Well I’ll be damned. Even I, someone who has been reticent at best regarding the return of basketball given *gestures* everything, have to admit that play has been all sorts of compelling. Part of that stems from being starved for content for months, but can that really explain the fact that I was furiously scowling/ecstatically celebrating at my TV watching what are, essentially, meaningless games for the Bucks?
The production of the broadcast has been great while the intensity of play doesn’t seem to have dipped even a tiny bit. Reservations aside, the restart has been an objective success. So much so that it feels like those proclamations that the eventual champion will have an asterisk discounting their title seem hollow.
Of all the players in the league with whom Giannis could have built a beef with, it speaks volumes that it ended up somehow being James Harden. It’s understandable with both vying for recognition as the league’s best player, but they barely play one another, rarely guard one another, and are so stylistically distinct as to make 1-to-1 comparisons difficult beyond counting stats.
But, hey, here we are. Every great persona needs a foil, and if it helps both players raise their game to our gain then so be it.
Giannis Antetokounmpo at center is Milwaukee’s secret weapon, but will the Bucks actually use it? (CBS Sports)
I thought this was a fascinating dive into the ever-so-interesting idea of the Giannis-at-center lineups that seldom get trotted out. The arguments are so convincing, in fact, that I can’t help but fume a tiny bit at their rarity. Part of that stems from the overwhelming strength of the system and roster as-is with the way Mike Budenholzer has morphed it. Also, you don’t want to overload your star for long stretches of play at a time since he operates as a fulcrum around which both ends of the court bend.
Still, it might be worthwhile trying out a few more times during this virtual preseason or against a first-round opponent. If the opponents don’t have the personnel, why not smash them to pieces?
Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Bucks Are Built for the Bubble (Bleacher Report)
It’s something of a riddle: The Bucks are so good and self-assured that, even when the heat is on, they have a tacit faith in their ability to pull through. Normally, they are absolutely correct in that evaluation (see: Friday night against the Celtics), and besides, totally flipping your system on the fly in the course of a game is a likely recipe for disaster unless you’re already down big.
As ever, does that faith preclude the ability to move the deck chairs a little if a game or two doesn’t go their way in the course of a series? It’s not like Budenholzer didn’t try to pull some levers and press some buttons against the Raptors, after all. So maybe it will just come down to marginal fixes and whether Giannis & Khris are a strong enough pairing to power the team forward in the face of adversity.
I sure hope that’s the case, at least.
I mean, all things considered, these three are pretty good principles upon which to give yourself a decent chance of winning. A playoff series is organized chaos in which the random can outweigh the planned, so walling off Giannis, letting Khris beat you, and making threes are probably where I’d start to try and tilt things in my favor too.
A Little Reminder About The Bucks (Bucks.com)
Just your friendly historical reminder that the Bucks were a better regular season team (statistically, winning percentage-wise, etc.) than many of the most well-regarded teams in NBA history. They are really good! Giannis, DON’T LEAVE A WINNER LIKE THIS!!!!
The Social Media Section
Whatever the hell this is
And whatever the hell this is
Neon Giannis's Evangelion pic.twitter.com/hpstxoMvYt— Bucks Footage Lodge (@BucksLodge) August 1, 2020
Good to be back
Khris “the filmmaker” returns
AKA 5:30 Central
Guy could’ve suited up at ILB for the Irish, or so the story goes
Ersan is going to get got by a gator before the playoffs even begin
Excellence in motion
here is the sequence of events that led to the Embiid/Shake Milton huddle skirmish pic.twitter.com/rB78zbR7kC— Rob Perez (@WorldWideWob) August 1, 2020
There is always room for exceptions in exceptional circumstances at this site
Riley’s 2020 NBA BUBBLE Prediction Record: 1-4
retiredjanitor’s 2020 NBA BUBBLE Prediction Record: 3-2
A wise man once told me that ETFs were, essentially, a scam. That any individual had the capability to do the research and become knowledgeable enough to know where the smart money is. If you follow the numbers you’ll inevitably be led to the conclusion that the smart money says predicting the Bucks to go 3-0 is the basketball equivalent of stuffing Steve Jobs’s 1976-sized pants pockets full of $100 bills and riding off into the sunset knowing generations of your family won’t have to work a day in their lives.
I bought into that wisdom and look where it got me? Wouldn’t I have been better off diversifying my exposure to the marketplace of outcomes in the hopes of hitting some sort of guessing average? I’m so confused, so lost, so alone. Perhaps Hegel can show me the way.
Another three games await us regardless of my lamentations. We’ve got the Brooklyn Nets on Tuesday, the Miami Heat on Thursday, and the Dallas Mavericks on Saturday. The Nets will be a wonderful opportunity to give DJ Wilson 48 minutes of run while the games against Miami and Dallas hold plenty of intrigue as a playoff preview and combo of teams deluded enough to think they will be the ones who land Giannis.
I’ll see wins against Brooklyn and Dallas with a loss to Miami mixed in to keep the narrative interesting.
Hegel would be proud, I hope.