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Monday Morning Media Roundup: April 12th, 2021

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The “Come all who may” Edition

NBA: Charlotte Hornets at Milwaukee Bucks Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

We’re reaching that most renowned part of the NBA regular season: The point at which games take on importance less for the refining of the team’s play, but more for their impact on seeding. For the Bucks, solidly in the East’s third seed since about a quarter of the way through the season, the seeding they’re focused on isn’t theirs, but everyone’s around them.

Were the season to end today, the Bucks would play the Miami Heat in the first round, a situation that I’ve seen some fans keen to avoid. Were the season to end today, they would possibly have to face the Nets/Sixers in the second round and Eastern Conference Finals without home-court advantage just to get to the Finals. If your goal is trying to stack the numerical odds in your favor in every little way you can, then leaping up to the top seed is akin to a do-or-die goal as the season winds down.

To hell with all that.

I appreciate the desire to lessen the burden on the Bucks, but ultimately if this is a team that competes for a championship, they’re simply going to have to prove themselves to be the better unit over multiple seven-game series. If they end up stuck as the third seed and need to walk through the proverbial lake of fire that would be the Heat-Nets-Sixers before even fighting for a title, then so be it. Were they to fall short against any of those opponents, I tend to disbelieve that having one extra home game (in a pandemic season with far reduced fan attendance, no less) would have made the difference. Either they are good enough to beat anyone, or they are not. If you’re scared, go to church.

Let’s roundup!


Jrue Holiday Has Delivered For The Bucks, And They Delivered For Him (FiveThirtyEight)

One of the most entertaining parts about having a very good NBA player on your team is digging through layer after layer of stats finding more evidence of their value. There’s plenty of that going on in this Jared Dubin piece, and my favorite nugget he digs up is that Milwaukee’s offensive rating would be rated 7th-best in the league if you just took the minutes Jrue Holiday is on the floor without Giannis Antetokounmpo. If you can believe it (and I certainly can, just watch the guy play for a few minutes), he’s actually more efficient and productive when Giannis goes out. That’s tied up with an increase in his usage rate, but impressive nonetheless.

Bucks’ Khris Middleton joining NBL’s Brisbane Bullets ownership group (Yahoo)

Poetic, in its own way. You can take the Australia out of the Bucks (Andrew Bogut), but you can’t take the Bucks out of Australia… or something.

I’m not going to pretend to know much about the NBL, its popularity or room for growth, but I’m sure the financially-minded among the commentariat will be able to tell me that this is a better bet for Khris’s money than plowing cash into crypto.

Ray Allen Says He Was ‘Miserable’ After Draft Day Trade to Bucks from T-Wolves (Bleacher Report)

Then it turned out Ray and Milwaukee were mutually beneficial partners. The introverted star who captured the hearts of fans in one of the league’s proverbial backwaters. Oh how far we’ve come.

Fan Post of the Week

Knox5’s “Could Kawhi Come this Summer?” for provoking thoughtful reflection not only through his proposal that we imagine a world where Kawhi comes to Milwaukee, but also for this haunting two-line stanza:

And now I need to copy and paste till I hit the word count. Apologies in advance.

And now I need to copy and paste till I hit the word count. Apologies in advance.

Chills.

(retired janitor also put a little something together with some meat on it… sorry, pun intended)

Know Your Enemy

There’s a joke to be made at the expense of the Timberwolves here about the number of fans during a pandemic being unchanged from years prior, but there it goes. Half-hearted at best, too. Anyways, pour one out for my local team. It’s been the hardest of rows to hoe for nearly two decades. (Hey, ARod might own part of the team soon! There’s no way they’re keeping the franchise here)

Things looked bleak early in the season for the Hawks with injuries piling up and the appearance of swirling discontent from others vis a vis Trae Young’s style of play, but they added some scoring punch off the bench in Lou Williams and find themselves firmly in the East’s playoff picture.

I don’t watch a lot of Grizzlies basketball, so it takes a Bucks matchup for me to catch up on whatever progress they’ve made since I last checked in. Turns out Ja Morant is an extremely good lead point guard. Who knew? If you watch some of the associated clips, he does indeed have the deliberate pace a la Jrue Holiday with the ball in his hands. We all know how valuable that ability is.

The Social Media Section

Congrats to Zora for stepping in to her first play-by-play broadcast

The weak (whoever knocked over PJ’s coffee and didn’t admit it) should fear the strong (PJ Tucker)

Mmk

Giannis the Goof

The Bobby Portis-Jordan Nwora Mutual Support Society

Some color ways don’t, in fact, need to be made

I... have no idea why he posted all these video games?

Green, olive green, and off-green


Riley’s 2020-2021 Prediction Record: 32-21

retired janitor’s 2020-2021 Prediction Record: 33-20

I always make it a point to get as good of seats as I can feasibly afford the one time a year the Bucks visit Minneapolis, but the cheapest stuff available is going to cost me $100, and it’s also a sports game during a pandemic. Until next year, then.

The Bucks will be starting their work week with that visit on Wednesday before flying due south for a road back-to-back against Atlanta on Thursday (brutal), and finally a return home to host the Grizzlies on Saturday.

It feels borderline impossible to either overtake the Nets/Sixers for a higher seed, but equally impossible to lose enough to drop down a place past the Hornets/Hawks. Given that, I think we can expect even more rested starter games, including a few games this week. Write down the Hawks and Grizzlies games as losses, the Timberwolves as a win. And remember while your frustration rises: It’s all about the postseason in this team’s mind.

Happy Monday!