On the latest episode of The Bill Simmons Podcast, ESPN senior NBA writer Zach Lowe made a groundbreaking, totally legit, and well-sourced actual report about the Milwaukee Bucks and Eric Bledsoe. During the exchange, Lowe reveals that the team REGRETS extending Bledsoe during the season, after his performance suffered in the Eastern Conference Finals against the Toronto Raptors. Bledsoe also struggled the previous season in the first round against the Boston Celtics, leading the two league insiders to drop this definitely-a-fact-and-not-at-all-opinion:
SIMMONS: “Do you think, if they could, they would go back in time, and not do that extension during the season?”
LOWE: “Yes. I do.”
SIMMONS: “I do too.”
It definitely wasn’t followed by the following, which would undermine our intrepid
LOWE: “And by the way, to be clear, that’s not sourced, I’m not sourcing that, I’m not reporting that.”
You can get the audio of the conversation below:
In all seriousness, Lowe and Simmons have a reasonable take here, and both conclude that the Bucks’ general trend line is relatively flat after the beginning of the offseason. The team is not markedly better or worse, but remains about the same. Losing Malcolm Brogdon is a blow, because of his talent, and while the team can formulate some level of replacement for what he offers, the dynamic that the Bucks had last year will simply not be the same.
Brogdon’s departure is further magnified by the difficulty Eric Bledsoe has shown in the playoffs, which may be tied to his self-described difficulty keeping his cool. Of course, Bledsoe maintaining his focus will benefit the team (and himself) in the long run, but when you’re missing one of Brogdon’s strongest attributes (his demeanor under pressure), it’s easy to find some doubt about the Bucks in the postseason.
Stay tuned to Brew Hoop dot com for more developments on this completely real story. And Zach, Bill, if you’re reading this...