Welcome to What Actually Happened, where I’ll be chronicling the real story of the Milwaukee Bucks’ season (every other week, for now) — no bullshit, no status to gain, no narrative to push, and no one to impress.
Definitely no one to impress.
I want to be clear on that.
I said the same thing to my wife when we got engaged, to the doctor during my physical, and to my parents when I went to college — and I’m saying it to you now — so if you’re here and you aren’t impressed, don’t come complaining to me, because that’s on you now.
And I misspoke — there actually will be plenty of bullshit. And memes. And probably stories from my personal life that I attempt to stretch into tangentially connecting with my ideas about the Bucks.
So, if you don’t like information presented with humor or you already don’t like me from this introduction (so you definitely don’t want to hear my anecdotes — and I’ll spare you that this time), well, at least you’re already unimpressed. I already covered that, so you might as well give it a chance — worst case scenario is your expectations have already been met.
Figuring out the best way to do this column will be an ongoing process, so please feel free to tell me how you feel about it and give others advice on how to stomach reading it.
Okay then, let’s give this a shot.
Where Am I and What Is Going On?
We’re 10 games into the 2019-20 season, the Bucks are 7-3 and apparently it only took one offseason for a sizable chunk of the fanbase to forget every season before last year, ignore how the game of basketball works and set their expectations at going undefeated and winning no less than two championships this season.
I never thought I’d see so much complaining about good shooters taking wide open three-point shots, quality player performances that weren’t absolutely perfect and winning games by less than 20 points.
By the way, did you know that instead of signing Khris Middleton and Eric Bledsoe, the Bucks could have easily signed Malcolm Brogdon (the obvious MVP front runner and a no-brainer hall-of-famer), Chris Paul (but for free), Anthony Davis (and LeBron James), Shaquille O’Neal in his prime, not-fat Shawn Kemp and The Hulk?
Such an inexplicable blunder.
Again, the Bucks are 7-3. Rotations are being worked out. New pieces are being fit in. The team is fourth in offensive rating (110.4), ninth in defensive rating (102.9) and second in net rating (+7.6)—and in case I forgot to mention it: the Bucks are 7-3 (one game back from the best record in the league). The old Bucks would be usually losing those close games when a big lead is given up. The new Bucks usually win them.
If my 5-year-old son can wait an entire month between getting his Halloween costume (Bumblebee transformer) and actually putting it on for trick-or-treating, we should be able to make it more than 10 games without going off the deep end. So, let’s take a deep breath, have a little patience and show some confidence, because these Bucks are a team worthy of being confident in—and there haven’t been many other seasons when that has been the case.
Let’s enjoy the season—and let’s not forget how good we have it:
Xs and Os and Other Letters Too
So, how are the Bucks winning games? I could present a bunch of stats and clips and make things convoluted to try to sound smart, but why do that when I can sum it all up in one photo for you? Don’t answer that, because I’m using the photo either way, as I have not received my internet license to give big-brain #ExpertAnalysis yet and I don’t want to get arrested.
And anyway, this is all you need to know:
Ballin’ Buck: Giannis Antetokounmpo
The start of this column is probably a good place to have a focus on where the Bucks start: Giannis Antetokounmpo.
After winning the MVP award last season, Giannis sought out new challenges by cross training in several different fields this past offseason—but it seems not many challenges were found, as he casually became the MVP of anything he tried, including being a psychic pay-per-call operator, disc jockey and music director of a symphony:
Giannis has been similarly prolific to start the NBA season and it hasn’t even seemed like he has been at his best some games.
Giannis just became the first player in NBA history to record at least 200 points, 100 rebounds and 50 assists in the first eight games of a season...and it was, like, not that hard.
It seems no barrier can stop Giannis and nothing is safe from succumbing to his will—not even inanimate objects:
I fully expect Giannis to start ignoring all conventional structures soon. By December he’ll have gone full Kool-Aid Man and be busting through brick walls that made the mistake of being built in Giannis’ path.
Deer in the Headlights Player Spotlight: Ersan Ilyasova
The international scientific community lambasted the experiment, calling it an irresponsible publicity stunt and a gross bastardization of the field of scientific research. But here we are all these years later and the genetic combination of James Franco and Owen Wilson’s nose is still proving the haters wrong.
Ilyasova has been the GOAT charge taker for a while now. I think that’s pretty well known. I mean, he takes so many drives to his body that even his nose is trying to get away from him:
His latest accomplishment, however, came in early November when he drained a three (I’m guessing after pump faking even though he was already open) and ascended to fifth for most three pointers in Bucks franchise history.
Congratulations, Turkish Thunder—keep up the Ersanity and be sure to let me know when the next Ghostface Ilya album drops.
Robin Lopez Mascot Altercation Tracker
2019-20 total: 1
Entries (one new)
Date: November 6, 2019
Mascot: Chuck the Condor (Clippers)
Instigator: Chuck the Condor—maybe Robin was wanting to turn over a new leaf with his new team and move on from his life of violent mascot assaults, but Chuck really forced Robin’s hand when he attempted to deceive the big man and then paid the price.
Alright, this is likely already too long for the first edition of this column and I think the Brew Hoop editors reading this are probably wondering why this sentence hasn’t ended yet and why I would make this even longer by discussing its length at length, but if you made it to the end of this column, props to you for caring about what actually happened with the Bucks and good luck with being a masochist. Let me know what you think in the comments and I’ll be sure to base whether or not my dogs get pet on your sentiments.
I’ll be back in two weeks to set the record straight again, but until then, here is your Moment of Bud: