsz pic.twitter.com/C0xDB7a6ct
Bon voyage, Sean. It was an honor seeing you play in garbage time when the Bucks visited the Minnesota Timberwolves:
Milwaukee Thanks For The Hospitality! The Marathon Continues #Undrafted #LetsGo pic.twitter.com/Ry8zguopfx— Sean Kilpatrick Jr (@SeanKilpatrick) March 2, 2018
Update: Sean good.
Clippers are signing guard Sean Kilpatrick to a 10-day contract, league sources tell ESPN. He will be eligible for an NBA playoff roster. Bucks waived him on Friday.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) March 4, 2018
In honor of the Oscars last night, here's Marques Johnson flashing some of his own broadcasting hardware:
Humbled... pic.twitter.com/vflTrcbPHU— Marques Johnson (@olskool888) March 3, 2018
Thought for a hot second that DJ Wilson had somehow found his way onto the Chicago Bulls:
The Bucks have recalled D.J. Wilson from the @WisconsinHerd. Wilson tallied 22 points, nine rebounds, two assists and two blocked shots vs. the Raptors 905 last night at Menominee Nation Arena in Oshkosh, Wis. pic.twitter.com/6edr7x5p6X— Milwaukee Bucks (@Bucks) March 4, 2018
If you thought this week would spell the end of Milwaukee's tumult, think again.
The week starts tonight with a trip to Indiana to play the Pacers in another critical game in terms of playoff positioning. Milwaukee then returns home to get blown out by the Houston Rockets on Wednesday and then get a chance to right the ship against the New York Knicks on Friday.
Until the Bucks give us reason to believe they've turned a corner, I'll maintain my pessimism. That means you can expect a two-game skid before a much-needed win over the Knicks.
Here's hoping that circumstances will be a bit more positive next time we meet.