The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines basketball as, “a usually indoor court game between two teams of usually five players each who score by tossing an inflated ball through a raised goal”. To a certain extent, the Milwaukee Bucks can indeed be called a team that tosses an inflated ball through a raised goal. To an further extent, they’re so much more than that.
They’re one of the most entertaining shows on earth with vicious Greek dunks and giants of men making shots from 50 feet away from the basket. They’re a deadly well-oiled machine coached into schemes that enable them to routinely grind opponents into dust. They’re a group of talented individuals who bring unique skills and personalities together into one unit. In fact, they may be the greatest example of what “basketball” can be defined as in 2019.
In celebration of a definitive “basketball” team we’ve found a number of articles about those very individuals. We’ll start by putting Eric Bledsoe and his role in Milwaukee under the microscope, sit down for a long-form interview with Marques Johnson, and much more!
The Importance of Eric Bledsoe to the Bucks (Sports Illustrated)
If Eric Bledsoe hopes to find his way into this year’s All-Star game it certainly won’t be on the back of fan voting. Instead he’ll need to garner enough support via the media and NBA coaches; stories like the one above will go a long way to helping get him there.
I think it is safe to hold two simultaneous positions on Bledsoe:
1) He’s been really good this year on both ends of the floor. There are times where he can be downright dominant if he so chooses. That’s a huge boost for the team.
2) He’s been really good in the middle of a contract year, is 29, has had a history of knee trouble, and it is a very open question how long his body/athleticism will tolerate this play.
Your opinions on how critical it is to bring Bledsoe back may vary and I think there are countless valid positions to take. For now we can only hope Bledsoe continues to show out not just in the immediate, but further down the line in May and June.
Another great stab at educating the masses by Dan Shafer for Milwaukee Record. I think he did a good job succinctly bringing the season that’s been together for those who may not be fully dialed in. Plus, we get a bonus inclusion of The Green Machine’s “Green and Growing” to fully bridge the timeline between today’s Bucks squad and the early decades of team success.
Ever more love for the three-shooting seven-footer we’ve all come to know and dearly love.
What’s strangest about Lopez’s shift from traditional center to sharpshooter is how few compatriots he has in the year 2019. Sure, big men are taking outside shots at higher rates than ever before, but it feels like a quirk that the 11-year vet who just really started shooting three to four years ago is the cream of the crop.
Regardless, there’s a real chance Lopez has bought himself a couple more seasons of high-level contributions in a NBA prone to phasing centers out. Question is, will he be doing the contributing in Milwaukee?
This one feels apt given the weekend news that the Bucks are planning on retiring Marques’s jersey this season.
It’s quite a lengthy article, but I think any Bucks fan young or old will appreciate hearing Marques wax poetic on topics ranging from his acting career, his years in Milwaukee as a player, his time with the team now, the endless possibilities for Giannis Antetokounmpo and much more. In typical Marques Johnson fashion he does all that with an ease and attention to detail we’ve all come to appreciate since he returned to Wisconsin.
John Hammond: You Always Want Shooters (105.7 FM - The Fan)
Why not throw a little audio content into your morning diet? With the Bucks set to face the Orlando Magic it was inevitable that former GM John Hammond (who currently works in the Magic front office) would make some sort of return.
The interview runs for about 20 minutes, so it’s up to you whether hearing from Hammond is worth your while. In my opinion I thought he candidly answered many of the questions thrown his way and gives us a valuable insight into the mindset of a guy who has been a league executive for a number of years.
Around the League (Canis Hoopus)
This one comes to us from a fan named *squints* Kyle Carr? Hey, I (and everyone else here) knows that guy!
He sends us a message from our Minnesota-based brethren over at Canis Hoopus who currently have the Bucks listed as “Hot” and Giannis atop the “MVP Watch”. Good to know the folks in my midst can appreciate good Wisconsin basketball when they see it.
The Social Media Section
Find yourself someone who’s as happy to see you as Giannis is to see a rookie leading the pre-game dance:
A team-building activity in three tweets:
Whatever he told him, it worked, big fella was most impressive. When the student is ready the teacher will appear... pic.twitter.com/RQtuoHVGRv— Marques Johnson (@olskool888) January 19, 2019
When two icons meet:
Sorry, Wilson (also, #MyOldest):
Loose locker rooms lead to championships, or so they say:
MKE locker room is about as loose as they come. Good chats, a few laughs and some shade today. Giannis told me @eric_nehm and I aren't buddies, we're "Twitter buddies." He reads it all. Hopefully he has a subscription to the @journalsentinel ... and I guess @TheAthleticWISC, too. https://t.co/a7EqJcoPqU— Matt Velazquez (@Matt_Velazquez) January 17, 2019
Malcolm Brogdon has now met the starter criteria in his contract. The Milwaukee guard has now started 41 games and is eligible to receive a $3M Qualifying Offer this off-season. The 2019-20 $1.9M cap hold for Brogdon will be adjusted to $3M.— Bobby Marks (@BobbyMarks42) January 17, 2019
Get ready folks, Mitchell is officially #CrossingOver:
Mark your calendars and get your questions ready for the outstanding @Mitchell_NBA, @brewhoop co-managing editor and ALL-CAPS enthusiast, who will be doing an r/MkeBucks AMA on January 31 beginning at 2 p.m. central time! @BucksOnReddit https://t.co/nqykQwS01J— Patrick Casey (@PatrickCasey) January 15, 2019
Riley’s 2018-2019 Weekly Prediction Record: 25-19
Another week, another three ho-hum opponents dispatched with relative ease by the Milwaukee Bucks. Who thought never losing two in a row would be so easy?
I’ve got a feeling that streak will live on for at least seven more days with three games against teams of varying levels of basketballing ability.
The week begins in just a few hours with the Dallas Mavericks in town for a marquee MLK Day matchup. Then it’s one more at home against the Charlotte Hornets who are riding that fine line between living and dying known as the Eastern Conference eighth seed. Things finish on the road Sunday as the Bucks travel to OKC for their first game of the year against the Thunder.
The Dallas Dončićs have been a lot of fun this year, yet still find themselves solidly below the top tier of the West, so I anticipate it being a close-run win for the good guys (it goes without saying that a W over Charlotte is incoming). A road meeting with the Thunder will be far more interesting given the somewhat top-heavy nature of their roster. If the Bucks were to lose this week it’ll be here.
That’s all I’ve got for you this Monday morning, but don’t go too far! We’ve got plenty still coming your way today between the mid-day game and (gasp!) a new podcast episode?!?!