He’s carefree, he’s cool, he’s nonplussed by it all. If you catch Mike Budenholzer saying something quotable, it’s probably via locker room footage where he reveals that our big plan to win a title is to “play random”.
That chimes with a pretty unperturbed series of pressers Bud has given while his Bucks work to keep their heads above water while down two starters and four rotation players in total. Maybe this is all part of a plan. A plan that sees extreme caution over physical tweaks and turns take precedence and conceding on-court cohesion to be figured out later on. A plan that gives all those jittery bench guys a chance to prove themselves in substantial minutes or shoot themselves entirely out of the gameplan when we’re back at decent health. A plan putting the ball more in Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton’s hands and giving them decision-making power.
Is all of this a return to form and, if it is, can he reliably break free when it matters? His hands are more tied now than ever with the way the roster is constructed (as OR and others have, correctly given the past two weeks, drawn attention to), but does it look even worse now because a hands-off instinct is being applied to a team whose available players need more guidance to succeed? Or are we truly a lesser team?
Chicken or egg, Bud or Budenholzer, best foot forward or gradual accretion: We’re stuck in an early season conundrum and we may need to be ready for it to get worse before it gets better. Giannis and Khris are going to get nights off eventually, and everyone is going for our throats in particular. Still, there’s no need to panic until Bud is no longer able to wryly smirk through it all.
Guardian Angel (The Red Bulletin)
A very cool interview I had missed from last week with Donte DiVincenzo. As the owner of a rescue I salute his efforts in working with humane societies and helping animals find a loving home.
If you read the preview piece for the Spurs game you already saw the transcription of Anthony Edwards’s Giannis quote. If you didn’t read that piece or if you’d like to hear Edwards say that wonderful summary of Giannis himself, I suggest following this link.
The Bucks will be in the nation’s capital this coming weekend to play the Wizards, so it looks like they’re carving out a bit of time to stop by the White House.
I’ll take “combination of words that has likely never happened in human history” for $500. I’d love to be in the room with whoever at Mattel thought up this avenue to publicize Uno’s 50th anniversary. Discussion about the relative merits of the shoes themselves will have to come from someone else as I’m far from a sneaker head. Surely they’re good to play basketball in.
Why Giannis Antetokounmpo, the Milwaukee Bucks believe they can be the NBA’s next great dynasty (ESPN)
A lot of the quotes in here boil down to the Bucks having an edge due to mentality, roster continuity, confidence having already won the whole shebang once. It also helps that Giannis is not even 27 and very good at the game of basketball, a fact which goes a very long way in this particular sport.
How does the G League work for the Milwaukee Bucks and Wisconsin Herd? (Journal Sentinel)
The Herd did not functionally exist last season having opted out of the G-League’s return tournament, so this piece is a good primer for those aren’t sharp on the labyrinthine roster construction rules of the minor league. I’ve not seen it clarified anywhere whether the 45-day senior team limit applied to two-way players when that contract type was first developed is back in place or, like the past two years, was waived entirely. Guess we’ll find out sooner rather than later! (and if you want some information about specific players to keep an eye on in the G-League, friend of the site Dakota Schmidt has you covered over at Ridiculous Upside.)
We thank our friend Knox5 for addressing the roster issues by gathering some potential FA acquisitions should Jon Horst be able to convince LED that spending a little more now will benefit them down the road. This is “The Bucks Should Fill their Final Roster Spot”.
Know Your Enemy
- Detroit Pistons - Detroit Bad Boys - Bench explodes to give Pistons first win of the Cade Cunningham era
Cade Cunningham, the top overall pick in the 2021 draft, made his pro debut last Saturday against the Orlando Magic. While he only scored 2 points and notched 2 assists, his 7 rebounds were a nice addition and, having taken Sunday night off against the Nets, there’s a good chance he’ll be a go against us on Tuesday.
- New York Knicks - Posting & Toasting - The Knicks look very good against supposed playoff contenders early in the season
Tom Thibodeau teams and having inexplicably high levels of success early on in his tenure: a tale as old as time. Even if the Knicks are eventually heading for a fall, if they continue to be true to Thibs’s form, they’ll be a handful this season.
- Washington Wizards - Bullets Forever - Wizards’ hot start continues with double-overtime win over Celtics
Wizards good? Say it ain’t so! I thought Scott Brooks was going to coach there until the end of time. It’s very early in rookie head coach Wes Unseld Jr.’s career, but a 5-1 start with all the right vibes is about as good as it gets.
The Social Media Section
Some alternate jersey action for the interested
The purple messed it up for me pic.twitter.com/utu6IR4dol— Air Max Fan Accnt (@OGxJEEZY) October 31, 2021
PJ Tucker went on a podcast this week
This 40 second clip makes me want to run through 100 brick walls pic.twitter.com/ni26VxeId3— Jason Gallagher (@jga41agher) October 29, 2021
PJ is stamped in Milwaukee pic.twitter.com/CPqoRKrxiO— Gimme a Buck Podcast (@Gimme_a_Buck) October 29, 2021
Gorgeous Georgios... come on down
Fan thinking about a non-superstar player on a different team: that guy REEKS. Awful player, I wouldn't even give them the minimum— Brian (Spooky Mode) (@BrianJDraft) October 27, 2021
Fan thinking about a guy who plays 6 minutes per game on their team: I'll light myself on fire if they trade him
He was so slender
Something tells me the Benz would have trouble handling I-94 on a snowy Minnesota afternoon
Pat did get the hell beat out of him last playoffs
retired janitor’s 2021-2022 prediction record: 3-4
Riley’s 2021-2022 prediction record: 3-4
Entering week three of the season it’s hard to imagine the Bucks becoming even more short-handed than they already are. Then Rodney Hood hurt his hand. Great.
We’ve got three games on deck this week starting tomorrow night in Detroit to take on the Pistons. Then it’s back home to host the New York Knicks on Friday before starting a five game road trip by playing at the Wizards on Sunday. Without knowing the status of Jrue or Brook, I’ll opt for a 1-2 week with a victory over the Pistons and a pair of losses to high-flying New York and Washington. It’s bound to get prettier eventually, but get ready for more ugly.