This is it. The season is finally coming to a close, and what a year it was!
Jason Kidd? Fired. Giannis Antetokounmpo? Sure-fire MVP candidate. Defensive scheme? (still) Broken. Eric Bledsoe? Now a Buck. Ownership group? Chaos personified. Eight seed? More than likely ours for the taking, just like old times.
At least we can reconcile ourselves with the fact that the Milwaukee Bucks were able to somehow drag this corpse of a campaign across the .500 mark with 43 wins going into the final slate of games. If number of wins was the only unit of measure upon which teams evaluated their progress, this season would be viewed as a wild success!
Unfortunately, as you all know, there are too many holes in the bottom of this boat, and seemingly not enough people available to bail out the sinking ship. Maybe the craft will hold on through an improbable first round series win in the playoffs, but it is only a matter of time until this season comes to an ignominious end.
The Milwaukee Bucks need to find their focus (Hoops Habit)
One of the most frustrating aspects to the Bucks this season has undoubtedly been their tendency to regularly fall short against the worst the NBA has to throw at them. Are the Cleveland Cavaliers in town? If so, expect Milwaukee to play competitively and maybe even pull out an unlikely win. But, hit the road against an Orlando Magic team purposefully trying to lose as many games as possible? Odds are 50/50 as to whether the Bucks will even win by two points.
In the course of a full season, those gimme games-turned-losses add up and quickly lower your playoff-seeding ceiling. If Milwaukee had done what needed to be done more regularly, they wouldn't be staring a lost season right in the face.
The Bucks and Jabari Parker may be headed for a divorce, and both could be better off (Washington Post) & ESPN’s Nick Friedell on Jabari Parker: ‘If I’m the Bucks … I’m not re-signing Jabari’ (Washington Post)
You may have seen either of the above posts rock the proverbial boat this week, and for good reason. I don't want to dive in to the pros and cons of keeping Jabari Parker as part of the Bucks’ future as we'll have all summer to discuss it leading up to and after the conclusion of free agency.
Things feel weird at the moment, though. Jabari could just be having a tough time reintegrating into the team fold, especially since he came in months after the roster had gelled together to a certain extent, but he's also showed signs of returning to pre-injury form (both positively and negatively).
Either way, a stretch of tumult appears to be on the horizon.
Matthew Dellavedova aims to finish frustrating season on positive note (The Pick & Roll)
Matthew Dellavedova is as controversial a player as exists on the roster, and that's not helped by the fact that he hasn't had as many opportunities as I'm sure he'd like to prove his worth on a nightly basis. Between injuries and trying to find a place within a competitive guard corps, Delly's 2017-2018 season has been less than stellar, but he may get a chance to make a difference come the playoffs.
Or, maybe his ankle will continue to bother him and he can draw the ire of Bucks fans through another off-season.
From the Social Media Realm
This is all just... a lot:
The Squad.— Bucks Gaming (@BucksGG) April 4, 2018
Also, I'm sure this won't be a point of future contention between G-League players and their parent organizations:
Something’s not right here. You mean to tell me that people who play 2K professionally are paid MORE than guys in the G League? Unreal. pic.twitter.com/8g5iNANxW2— Adam Johnson (@AdamJ_NBAGL) April 4, 2018
Sometimes the Bucks are adept at tapping into the online meme zeitgeist. This was not one of those times:
if you oh wait,— Bango (@BucksBango) April 5, 2018
don't love everyone always
me at my loves me! pic.twitter.com/uMSJbf7mWN
The Juice is loose:
Sources: Former No. 3 overall pick O.J. Mayo signs with Puerto Rican team. @ShamsCharania report: https://t.co/yM6QUahxlg pic.twitter.com/iQ4o36OJW8— Yahoo Sports NBA (@YahooSportsNBA) April 4, 2018
It didn't take long for Jason Kidd to resurface somewhere else in the NBA:
Uh oh pic.twitter.com/e6iCK1ZZdH— The Bright Side (@BrightSideSun) April 9, 2018
Finally, a season recap in one sentence or less:
This season, Boston fans had Brad Stevens and Milwaukee fans had The Exact Opposite of Brad Stevens.— Bill Simmons (@BillSimmons) April 2, 2018
And then there were two games and the potential need for a shadow tank if the Bucks truly want to face the Boston Celtics in the first-round. The first game occurs tonight against the visiting Orlando Magic, and the season will conclude Wednesday in Philadelphia against the 76ers.
It is a damn near three-way heat for the six through eight spots in the East between Milwaukee, Miami, and Washington, and the final three days of the season could shake out in a number of ways. You'd normally assume that the players themselves will be going all-out for the final couple of wins no matter what, but don't be surprised when a ton of players for each team come up with timely sore ankles as the fight for the seven-seed heats up.
Truly a sad state of affairs when a seven seed is viewed as the best of all potentially bad scenarios...