So it’s come to making history if this team has any chance of salvaging the season, huh? No matter, somebody has to do the impossible eventually, so why not the Bucks?
“Well…” the naysayer would respond, “…without Giannis this team just doesn’t have much juice. You watched Games 1, 2, 3, and parts of 4, right?” I’d kindly ask that Bulls fan to leave our page now thank you very much.
I’ll level with you guys: Even after pulling out the G4 win things are looking grim. Giannis may not even have a functional ankle anymore, coach Budenholzer is still confused about what 40 minutes means, and everyone on the roster is just waiting to put on another pumpkin performance to add to a long string of Bubble pumpkin performances. Coming back from 3-0 down has never happened before, and while this team was excellent at times this season we’ve seen enough this past month to cast a wary eye towards any ray of hope.
But, hey, someone has to be THE one, so why not add the strangest fold to this entire season and be the first team to do it? The narrative whiplash would leave all of us in a neck brace for a month or more, but at least we’d have a little more basketball to enjoy while we recover from a glance into the #FireBud abyss.
It’s always tough to get a read on Khris’s mindset. Anyone who is accomplished enough to reach the NBA is obviously an extremely good player, but there are so many hurdles to success once you get there that prevent plenty of guys from reaching the upper tiers of the pyramid. For Khris, his great hindrance has been a decided lack of aggression on offense from game to game.
That is fine over the course of a season, but once we’re down to seven game sample sizes losing 2-3 games of production from your second All-Star begins to hammer your odds of winning. To Middleton’s credit, he’s been good to great against the Heat and was critical in breathing a spark of life into Milwaukee’s corpse on Sunday. With Giannis’ health an open question, Khris has three games to step forward into the moment. Time to quiet the doubt once and for all.
The Milwaukee Bucks Are Back, but They’re Not Leaving Activism Behind (New York Times) & ‘It Gives Me Chills’: An N.B.A. Player Talks Profiling and Protests (New York Times) & The Exhilarating Jolt of the Milwaukee Bucks’ Wildcat Strike (The New Yorker) & Milwaukee Bucks guard Sterling Brown reflects on his team’s demonstration (The Undefeated) & The NBA Had It Coming (The Atlantic)
Sorry for the wall of links, but there was a lot of interesting writing out there last week about Milwaukee’s strike in response to the shooting of Jacob Blake. Much of it utilize the Bucks as the starting point of a wider-ranging discussion on police brutality and racial injustice, but we’re unfortunately well-acquainted with plenty of local examples of players suffering at the hands of racism in its myriad forms. Which is to say that for all the other players’ grievances about the relative spontaneity of Milwaukee’s strike, it really was only right that the Bucks (and George Hill and Sterling Brown in particular) took a stand when yet another incident took place in their proverbial backyard.
No matter what the outcome on the court may be, the strike of 2020 may ultimately be the legacy they’re most remembered for.
In addition to everything the players were involved in during the strike, I wanted to give a shoutout to the FS Wisconsin broadcast crew, especially Zora Stephenson, Marques Johnson, and Jim Paschke for their superb handling of the strike as it unfolded. Their reactions were real, they were raw, they were emotional, and they gave all of us fans who normally view members of the organization from the outside a level of insight that brought home the severity of the moment.
There must be nothing harder in broadcast journalism than trying to cobble together a program in the midst of a truly out-of-left-field event like the strike. The crew at FS Wisconsin took it all in stride. We’re lucky to have them.
The Social Media Section
Khris strongly endorses civic engagement
Honestly need at least 10 Ersan minutes in game 5
...that sounds less than ideal?
The NBA sent a memo to teams alerting medical staffs to be aware of increased risk of blood clotting (which can result in venous thromboembolism) associated with COVID-19.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) September 7, 2020
This is actually more realistic than the actual ESPN broadcasts
VAN GUNDY: I'm just gonna say it... I hate ankles. Don't know why we have them. Don't need 'em, don't want 'em.— JJ (@jjdotbiz) September 6, 2020
JACKSON: I twist my ankle every morning. It's advantageous, simply put. It makes me stronger. And it makes me fight.
BREEN: Lopez in and out from the corner.
Makes you think
i will pay $200 to the charity of his choosing if Coach Bud let’s me fistfight him in an Arby’s parking lot— AnxietYiJianlian (@EasyYiJianlian) September 5, 2020
Also makes you think
Have to just tip your hat to one of the greats
I was going to write an article on this, but Magic beat me to the analysis https://t.co/53aZeE7pou— Adam McGee (@AdamMcGee11) September 5, 2020
Bud just thinks the highest number of combinations wins... right?
5-man lineups used so far in the Playoffs [games played in parenthesis]:— Dean Maniatt (@AllTheBucks) September 3, 2020
56 - Rockets (7)
64 - Nuggets (7)
65 - Raptors (6)
66 - Lakers (5)
69 - Heat (6)
90 - Clippers (6)
98 - Celtics (6)
159 - Bucks (7)
Just need a team full of Giannises who can also keep up with Giannis in transition so the offense gets set quicker
This is how good Giannis is.— Jorge Sedano (@Sedano) September 1, 2020
It’s incredible to see how Heat defended him on this one play early in the 4th Q.
Built a wall at the 3 point line.
4 Miami defenders surrounding him.
(In slow mo - to accentuate how important it is to meet Giannis ASAP) pic.twitter.com/w6gXlKRcpF
I’d normally insert some sort of prediction here, but I lost track again having moved the past two weeks, so all I will say is that we need one of those patented perfect record retiredjanitor stock market weeks to keep this twisted season alive. If there’s any team that could do it, it might be these Bucks. It’s going to take something like a minor miracle to make that happen, but we’re in this deep already.
Here’s hoping next week’s MMMR is filled to the brim with ecstatic joy and not despondent heartache.