Is it me, or do things seem just a bit brighter this Monday morning? The birds are out chirping, the sun is shining bright, foliage has just a little more pop of color and life to it. There's only one thing that could herald such a wholesale change on my outlook on life: The return of Bucks basketball. (Or a close approximation)
I mean, sure, it is just Summer League basketball and thus largely worthless in extrapolating future results, but it is basketball featuring guys in “Milwaukee” uniforms nonetheless. The marquee names are a little different from the regular season (think DJ Wilson instead of Giannis Antetokounmpo) and the variance in scoring is almost as wild as that in high school basketball games. One thing unites Milwaukee's Summer League team with that of its regular season counterpart: Both have regular difficulty tasting any level of success in their respective “playoffs”.
But there plenty of other writers here at Brew Hoop giving you all the Summer League coverage you could ask for. Today, I'm going to be bringing you stories of a hero named “John Adodocunbo”, some coaching staff updates, and a story combining the word “awed” with former assistant coach Sean Sweeney.
John (Giannis) helped an old man who crashed into the street! (Gazetta.gr)
We'll start this week's edition off by addressing the “John Adodocunbo” drop in the article's sub-head. According to the above link to a Greek website, and some hefty Google Translate usage, it appears Giannis Antetokounmpo was busy saving lives in Greece this past week.
Apparently Giannis was out for a stroll when an elderly man passed in the street due to excessive heat. Mr. Adodocunbo then jumped in to help the man find a seat in the shade and kept him company until an ambulance arrived to assist the distressed citizen.
John Adodocunbo: NBA star and good Samaritan.
Which Team Will Rule the Post-LeBron East? (The Ringer)
While the favorites to win the East surely include the likes of Boston Celtics and Philadelphia 76ers, it wouldn't be shocking to see the Bucks rise up to the possibility of securing a top-three seed come playoff time.
I had already gone out on a shaky limb and predicted the Bucks would potentially win 50+ games based solely on a competent coaching staff. A week removed from that prediction I see no reason to change my expectations. An uptick into the 50s would be a welcome sign of competitive progress for the Bucks, but not an unlikely one given the state of the Eastern Conference.
Bucks Name Josh Longstaff as Assistant Coach (Bucks.com)
This was news that came across the wire about a week ago, so nothing new here except making things official: Josh Longstaff, former head coach of the G-League's Erie BayHawks, will join Mike Budenholzer's staff as an assistant coach.
Further staff hirings made public in this release include the retaining of Vin Baker within the organization as Basketball Operations Associate/Director of Program Development and the bringing on-board of Zach Peterson as head video coordinator and Schuyler Rimmer as player development and video assistant.
I wish I'd be able to give you a full breakdown of the style of play Erie utilized last season in order to give you insight into what kind of coach Longstaff is, but you'll be shocked to learn there isn't much info on the statistical profile of a nascent G-League team. Given that, Longstaff will have to be logged under “In Bud We Trust” in terms of immediate analysis.
Detroit Pistons aide Sean Sweeney awed Dwane Casey with defensive schemes (Detroit Free Press)
Everything about the use of the word “awed” in the above headline is amazing; doubly so when considering it was used in regards to Sean Sweeney's defensive prowess.
But apparently the above is not a joke!
Sean Sweeney, former Bucks assistant and Giannis Antetokounmpo personal team servant, left the organization to join Dwane Casey's staff with the Detroit Pistons. Not many tears were shed upon his departure in large part thanks to the horrific defensive scheme he crafted in Milwaukee.
What's even better is the fact that Casey was most impressed by the defensive performances put on the by the Bucks against the Toronto Raptors in the 2017 Playoffs. Yes, Sweeney seems to have been hired on the back of a series of six games two seasons ago. Good luck, Detroit.
Chicago Bulls forced to commit to uncertain future with Zach LaVine (ESPN)
Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know, this is a Bucks page. So why did I include a story about the otherwise irrelevant and always-to-be-reviled Chicago Bulls? Because just such a signing may mean Chicago is less likely to be part of the field of teams who may vie for Jabari Parker's restricted free agent services this summer.
Of course, as July drags on, Jabari Parker may find himself more amenable to a smaller deal from the likes of the Sacramento Kings (who offered LaVine a four-year, $79.5 million contract), the Atlanta Hawks, and the Brooklyn Nets. If any of those franchises decide to take a chance on nabbing Parker on a discounted deal, the onus will be on the Bucks to decide whether they're better off matching a reasonable contract and dealing with the off-court fallout, or letting Jabari walk.
Best of luck, Horst & Co.
From the Social Media Realm
Final note on Jabari: For SURE don't worry about the fact that he's no longer following Giannis or the Bucks on Instagram:
WHAT DOES IT MEAN pic.twitter.com/KHMSKEL3cK— Brew Hoop (@brewhoop) July 8, 2018
But, maybe things aren't as chaotic/hopeless as they initially seem:
Unlike Danny Ainge with Marcus Smart, Jon Horst on @SiriusXMNBA says that “we talk to Jabari’s camp every day.” #Bucks— Noah Coslov (@NoahCoslov) July 8, 2018
Officially Brook Lopez SZN:
Here are 2017-18 activity heatmaps for Brook Lopez, who just signed a one-year deal with the Bucks. Over 40% of his shots were from three-point range. For the past two seasons, his three-point attempt rate has been 36%. pic.twitter.com/gj6xBm1wmO— Positive Residual (@presidual) July 8, 2018
Which one of you was caught attending Bucks Summer League games last week?
#BucksIn6 forever pic.twitter.com/ztgj9yjWGY— Sean Highkin (@highkin) July 6, 2018
If you come at Thon, you better hope he misses you with his flying knees:
Thon Maker in this new fiba game is crazy #FIBAFighter #Sagat #ThonMaker pic.twitter.com/yHLoQ8SeB2— Justin's Secret NBA Summer League Memes (@justinsuperbuck) July 2, 2018
What are the odds that Skip Bayless was paid by the Bucks to stoke Giannis's competitive nature?
That’s all I needed for this summer thank you skip! #Motivation https://t.co/IVWcFRzd4f— Giannis Antetokounmpo (@Giannis_An34) July 2, 2018
For the first time in literally months, I've got some games to predict the results of! Summer League action continues on for Milwaukee now that the “preseason” is over. The games this week matter with the playoffs upon us.
Things begin tonight with the Bucks facing off against the Denver Nuggets. While the Nuggets feature a player named Vlatko Cancar, and thus normally would hold the pre-game advantage, I have to imagine there's a chance Donte DiVincenzo is available for Milwaukee and just lights it up in his first live action. Bucks will win 133-75 on the back of a 25/30 performance from The Big Ragu.
Otherwise, we'll have more piping hot Summer League content coming your way, a podcast heading down your pipe, and bated breath as the Jabari Parker conundrum continues to drag on.