Some people find the NBA playoffs to be naturally compelling, regardless of who is involved, but I have to admit to having mostly checked out from basketball since the Milwaukee Bucks were eliminated a few weeks ago. Watching compelling play is one thing, but we're closing in on eight to nine months straight of NBA play and the possibility of yet another Cavaliers-Warriors match-up to determine who reigns supreme. For me, if a game has no possibility of including some critical Tyler Zeller minutes, I'm not tuning in.
So, we do our best to keep tuned in with everything the Bucks are doing which... isn't a lot. The most compelling question of the offseason, who would take over as head coach, has been answered and all we'll have to go on from there will be wondering what kind of scheme Mike Budenholzer will be putting together. Yes, the draft is around the corner, but the Bucks have been tight-lipped about who they're working out, so things are generally quiet on that front. Free agency is more than a month away. We're already in the doldrums of the NBA off-season, but I did my best to uncover some more compelling themes for you to think about as we continue to burn through a summer without Milwaukee Bucks basketball.
Mike Budenholzer looks to unlock Bucks’ defensive potential (NBA.com)
There has been little discussion on what, exactly, Budenholzer will do to craft a markedly better defensive scheme than what we've been subjected to for three to four seasons, but one has to believe any change will be a good thing.
Some have pointed out how Atlanta played a trapping style similar to the Bucks at their worst, but sheer ability to adjust at the margins should allow the team to maintain contact and avoid blowouts on a regular basis.
The only thing I'll ask for is that the first game of the regular season is bereft of open three-pointers in the corner. If we can go even one night without experiencing recurring heartburn like last season, I'll declare the hire a victory.
Bucks Didn't Do Former Coaching Staff Any Favors (Gery Woelfel)
Some of the big remaining questions around Mike Budenholzer's move to Milwaukee revolve around who will fill out the rest of his coaching staff. It is assumed that a number of his Atlanta assistants will be joining him, but there's been speculation about whether anyone from the Kidd era will be allowed to stick around.
According to Gery Woelfel, the only guys with a realistic chance of staying with the Bucks are Vin Baker and Sean Sweeney. The former has been involved in the organization only recently as a coach, but has spent a number of years with the broadcast team. Sweeney is most known as Giannis's pseudo-personal coach and may find his way to remaining through that critical relationship.
When it comes to Atlanta's staff, we've yet to get any concrete answers, but expect some of the following names to be announced as joining Budenholzer in the near future:
So, that would mean the following coaches, that were in Atlanta last season, are in limbo:— Eric Nehm (@eric_nehm) May 24, 2018
Darvin Ham - Bud's lead assistant, 5 yrs in ATL
Taylor Jenkins - 5 yrs in ATL
Charles Lee - 4 yrs in ATL
Ben Sullivan - 4 yrs in ATL
Patrick St. Andrews - 1 yr on bench, 5 yrs total in ATL https://t.co/97J1EDHGai
G-League executive of the year Steve Brandes reflects on Year 1 with the Wisconsin Herd (Oshkosh Northwestern)
The Wisconsin Herd certainly hit all their marks to call their inaugural season a great success: Attendance topped out at over 69,000, they had the third-highest number of sellouts league-wide, and they won 21 games when the average start-up has only reached 17.
Team president Steve Brandes was rewarded for those successes with the G-League's “Executive of the Year” award last week. It will be interesting seeing how the Herd build on the positives of the first year with a full summer and larger staff in place to build connections with fans and businesses in Oshkosh and the Fox Valley.
Hopefully the Herd and Bucks both take away valuable lessons on the functionality of a G-League team as well. Bucks GM Jon Horst showed a lot of willingness to experiment with all the transnational tools at his disposal last season, so expect more of the same now that both sides have experience executing a proper parent-affiliate relationship.
Milwaukee Bucks: Salary cap death by a thousand cuts (Hoops Habit)
While we don't need to go over the depth of salary cap hell the Bucks have imposed upon themselves for the millionth time, I think it valuable to try and re-calibrate the value (or lack thereof) of players like Matthew Dellavedova, Tony Snell, and John Henson.
It would be going to far to guarantee that any of them will be able to radically augment their contributions or ability to be traded, but one of the interesting sub-plots of his arrival will be whether he can salvage something usable out of players who have been consistently inconsistent. Will Snell thrive in a more active 3 & D role? Can a tandem of Eric Bledsoe and Matthew Dellavedova do enough to unlock and offense centered around Giannis Antetokounmpo?
That, more than the sheer size of the contracts, will determine the short-term fate of the Milwaukee Bucks.
From the Social Media Realm
For all those wondering about Giannis's plans for the summer, they seem to include plenty of Brewers baseball and very little Greek national team ball:
No Giannis in the Greek NT pre-selection, Koufos and Dorsey included— Eurohoops.net (@Eurohoopsnet) May 25, 2018
| Eurohoops https://t.co/LMRwD7YYZx
Giannis is enjoying the @Brewers game with his girlfriend this evening ⚾️ pic.twitter.com/o1UdjO1W07— Brew Hoop (@brewhoop) May 25, 2018
Great day giving back to the kids from @bgcmilwaukee. Huge thanks to the City of Milwaukee for all the support you’ve shown me since day 1 and for my Top 10 ranking on @DICKS #JerseyReport #sponsored pic.twitter.com/2OuMIXPFUh— Giannis Antetokounmpo (@Giannis_An34) May 22, 2018
Khris Middleton busy showing out in NYC at a variety of NBA-related events:
@Khris22m of the @Bucks hanging out with fans #NBAStoreNC pic.twitter.com/f1bFanKwjd— NBA Store (@NBASTORE) May 23, 2018
*insert scratching chin while having a curious facial expression emoji*:
Kevin Durant made the All-NBA First team over Giannis. Here's how they matched up:— Elisha Twerski (@ETwPhoneHome) May 24, 2018
Points - Giannis
Rebounds - Giannis
Assists - Durant
Steals - Giannis
Blocks - Durant
FG % - Giannis
PER - Giannis
WS - Giannis
GP - Giannis
# of All-Star teammates: Durant - 3, Giannis - 0.
How does a swap of Delly and this year's first-round pick for Markelle Fultz and Dario Saric sound to you fine folks?
If Horst pulled this off, I will get a Milwaukee Bucks tattoo. pic.twitter.com/54PRYW9qjp— Kyle Carr (@KyleCoche) May 23, 2018
Normally, I'd dedicate the closing section of the Monday Morning Roundup to giving some sort of projection, but it is Memorial Day Monday. So what the hell are you still doing here reading? Get out there and, as always...