And now we return to your regularly scheduled programming.
All-Star Weekend is a lot of things: Nick Nurse deciding to not let Giannis touch the ball for an entire quarter, robbing Pat Connaughton in dunk contests, and making fun of the fact that the Bulls play 75 miles outside of Chicago.
More importantly for us at Brew Hoop it was a just to kick back, relax, and not panic about who was going to get that damned game thread up in time before Bucks v. Magic tipped off for the thousandth time this season.
But we’re back and ready for the home stretch. 28 games are somehow all that stand between Milwaukee and another chance to capture eternal glory. 28 games to secure the greatest statistical season in NBA history. 28 games to wait and watch the other contenders as some semblance of a pecking order reveals itself.
How the Bucks got Giannis Antetokounmpo ready for being a first-time father (ESPN)
If you follow me on Twitter you’ll notice that I complain a lot about various outlets waiting until, I don’t know, Monday morning to post their latest Bucks-centric pieces.
Now the team’s star player(‘s longtime girlfriend) has done the same waiting until after last week’s edition to announce the birth of the couple’s child Liam.
My petty grumbles aside, sincere congrats to the couple, and this is a great story about how teammates Eric Bledsoe and Khris Middleton have done their bit to give Giannis a little guidance as he embarks on the path of fatherhood.
Giannis Antetokounmpo wants to represent best of both worlds (The Undefeated)
Thought this was an interesting little piece, though not groundbreaking per se given how well known Giannis’s background is by most. He did intimate that he and his family will travel to Nigeria to visit where his parents grew up and where some extended family continue to live which will undoubtedly be of significant value for him personally.
Deerly Beloved: Selecting our all-time Milwaukee Bucks All-Star team (Milwaukee Record)
It’s exercises like this that yet again bring home just how much talent has inexplicably come through Milwaukee since the team’s inception. Hell, I’m sure there are plenty of players from the 70s/80s that some could argue for a spot on the bench. Just have to remember that those low lows make the highs that much more enjoyable.
Marvin Williams Makes The Deepest Team In The League Deeper (Bucks.com)
With only a single game sample size to go off of I can’t say that Alex is completely correct here, but hell if I’m not sold on the idea of having Marvin around as Ersan insurance. You come for the shot profile and stay for the idea that he won’t get torched by Pascal Siakam five possessions in a row.
‘This white boy got bounce’: Bucks’ Pat Connaughton on disproving stereotypes (The Undefeated)
Unfortunately, this did not help Connaughton in advancing past the initial four grouping of Saturday night’s Dunk Contest. Cool that he got the invite, though.
Know Your Enemy
Pistons - Detroit Bad Boys - Andre Drummond didn’t fail the Pistons, the Pistons failed Andre Drummond
There’s been a lot of good stuff from our friends over at DBB in the course of what looks like another failed season, and none better than this biting retrospective of Andre Drummond’s time in Detroit. An imperfect player in an evolving league, Drummond leaves Detroit in the franchise’s top-10 in countless categories, all to be traded for Brandon Knight, John Henson, and for the reset to begin again around some new hope.
Sixers - Liberty Ballers - Sixers show potential for offensive improvement with new lineup changes
It will have only been about two weeks since the Bucks and Sixers last played, but with luck we’ll get to see both teams approaching full(er) health and with Philly testing out a new strategy: Bringing Horford off the bench. The samples are small, but impressive, and Liberty Ballers’s Tom West tries to parse out what the lineup shift has resulted in on the court in limited minutes.
Fan Content of the Week
I honestly never thought we’d talk about Thon Maker on this site again (unless it was about his one karate kick against the Philippines). 13-14bucks did us all a huge favor by ripping the wound right open again.
(And check out/take part in R983’s crowdsourced top 30 player exercise! It’s like our annual Ranking the Roster series except Ersan won’t be voted into oblivion by Alexey Shved superfans)
The Social Media Section
Now THIS is a (post-All-Star Game) TAKE
Giannis isn't even the third option. He's the last option. He's not even touching the ball. Think about that. It's scary and IT MUST BE SOLVED BEFORE THE PLAYOFFS. It's the only thing he should work on..Also, he's showing he is the best. def. player in the NBA.— Steve HomerTrue (@espnhomer) February 17, 2020
Giannis enjoying himself — and Melanie from the Bucks in-arena crew making a well-deserved appearance!
Y’all look at Giannis in the back LOL pic.twitter.com/vjDB7AZPGq— Astasia Williams (@AstasiaWill) February 17, 2020
Of all the possible timelines of Giannis’s life, this has to be the craziest one of all
Incredible panel with @BarackObama , @Giannis_An34 , CP3 and Kevin Love...discussing how to make an impact around the world. pic.twitter.com/uoSUaBPwue— Alex Lasry (@AlexanderLasry) February 15, 2020
Just a couple of reporters and photographers interest in what Giannis has to say at NBA All-Star media day. #Giannis #NBA #AllStar #mediaday pic.twitter.com/YmNzwnBOsc— Mike De Sisti (@mdesisti) February 15, 2020
I love Marques so much & Khris’s delivery of “Nerd” is amazing
Can you even dunk? pic.twitter.com/sxPCNpsArk— Milwaukee Bucks (@Bucks) February 15, 2020
‘Culver’s’ would look great on the Cream City jerseys in my opinion
If you’re not a fan of the orange Harley-Davidson patches on the Bucks’ jerseys, it looks like it could be changing for next season.— Ben Rauman (@BenRauman) February 13, 2020
Recent success has given MKE more bargaining power, which may allow them to negotiate a more neutral logo to mesh with the team’s color scheme. pic.twitter.com/G2qLLbuV4C
MMMR 2019-2020 Prediction Record: 35-20
retired janitor’s 2019-2020 Prediction Record: 46-8
Without Giannis on hand for both of last week’s games it was always going to be a slog, but I didn’t imagine it’d be such a slog that the lowly Pacers of all teams would beat the Bucks without him! Just kidding, the Pacers aren’t a god-awful team and were able to pace past Milwaukee in a variance-heavy outing. No harm, no foul.
We’ve got a few more days of rest between now and Milwaukee’s return to play on Thursday in Detroit against the Pistons, but we get an immediate marquee matchup hosting the Sixers on Saturday.
I’ll pick up two more wins, though at some point the pure concentration of ex-Bucks talent in Detroit will show through on the box score.