“We knew the world would not be the same. A few people laughed, a few people cried, most people were silent” coach Budenholzer was heard to say recalling the mood of the team after their wiping out of the LA Clippers.
Then he grew quiet. A wistful look came over his face. You could barely hear what he uttered under his breath:
“Now we are become Death, the destroyer of worlds.”
The Bhagavad-Gita’s application to the Bucks in 2019-2020 is questionable, but what is not is the reign of supremacy we’re witnessing emanating from Milwaukee. LA was supposed to be the big challenge over these past 14 games, yet the Bucks made beating them look like relative child’s play.
Yes, the Clippers of today will likely be different from the well-oiled machine everyone expects to be there in April, but a victory against even version 1.0 is worth something. There will be more tests in the weeks ahead, but right now the Bucks are the NBA’s Vishnu keeping this poor league’s universe afloat.
The Bucks May Be the Only Juggernaut in the NBA (Sports Illustrated)
Writer Rohan Nadkarni tackles the greatest question of all: Is Everyone Sleeping on Milwaukee?
The cases that could be made arguing that, yes, Everyone IS Sleeping on Milwaukee range far and wide which is why it was a bit strange Rohan went after Giannis making the occasional three as the key that completely unlocked the team. Not that Giannis shooting/making threes won’t help as long as he does an OK job making them, but it being the most talked-about weakness in Antetokounmpo’s game makes it an obvious target to inspect.
Still, if people want to continue to obsess over Giannis nailing from three that’s all to the better. Just means the odds go up that someone makes the mistake of closing out too hard and leaving a red carpet to the rim for Giannis.
Are the Bucks the League’s Best Team? (The Ringer)
Much like the shine from SI, this little bit of push from the Ringer does its best to highlight Milwaukee’s success, but fails to also note the levels of success that go beyond Giannis. Don’t get me wrong, Giannis deserves every ounce of credit coming his way and then some, but as we’re all aware it takes something resembling a team to win 14 straight.
This is as counting stat as counting stat gets, but note for example the fact that there are only two players on the entire roster who are averaging less than 5.0 PPG (Thanasis Antetokounmpo and Frank Mason). Literally every other player has found ways to keep the train rolling regardless of circumstance or lineup. Yes, bashing opponents over the head with Antetokounmpo at the helm is the main attraction, but outlets should note just how imposing this team is from top to bottom, too.
Giannis Antetokounmpo, Bucks deliver strong statement to rest of the league with dominant win over Clippers (CBS Sports)
Credit where credit is due: CBS Sports appears to be the first “major” media outlet who has really tried to parse out the wider significance of Milwaukee’s massacring of the Clippers last week. There will still be detractors, haters, doubters, haters again, and they’re all allowed their opinions... until December 19th when the Bucks also decimate the Lakers and everyone has to bow at the altar of Milwaukee.
Had to include this piece from Zach Lowe not because of the rightful Brook Lopez defensive praise, but for this somewhat innocuous line:
“Also refreshing on the Milwaukee center front: D.J. Wilson cracking Mike Budenholzer’s rotation again. He deserves a chance.”
We may have found our third star, folks. He was right here all along and only needed to stare into the abyss of out-of-the-league-dom to unleash his true potential.
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The Social Media Section
Really good work here from Zora Stephenson, loved the segment
Our first edition of "In The Zone With Z" is here!— FOX Sports Wisconsin (@fswisconsin) December 3, 2019
How did he get the nickname The Big Ragu? How does he stay grounded? @ZoraStephenson helps us get to know @Bucks guard Donte DiVincenzo: pic.twitter.com/Q8JhhzB4TO
Does... this mean Donte is the silence? Or is he the notes? Are we the notes?
S/O the Middleton family
I love @khris22m. He and his mom, Nichelle, are hosting a spa day for a few Milwaukee moms at the @PfisterHotel, and my mom was chosen to be given spa treatments and a free lunch. I am incredibly touched by this gesture, and I am so thankful that Khris is here in Milwaukee. pic.twitter.com/voCWp7sCGD— HollYi JollYi Khrismas (@EasyYiJianlian) December 7, 2019
Might have to reserve cap space for Suki’s next contract
Make sure to note Ersan suggesting Giannis stand up to give the crowd some recognition. That’s why he’s worth every million he’s paid.
Coolest thing on the internet right now! https://t.co/HZ88QUQWi7— Giannis Antetokounmpo (@Giannis_An34) December 7, 2019
Gotta admit, I laughed at both of these
How many games have the Bucks won in a row? pic.twitter.com/43cFWXfwYL— Grandmaster Nihilist (@nihilist_bucks) December 5, 2019
I feel bad for Blake Griffin in the sense that he's become to Giannis what Lance Stephenson was to LeBron, a mild inconvenience— Chris Young (@chrisyoungj) December 5, 2019
At least Ivica will be able to give his loved ones a nice picture from his time in the NBA
Donte “The Big Rescue” DiVincenzo
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Last year alone, nearly 4,000 animals went into WHS foster homes to recover from illness, gain confidence, or make room when WHS needed to respond to emergency situations. Foster care does incredible things for animals and truly saves lives, but I’ve seen firsthand how much work it takes and how many challenges their team faces every single day. With your help, we can build a Foster Headquarters at the WHS Milwaukee Campus, making a huge difference for thousands of animals and the selfless foster parents who care for them. You can win free @bucks tickets while making a difference for shelter animals this #givingtuesday – will you join my #FosterFundingChallenge for @wischumane ? Every $10 donation counts as an entry to win 4 tickets to a Bucks game, plus passes to come hang out with me after the game – we’re drawing a new winner each week in December, so you have plenty of chances to win. There are three ways you can help – just tap the link in my bio: 1⃣ Click the “Make a Donation” button to give a gift of any size – every donation makes a difference. 2⃣ Click the “Start a Fundraiser” button to create your own fundraising page just like mine so I can cheer you on as you collect donations from friends and family. 3⃣ Share the link in my bio to spread the word, or tell your friends to text WHSFOSTER to 71777 to make a donation of any size.... THANK YOU so much during this holiday season
The Bledsoe/Middleton dunk contest is back on!
MMMR 2019-2020 Prediction Record: 13-10
retired janitor’s 2019-2020 Prediction Record: 20-3
I must say, this whole “guessing correctly thing by just expecting the Bucks to win every game” thing is pretty intoxicating. In just a few short weeks I went from a hit rate of .0000035 on my guesses to 1.00! This numbers thing is super easy.
You know what else is easy? Milwaukee’s next four games, that’s what.
We’ve got Orlando coming to town tonight (for a NBATV game, oddly enough), New Orleans on Wednesday, a jaunt to Memphis Friday, and are back at home Saturday for the Cavaliers.
It’d be foolish, nay, downright idiotic to think anything less than an 18-game win streak lies at the end of this week. The only real wrinkle in there would be the potential return of Zion Williamson to the Pels lineup after a few months off due to leg problems (definitely not something to be worried about long-term, by the way!), but even his coming back would be limited by a minutes restriction and the lack of any chance to have built on-court chemistry with teammates. Give me 4-0 and let’s make that three game lead over the rest of the Eastern Conference into a guaranteed lock on the first seed seven weeks into the season.