There’s no place like home, whether it be the vapid acres of prairie in Kansas or the Belair Cantina-esque curves of Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee. With the Bucks returning from their five-game East Coast road trip with a decidedly mixed record of 6-8, a five game home stand couldn’t really come at a better time.
Consider our upcoming opponents:
- Down LeBron James
- 24th offensive rating in the league, 13th defensive
- No real incentive to win; a young team figuring out who to build around
- 29th in offensive rating, 14th in defensive
Orlando Magic (twice)
- They’re the Magic and are in a fight to the death with Detroit for biggest loser this season
- 27th in offensive rating, 25th in defensive
- They’re the Pistons and are in a fight to the death with the Magic for biggest loser this season
- 30th in offensive rating, 22nd in defensive
- Kelly Olynyk (MCL sprain) won’t be out there to potentially injure a Buck
Now, just because four out of the five teams have no serious interest in competing long-term doesn’t mean the Bucks will be able to waltz over them. We’ve had trouble getting past even injury/Covid-riddled rosters as of late, and for now it still doesn’t look like Brook Lopez is walking through that door.
Still, if Khris Middleton is back in the fold starting Wednesday the Bucks will once again be fielding their Big Three. You can look at all the trouble the team has had so far and let go so long as this is a one-off rather than the beginning of something more disappointing. So now’s the time to dig their heels in and start turning this ship around. We’re not on the cliff-edge, but we should quite capably belong to that class of teams that beats bad teams with regularity. You’ve got to pick up some wins at some point, so why not now?
Timely that this piece comes out the same week Giannis goes out and starts wheeling and dealing passes to every corner of the court against the Atlanta Hawks. There have been times where the Giannis passing troubles of old have resurfaced in the form of getting out of a triple-team on the block, but equally we’ve seen moments where he leans on his basketball IQ to make the correct read one or two steps ahead of the defense. And besides, maybe all those years getting absolutely battered trying to draw defenses before wildly kicking out have inundated him; it becomes second nature and just another thing to learn to perfection.
Of all the reasons the Bucks have been up and down so far this year, the one that is funniest to me is that the playoff-level three-point shooting percentages are here about eight months ahead of schedule. To be fair, since this piece posted the Bucks have added ~4% to their 3P% and are now in the top-half of the league. Still, what a time for the jumpers to stop falling for this team.
All of the East contenders have flaws. Here’s how the Nets, Sixers and Bucks can fix it. (Yahoo Sports)
I have no idea why this piece suggested that there was a “fix” the author could suggest for the Bucks. The blurb literally offers no options at all. Okay.
Doc Rivers considers Giannis Antetokounmpo NBA’s most dominant player (BasketballNews.com)
Doc brings up a good point when he categorizes Giannis as “defiant, almost”. Giannis is defiant, sometimes to a fault. Someone with a defiant attitude can get knocked off their rung from time to time, but if you stick with it long enough it eventually morphs into fearlessness. Once you’ve reached the summit, are you still defiant? Or, frighteningly for everyone else, are you now fearless?
Grayson Allen sighting! He’s shooting a career-high 43.0% from three on 8.8 attempts a game (another career-high and a significant jump from his 5.5 attempts last year in Memphis). Some of his on-ball moves to create space for a jumper have been revelatory, and you can see the makings of a deadly two-man connection between him and Giannis on the perimeter.
Jon Heist indeed.
John Carpenter is a Bucks fan. We guess everyone’s entitled to one pleasant surprise, huh? (Milwaukee Record)
John Carpenter is a name that will probably mean more to others (i.e. people who actually watch movies). Even if I don’t recognize him I’m more than happy to claim him as a card-carrying member of the Bucks Celebrity Fan Club — an elite group consisting of Sheryl Crow, David Gruber, Gucci Mane, and now John Carpenter.
Fan Post of the Week
It’s quiet over there. Jeez, can you tell the Bucks haven’t been the most interesting crew to follow so far this season?
