We’ve had a whole afternoon, evening, and morning to think on it, and I still can’t get over how crazy, awesome, and crazy awesome yesterday’s loss in Atlanta was. The best part? Even with five games left I don’t think we’ve seen the last of such madness.
Assuming the Bucks don’t give a real hoot about reaching 60 wins and will be happy as all get out to rest the main contributors to end the season, we could see skeleton lineups regularly closing the season.
And why not?
Worst-case you pick up meaningless losses and get a bit of rest for the likes of Giannis Antetokounmpo, Khris Middleton, and Eric Bledsoe. Best-case guys who normally don’t get a ton of burn get quite an audition to advocate for why they should be getting minutes in the playoffs. Sterling Brown was the biggest standout yesterday among the bench rotation guys with 27 points and strong two-way play, but maybe we’ll say the same of Wilson or Mirotic (if he returns before the post-season.)
Maybe I’m naive, but the regular season comes to a close the moment home-court throughout the playoffs is secured. Something tells me coach Budenholzer & Co. might be thinking the same way.
Two for One: Should Giannis Win MVP and DPOY? (The Ringer) & Giannis’ ankle issue again enters picture for Bucks (ESPN)
These two stories are more related than they first appear. With the race so close for nearly every season award, Giannis Antetokounmpo may need every chance to polish his resume to convince voters he’s deserving of as much hardware as he can carry. That butts up directly against Milwaukee’s dire need to keep him as fresh as capable if the Bucks plan on breaking the second-round playoff drought of nearly two decades.
I can’t get all that good of a read of Giannis’s odds of winning MVP or DPOY, much less grabbing them both, so your guess is as good as mine as to whether he’ll need another signature performance against, say, the Sixers to get over the top.
I’m contractually obligated to give a single shoutout to the Brewers fans among us, so why not do it in context of Milwaukee’s MVP duo?
If anything it’s a story like this that bring it all full-circle for me as a fan of Milwaukee the city. Fans of the Bucks and Brewers have suffered through a lot of much for a long time. The city may not end up on one of those fleeting “unluckiest places in sports” listicles, but success has always been fleeting. Now, little old Milwaukee, our town, stands with few equals in two of the country’s biggest sports.
Everyone better get used to it, too. For the foreseeable future the road to championships lies alongside Lake Michigan.
Of all the guys who will be mainline contributors in the playoffs, the most question marks have to revolve around Eric Bledsoe. Fair or not, his faltering against the Celtics a year ago is all we have in terms of track record of him as a starter in the post-season, and it was downright ugly at moments.
There’s little argument that he’s transformed into an even more important piece to the running of Milwaukee’s machine even while reducing his counting stats. He was rewarded with a contract extension and a helping of trust from Budenholzer to lead the way on defense. He’ll have an easy first-round to get into a rhythm, and then things get interesting the second-round on.
I wanted to post this one for a number of reasons:
- It may be the first and last time France 24 makes it into the MMMR
- Because the inimitable Bucks France Twitter account deserves a shoutout
- Our countless Europe-based readers will get a chance to see meaningful Bucks basketball in-person
- This means Damien Inglis has to return to the team and stand in as lead translator between the players and average Parisians
Paris: Le Milwaukee de l’Europe.
The Bucks Stop With Giannis and … These Three Guys (The Ringer)
Yes, I know, a lot of Ringer content this week, but I’d be remiss to not acknowledge our relatively small press corps that covers the team day after day. We’re thankful as always for every bit of news we can get, and life on the beat can’t be easy, so I’m happy the likes of Eric Nehm, Matt Velazquez, and Kane Pitman all got a bit of shine from outside our little ecosystem.
The Social Media Section
You probably heard about this, but one more time for those out of the loop
She worked on art projects for over a year and finally delivered them to her favorite player.— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) March 29, 2019
Giannis was touched.
(via Pete Stauffer/YouTube) pic.twitter.com/e1ML6XpadC
More MVP content
DJ about to enter the Matrix with those shades
I would’ve picked Khris as a rimless glasses guy, but what do I know? Not sure about that dark hardwood flooring, either
Wilson Chandler for MVP is an odd pick, but whatever you say Nikola
Positive Bucks injury news: Malcolm Brogdon is off crutches and out of his walking boot. He had progressed from two crutches to just one this week and now is walking without accessories.— Matt Velazquez (@Matt_Velazquez) March 31, 2019
Today’s edition of “Forgotten Sports Moments”
Tony Snell sinking a deep, game winning buzzer-beater 3 over Michael Jordan. Circa 1993 pic.twitter.com/JOyq7mRPxE— PMABUCKS (@pmabucks) March 29, 2019
Feels right to close with this
This is such a great picture. In my head when I saw this happen I imagined Snell told Giannis “someday your name will be up there”. And then in my head Giannis responded to Snell by saying “right next to yours”. My name is Bart Winkler and I write Bucks fan fiction. #BucksIn6 https://t.co/u94iLKnyIC— Bart Winkler (@WinksThinks) March 26, 2019
Riley’s 2018-2019 Weekly Prediction Record: 47-30
Wow, hard to believe we’re so close to the end of the season already, but here we are! One more full week remains and then it’s the just an OKC-sized skip into playoff basketball.
Four games and three opponents are on the docket, and the Bucks should secure the top overall seed by the end of it. They’ll begin tonight after traveling overnight to NYC to face the Brooklyn Nets. The team will head due south to Philadelphia to say hi to Brew Hoop co-leader Adam Paris and his, er, the 76ers on Thursday. Then it’s a home-and-home back-to-back Saturday and Sunday against the Nets and Atlanta Hawks.
I’ll guess a 2-2 week, not because the Bucks aren’t capable of beating each of these teams, but because they’ll nab their seed in a decimation of the Sixers before wrapping all the starters up in layers upon layers of bubble wrap. From Saturday on it’s the Bonzie Colson Show, and I’m ready for it.