It might be about time to fire up a proper dirge.
Pain me though it does to say it, we’ve yet again seemingly reached the end of the line for the DJ Wilson era in Milwaukee.
I could put aside the drop in minutes; after all, Ersan has been really good this year and the use of smaller lineups at times has soaked up minutes. I could excuse the lack of burn in the G-League; Bud wanted him to be around the NBA roster to keep him ready. I could excuse the fact that DJ struggled to pass the eye-test and stat-test; wouldn’t you have a tough time if you got five garbage minutes two to three times a week?
In fact, I could ignore the fact DJ had a stretch of promising play last year before dropping off the Earth yet again because he showed a sign of life. Then Dragan Bender showed up, tore it up in the G-League, and has every chance to lap DJ’s minutes played in just a few games.
No, Bender and DJ don’t fill the same role, but the fact that Budenholzer never felt there were many spots to throw DJ the occasional bone even when the team was up big is all the sign I need. Maybe DJ will be gone at the trade deadline as a piece for a losing team to gamble on, or maybe he’ll stick around since he’ll be making $4.5 million next year anyways. Either way this past week felt like the official end of the road.
Giannis Antetokounmpo’s Bucks are the NBA’s best team — and its most misunderstood (Washington Post)
This feels like as good a place to open as any. It’s an acknowledgement of sorts of just how dominant Milwaukee has been all while skipping the obfuscations like “they haven’t done it in the playoffs” or “Giannis doesn’t have a second star” to discount their success.
The fact of the matter is the Bucks have been 97-28 since Mike Budenholzer showed up. Forget that at your own risk.
How to talk about Giannis Antetokounmpo’s future responsibly (Good Morning It’s Basketball)
Honestly don’t even want to get too in the way of Tom Ziller here. His tackling of Giannis’s pending free agency is as satisfying a one we fans can ever hope to get from an “outside” voice.
Just read it. Trust me.
Believe in the Bucks (The Ringer)
Huh, tons of fawning pieces coming across the wire from a whole lot of different outlets. Not that I mind all that much.
A common theme throughout all Bucks-centric pieces is the unsaid acknowledgement that there’s something almost something... ordinary in the way they are winning? It’s tough to describe, but I link it more to the fact that they are essentially a death robot. That makes covering them somewhat difficult from an outsider’s perspective, I’m sure. They’re drama-free, they win by 20, and Giannis won’t even partake in any free agency speculation.
It’s the topic that is sweeping the (Bucks) nation: Dudes flopping. Marcus Smart is flopping. The Nets are flopping. The Knicks have no idea what it means to flop in a basketball sense, just in a general sense.
Yes, lots of flops, and those flops are mixed in with some legitimate contact wrought by Giannis’s physical playstyle. Steve Aschburner is right when he says it’s a small miracle Giannis hasn’t sustained any sort of serious injury from the positions he’s being put in on a nightly basis. If the fact that this has made it’s way to the league’s online pages says anything, though, it’s the the Bucks aren’t going to take it sitting down any longer.
And if you can’t get adequate coverage by winning a lot of games, you have to get it via zany pregame wrestling matches that almost routinely involve a Giannis Antetokounmpo Cobra Strike.
That nobody has been injured so far is a minor miracle, but if it keeps team morale high I’ll let it pass.
Milwaukee GM Jon Horst - Woj Pod (Apple Podcasts)
This one came across the wire (AKA my cursory glance at Twitter) last minute, so I haven’t had a chance to listen. However, it’s pretty rare we get to listen in on a 30+ minute sit-down with Horst. Even if some of the time is spent talking about his trailer park/FedEx days, there may be some nuggets of info worth listening to find.
Know Your Enemy
- I’ll admit, even for a seasoned Bulls hater like myself this was pretty dark reading. Everyone knows that if you aren’t winning at a crazy clip you’re likely better off bottoming out in the most violent manner possible in the hopes of striking it rich in the draft. Some teams don’t like that medicine, though, or some are woefully self-deluded into thinking they can straddle the middle while waiting for a FA or a mid-first guy to be the difference. The Bulls seem to have no clue what they are or what they should do; they are truly in NBA hell.
- The thing that surprised me most reading this piece over at AtH is the consistent shot profile of the Hornets (plenty of looks from three and at the rim, not much elsewhere) and just how coveted Terry Rozier has become. How much of the latter is optimistic takes on a poor season is unclear to me, but even if it has a nugget of truth that is truly impressive. Oh, and the Hornets take a goodly number of threes a game; would be a shame to lose in Paris via Terry Rozier three-bombs all afternoon.
FanPost of the Week
Bit of a light week on the FanPost/reader content front (trust me, I read through ALL of the comments); while there were some good angles discussed, I should probably get around to awarding this thing to an actual FanPost, so our winner is Mark_Newman with his attempt to get the RoCo trade discussion going.
Mark, I’m not sure if you read the MMMR, but if you do, congrats!
Oh, and Yo_G... it’s ‘Feldmann’ with two Ns, and ‘Brew Hoop’. Thanks for the love, though (and shame on all of you for not rec’ing him).
The Social Media Section
Greg Monroe chose to come to Milwaukee as a FA, and while it wasn’t a roaring success nor the FA breakthrough we hoped for, I’ll always root for him
Greg Monroe on Bayern Munich, not receiving an NBA offer in offseason, adapting to the game in Europe, traditional big men in modern basketball, appreciating EuroLeague competitiveness and the "great and humble guy" Giannis Antetokounmpo— Eurohoops.net (@Eurohoopsnet) January 17, 2020
| Eurohoops https://t.co/RzS7zyAcej
Meh... I mean, I guess?
Giannis is a good teammate. Remember that.
George Hill's 3P% has improved from 31.4% last season to 51.3% this season. If it holds, it would be the biggest one-season improvement in 3P% in NBA history (min. 100 3PA each season). Toni Kukoc currently tops the list, going from 26.2% in 1999-00 to 44.6% in 2000-01.— Justin Kubatko (@jkubatko) January 14, 2020
So maybe Steph Curry’s explanation about the “c’mon man” being about PUBG wasn’t that far-fetched
DJ logged back on, and then he made this mess
MMMR 2019-2020 Prediction Record: 29-15
retired janitor’s 2019-2020 Prediction Record: 38-6
Paris, la plus grande ville du monde.
I’ve not worked on my French since I was but a wee lad in middle school, but Paris is a wonderful city worth visiting at least once. The Bucks will have the pleasure of doing just that this week as they head “home” to France for an international game against Charlotte.
Before they get there, though, they’ll have to beat the Bulls tonight at home. Should be easy enough, and then they’ll fly off and get acclimated to the time zone before playing mid-day on Friday.
I know we’ve got a number of Europeans in our fanbase, so we’d love to know if you plan on going! The distances don’t work at all, but it’s always special having a chance once a year to see the Bucks when they’re in Minneapolis. Hopefully the experience is similar if you can catch them live.
Deux victoires, aucune défaite