Know Your Enemy
- Los Angeles Lakers - Silver Screen & Roll - Talen Horton-Tucker doesn’t care what his role is for the Lakers. He just wants to win another ring
I’m literally at a loss for words reading that headline. A role player who found themselves $32 million richer thanks to the Lakers is willing to play whatever role? Wow.
- Orlando Magic - Orlando Pinstriped Post - The Orlando Magic Friday Form Guide: Weekly Observations
I would actually highly suggest taking a look at this piece (though it goes without saying that you should be looking at all these pieces I’ve so graciously gathered together each week). You get a quick overview of where the Magic just were (a surprise win over the Jazz at the time), where they’re going, and which players are up or in need of a big upcoming week. Good stuff from the troopers at OPP.
- Oklahoma City Thunder - Welcome to Loud City - The Fresh Prince of OKC has been coronated; the breakout of SGA
I’m not sure I’d say Shai Gilgeous-Alexander has necessarily broken out onto the national stage, but he is firmly in the camp of “very good young guards”. Will he be good enough for long enough to see the Thunder move from retooling to legitimate fighters? We’ll find out eventually, but in the meantime its good to be good.
- Detroit Pistons - Detroit Bad Boys - The Curious Case of Hamidou Diallo
(I realized we don’t play the Pistons this week after I finished writing this, so consider this a little extra tidbit for your consumption)
Interesting little bit of melodrama across the Lake in Detroit. Hamidou Diallo is a guy stuck on the deeper end of the rotation under Dwane Casey, and when Diallo was called to check in with the Pistons down 27 last week agains the Cavs he made some remark to Casey that prompted Diallo’s getting pulled back to the bench. It’s hard to keep the peace when you’re on a losing team and some dudes don’t see a way out.
The Social Media Section
Respect to whatever marketing guy convinced the Mattel folks giving Giannis eleventy billion dollars would be a savvy business move
Public health campaigner Jrue Holiday
My submission? The Fonduo
Need a nickname for these two. pic.twitter.com/TKyxFcLiVJ— Dalton Sell (@sell_dalton) November 11, 2021
Bucks halftime interview legend Semi Ojeleye
Man hits 2 shots and he getting interviewd lmaoooo pic.twitter.com/N9XgzgkIHs— JG (@jtgreenya) November 11, 2021
Hell, we might as well at this point
seeing myles turner trade rumors again pic.twitter.com/coStP2zfru— buckets (@buckets) November 10, 2021
Congrats to the Merrills
Baby girl Merrill coming May 2022 pic.twitter.com/X3bJ9B6AxB— Sam Merrill (@smerrill05) November 10, 2021
Thoughtful teammate Giannis
Asked @Giannis_An34 about facetiming @Khris22m from the White House:— Kane Pitman (@KanePitman) November 10, 2021
"When I called it rang like 20 times so when he picked up..I could see it in his face, he was like 'what?!'. Then the President wanted to talk to him and he was happy."
Says he hopes he made his day.
Wonder what he meant by this
I guess I played for the bucks the wrong year lol— Frank Mason (@FrankMason0) November 10, 2021
Congrats to the Herd on their successful start to the year (and coach Chaisson’s first career W)
This outfit would look out there on anyone not named Thanasis. Also, good tattoo work.
retired janitor’s 2021-2022 prediction record: 6-8
Riley’s 2021-2022 prediction record: 6-8
Things turned out better than I ever imagined! Yes, the Sixers were really banged up, but I’ll take a 2-3 road trip against teams of varying levels of higher-end competitiveness.
With the Bucks back home, they’ve got three games on the slate: Wednesday against the Lakers, Friday against the Thunder, and Saturday against the Magic. I think a 2-1 week with the loss coming at the hands of the Thunder because they seem to always give us trouble. Take those two wins and begin to build some momentum, that’s all we ask.