One week the MMMR giveth praise, the next it lobs unvarnished criticism. It’s the balance of opinion that keeps you, the reader, coming back here every Monday I’m sure.
Last week I took a moment in my intro to bow down at the altar of Giannis’s greatness this season. Where there were doubts about how much further he could go, he shattered them. Where everyone said “let him take the three, it won’t hurt”, he started giving to give them real bite. Where everyone loved to cast aspersions on the validity of his MVP nod, he kicked the door in on the doubters with outputs that cannot be defied.
About those free throws, though...
It’s a tricky topic. As a career 73.3% charity stripe guy Giannis has historically been neither great nor poor from the line. But this year? How about a strong ‘eh’ for 2019-2020? He’s seen his percentage drop down to 59.2% this season, but he’s also reached a career-high in FTRate (.574). Those two trends have meant we’re not seeing a cratering off of his contributions just yet as they prop one another up, but it’s unknown if that will hold up over the course of the season, especially if opponents start to try and target that weakness.
Far be it from me to moan about a point as relatively minuscule as this, but hey, we’re all on a path of personal growth, right?
My main wonder with Donte really rounding into form the past week or two is how that changes Mike Budenholzer’s calculus when crafting his rotation. Has Donte played well enough to justify a retained starting role when Khris Middleton returns? His game is so multi-faceted that a sixth man spot feels right... but that’s what George Hill does right now.
I won’t look a gift horse in the mouth, though. That DDV has followed up a tough rookie year with a breakout sophomore one is a gigantic boon all its own.
This is a take, folks. I’m a big Brogdon fan and am ambivalent about how things worked out, but even I now have to keep quiet given how well the team is playing
That didn’t stop Jonathon Tjarks over at the Ringer, though. His position isn’t so much that the team as currently constructed is doomed to come up short, but moreso that Milwaukee needs to be willing to throw caution to the wind and roll the dice on another mid-season acquisition. Not wrong, probably! Of course, finding the parts to convince a team like Sacramento to give up a guy like Bogdan Bogdanovic could be difficult especially if Bogdan’s market is anything hotter than tepid bathwater (which is surely will be).
Not all that shocking, not that unattainable at his current rate of production/evolution, not even crazier than his superhero movie “I am Giannis” quote.
Of course, when you’re dealing with decades of great players and the unending onslaught of “Who Is The Greatest Of All Time” debate it’ll take a special career over a long span to really crack the top of the list. He’s well on his way, though.
A late addition to this week’s edition, but one that will potentially hold relevance for the Bucks if it is instituted a couple years down the line as reported.
Giannis Antetokounmpo sues over home renovations (Journal Sentinel)
Have the Bucks had more ongoing legal involvement in a season? We’ve got Sterling Brown and the City of Milwaukee (read: Milwaukee PD), Robin Lopez and stolen Disney goods, Pat Connaughton and trying to demolish downtown real estate to build a new glass box apartment complex, and now Giannis Antetokounmpo and having some local contractor totally shoot themselves in the foot by stiffing one of the globe’s most famous personalities.
New Milwaukee Bucks uniforms might have some asking, “Cream City, wha?!” (OnMilwaukee.com)
This one isn’t directly related to basketball, but I 1) Love history and 2) Love the history of Milwaukee, and OnMilwaukee’s Bobby Tanzilo really hit this history lesson out of the park on the “Cream City” moniker.
Some of the nicknames attached to Milwaukee in the 19th Century are amazing too. My personal favorite has to be “Cream City of the Unsalted Seas”.
The Social Media Section
Scream this from the rooftops
Legitimately insane that the Bucks have five of the top 10 players in league Net Rating.— Riley Feldmann (@RileyFeldmann) November 24, 2019
1) Sterling at +19.6
2) Donte at +17.6
8) Brook at +13.3
9) Giannis at +13.0
T-9) Wes at +13.0
PS - Sterling has by far the league's best DRtg at 90.1, 3.1 points better than Embiid at #2.
Y’all wouldn’t even believe the number of dorks who got Big Mad at this tweet
"I've got Philly coming out of the East, they just can't be stopped."— Brew Hoop (@brewhoop) November 22, 2019
"Have you seen how well the Celts are playing? Wow!"
"Siakam might be the next Giannis!"
Kick rocks, dorks. pic.twitter.com/COknbllImq
The numbers do not lie
People are sleeping on how good the Bucks are. Now tied for the best record in the East (11-3); 2nd best point differential in the NBA vs. fairly tough schedule; only 4 games at home so far (10 on the road). Plus, Giannis, who's taken another step forward. https://t.co/SfFhO0cq2P— Nate Silver (@NateSilver538) November 21, 2019
It’s awesome that they’re leaning into this bit
Seeing how well Jabari Parker is playing with the Hawks (17.2 pts, 6.4 rebs.) and how Malcolm Brogdon is playing like an All-Star for the Pacers (19.2 pts, 8.2 assts, 4.8 boards), Bucks GM/self-proclaimed basketball expert Johnny Horst is the clear front-runner for Exec of the Yr— Gery Woelfel (@GeryWoelfel) November 20, 2019
This re-design is 1000% better than what they went with
Every Giannis post is really a Freak Ones post, but that’s okay by me. Always. Be. Closing.
There’s a non-zero chance whoever had Ersan sign that jersey thought he was Giannis
I’ll give Thanasis this: He’s just living his best life even at the end of the bench
I never forgot, nay, never stopped believing in you, Rayjon
MMMR 2019-2020 Prediction Record: 7-9
retired janitor’s 2019-2020 Prediction Record: 13-3
I’m not sure if you’d call any of the four wins of the past week very pretty (except for beating the Bulls. That’s always pretty), but the Bucks are atop of the league and all is right with the world.
Another four games are on deck this week beginning this evening with a visit by the Utah Jazz followed at home on Wednesday against the Atlanta Hawks. Then it’s back on the road again Friday to play the Cavs before a home back-to-back against the Charlotte Hornets.
I expect another three wins and a loss against the Hornets because this team has to run out of steam at some point or another at least once.