This past week was an interesting point of reference for all those curious how the NBA can hope to keep to something of a normal schedule during the break in the season.
Namely, the NFL held and seemingly successfully pulled off their annual draft as remotely as possible. Now, the NFL Draft is an entertainment institution standing on its own two legs, and the first day will often claim viewership on par with NBA playoff basketball; the resources available and deep need for content inexorably pushed football’s schedule forward.
However, the key point is that they did it. That’s a good precedent to have set while the league tries to determine when their draft will go forward. As of this moment, it’s still slated for June 25th. They could potentially stick to that timeline (especially if their media partners are dying for some breath of fresh air), but that may demand flexibility on the part of lottery and non-lottery teams locking in their draft slots before the season was “over”.
Either way, someone has blazed a trail, and the NBA has a workable path towards some semblance of normalcy.
It’d be a real missed opportunity if we aren’t able to see the clash of titans that would have been a Lakers-Bucks Finals. All the storylines are there for the writing: Glitz and glamor facing off against pluck and the unacknowledged, the current (former?) face of the league and his usurper dueling for the top spot, another in an endless line of rings for one side and the breaking of 40-plus arid years of heartache.
At least we’ll always have this season’s “crowning” moment, even if it won’t have the stakes of a title to solidify it in the immediate future.
A Lost NBA Season Would Hurt Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks the Most (The Action Network)
Stating most of the obvious here from Matt Moore, but it’s the kind of sobering analysis that will be thrown around as the weeks drag into months and months drag into whatever the long-term fix for the season will be.
The worries about a quickened return to play throwing Milwaukee off, though, could be turned on their head: Yes, the vets the Bucks have will need time to ramp back up, but the system has been driven home time after time by the coaching staff. Getting re-used to your teammates’ tendencies should be a simpler task for Milwaukee, and the vet experience is supposed to pay off in trying circumstances more than anywhere else.
It’s grasping at straws, but that’s what we’ve got right now.
This will be an interesting space to watch as well. Without going into the, uh, differences in national opinion on the next steps forward, it is a reality that some states are going to begin letting off the pressure. Georgia is the focal point in this article, but the list is bound to increase shortly. For players in Atlanta that means they’ll have a chance to restart individual workouts with team staff at facilities; the same offer may even extend to non-Hawks who happen to be in the area.
Will that end up being a massive advantage for teams in states with fewer restrictions? Good question, and something to keep in mind if similar provisions go into place in Florida, for example.
Bucks’ George Hill: Wife’s grandmother has beaten coronavirus (ESPN) & Fiserv Forum to Serve as Distribution Site for 2.5 Million Non-Surgical Face Masks (Bucks.com)
Two quick stories here to serve as a reminder of the wide-ranging net this pandemic is casting. Good on the Bucks for taking a step forward and serving as a gathering point for much-needed supplies that citizens will need to help stifle the spread even further.
Remember peak Larry Sanders on the Milwaukee Bucks? (Hoops Habit)
The Social Media Section
A real shame, even if it was coming the moment the season came to a close. Godspeed to Matt and the JS
THREAD (1/3): My turn has come. From Sun., Apr. 26-Sat. May 2, I will be on a one-week, mandatory, unpaid furlough as part of Gannett's cost-cutting measures due to the pandemic. I cannot access my work email or publishing systems during that time and likely won't be tweeting.— Matt Velazquez (@Matt_Velazquez) April 26, 2020
(2/3) While I'm away, I know my colleagues at the @journalsentinel will continue doing great work serving Milwaukee & Wisconsin. If there is any Bucks-related news over the next week, someone will step up to handle it. Be sure to follow @LoriNickel & @BenSteeleMJS in particular.— Matt Velazquez (@Matt_Velazquez) April 26, 2020
(3/3) Obviously, a lot of people & industries are hurting. Newspapers are no exception. Despite furloughs thinning our ranks, I've been constantly impressed by the work of my colleagues.— Matt Velazquez (@Matt_Velazquez) April 26, 2020
If you want to subscribe & support that work, here's a great deal: https://t.co/4dJfTEyhEg
Marques Johnson has spent numerous hours with every person of note from the last four decades
PRINCE STORY: Bucks were in Indy for Pacers game, staying at the Hyatt. Me, Bridgeman, Moncrief, Catchings, we’re walking through the lobby headed to lunch. I look up and see Prince, with dark shades on and all black walking our way. I nudge a couple of guys. Prince looks up and— Marques Johnson (@olskool888) April 22, 2020
sees us coming his way. He does a quick 180 and hurriedly scampers the other way. We are baffled and disappointed.Before we get out of the hotel, his burly bodyguard, Chick, runs over and tells us Prince is a huge Bucks fan. We get front row seats to his concert that night...— Marques Johnson (@olskool888) April 22, 2020
Morris Day & Tyme, Vanity 6 & Prince at Market Square Arena. The Tyme turned it out. Prince was great. Played ball with his brother Duane when he hooped @ UWM, solid game.He showed me a great time in Minneapolis. Didn’t get the Charlie Murphy pancake treatment, unfortunately...— Marques Johnson (@olskool888) April 22, 2020
A really good get here; suggest you listen to the whole interview for some much-needed Bucks content
The sneaker folks among you are going to have to tell me if these are “fire”
First Look at the Nike Zoom Freak 2 pic.twitter.com/fLSNAuj8AS— JustFreshKicks (@JustFreshKicks) April 23, 2020
Just out social distancing and stuff
...wonder if he’d fall to the Indy pick spot?
ESPN story on 6-foot-11 Makur Maker entering the 2020 NBA Draft: https://t.co/pCw7xZdz88— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) April 25, 2020
First saw Makur Maker, Thon’s cousin, at the 2017 BioSteel Futures game. Immediately stood out thanks to his size, mobility & budding skill set. He has shown off his shooting potential in various settings since then, including a workout I went to at Orange Lutheran last January. pic.twitter.com/FCehO1yktS— Mike Schmitz (@Mike_Schmitz) April 25, 2020
If you’re reading this, I do suggest you find your way to the Brew Hoop Podcast feed where I will (eventually, danged internet) upload the first entry into our ‘Inside the Basketblogger’s Studio’ interview series. My first guest is site co-managing editor Adam Paris, and I really enjoyed getting to dig in to a bit of his background, what it’s like trying to manage our crew of misfits, and life beyond the site. Our third podcasting partner Kyle Carr is on deck, and with luck I’ll be able to get every staff member of Brew Hoop through the door to give a little background on the names you see atop these articles.