Democracy. A concept enshrined in constitutions far and wide with roots in the ancient past and finding new life in recent centuries. It is a way of bringing those of a community together to help decide the direction their wills shall take them. Together, through the revolutionarily simple concept of casting a vote, we play a part in shaping the world around us.
That’s right, it’s NBA All-Star voting season yet again.
I long ago lost track of how exactly the rosters for this exhibition game to end all exhibition games are put together. There’s something about fan voting deciding the starters, and then it comes down to player, coach, and media votes for the reserves? And then there’s an injury protocol where Adam Silver picks some dude off another list to fill in on the chance that someone isn’t able to attend? In theory, we’re collectively determining the starting units, and after that it is out of our hands.
For the Bucks, it is almost a certain lock that Giannis Antetokounmpo will once again be a starter from the Eastern Conference. He hasn’t had a MVP season so far, but he’s still otherworldly, extremely popular domestically and internationally, and All-Stars can pick up an inertia of their own once they start making regular appearances.
Beyond that, your guess is as good as mine. Khris Middleton is certainly having the best season of his career in literally every statistical category, and having been an All-Star twice he’ll benefit from a little inertia himself. As for Jrue Holiday, the prospects look dim for him adding another All-Star appearance to his 2012-2013 campaign as he steps back the production in lieu of carving out a space within the roster. In that case, whether the Bucks manage to have two All-Stars comes down to how much recognition Khris will get from his peers within the wider league ecosystem. He’s earned it for relatively less in the past, so hopefully that can be a providential guide as we move through selection season.
I thought this was a relatively even-keeled assessment of where the Bucks have shown improvement so far in this young season, though I do note that some of the highlights (i.e. Donte’s hot shooting) have taken marked steps back in recent weeks. The team record isn’t stellar, and we’re all a little tired of getting rocked by the Pelicans and Hornets of the world, but the core idea behind the 2020-2021 Milwaukee Bucks is that effective change can be done gradually to the team’s ultimate success. There will be growing pains, but that’s simply because they were left bereft of a chance to go through them behind closed doors in a full training camp and preseason.
Giannis Antetokounmpo Needs to Commit to the Post (Sports Illustrated)
A longer look into that most elusive of Giannis possession types: the post-up.
It’s strange to have come full circle through his attempt at carving out a workable three-point shot for a couple seasons now only to realize that his value remains highest when he’s inside the three-point line. Problem is, he steps inside said line at 100 mph with the hope of forcing the issue against defenders sagging too much off him or foolish enough to try and body him out of position. That worked for a long time, and it worked really really well. Now that it is working less well as a reliable approach, could there be an eventual shift towards a post-centric attack from Giannis?
He’s only 26, there’s still time to add much more to his game!
While I appreciate the need to find a comparative player for Zion Williamson as a big man with guard-like tendencies in a physically imposing body, I’m not sure this connection fully hits the mark. For better or for worse, I think Zion is far closer to a fully-formed player than Giannis was at the same age. That’s what comes with having played basketball since you were a child rather than picking it up as a teenager, so it isn’t necessarily a mark against Zion. However, those years of playing a singular way means adjusting away from what got you to the dance that much more difficult, whereas Giannis just did whatever the hell Larry Drew or Jason Kidd told him to do.
So yes, aspire to the heights Giannis has reached, but be willing to diverge in how they get there.
Giannis settles trademark lawsuit against Menomonee Falls man over cellphone cases (Journal Sentinel)
Well great, now I have no idea what to do with these 5,000 “Antetokounmpo” cutting boards I ordered for sale. Another great plan gone to waste.
Know Your Enemy
He makes big shots. That’s just what he does.
- Indiana Pacers - Indy Cornrows - Caris LeVert on road back to court after successful surgery
The news that a growth was discovered on Caris’s kidneys in the aftermath of the Pacers-Rockets-Nets-Cavs trade was disheartening, but it looks like an operation to remove the growth was a success and he’ll be on the road to a full recovery. We could use a little more good news now and again.
So, uh, turns out Colin Sexton might be good? Like, really good? Whether his recent play is a flash in the pan or the start of something greater remains to be seen, but a team on a rebuilding timeline like the Cavs will take any positive signs of development as a marker for how they can shape their roster timeline going forward.
Fan Post of the Week
The artist formerly known as Lohaus Fan’s “Complete 2020–21 Player Rankings”.
AND he’s joining the staff on a permanent basis? The blogging quality just took a huge leap forward this past week.
The Social Media Section
Yeah, we’re winning a title this year
this story gets better, i talk to the Author everyday..— d.j. wilson (@Lanky_Smoove) January 31, 2021
Well, I’m glad Eric doesn’t hate his former teammates
This dude rules.
And he has some touching art
Someone finally got this dude something other than ruby red sneakers
He’ll somehow move even more chaotically in these shoes
Riley’s 2020-2021 Prediction Record: 11-8
retired janitor’s 2020-2021 Prediction Record: 11-8
We've got a pair of home games and a pair of road games this week starting this evening with the arrival of the Portland Trail Blazers. The Pacers will follow on Wednesday and then the Bucks head east to play the Cavs in Cleveland both Friday and Saturday.
We’re still waiting to hear if there’s anything more from Giannis having tweaked his knee late in the game against the Hornets, so I’ll prejudice tonight’s game thinking he’ll be out and cede the win to the Blazers. After that, expect wins the rest of the way and a 3-1 week!