You’ll have to excuse how rushed this whole intro may seem. You see, much like everyone else I’ve had to wait with bated breath until late into Sunday evening to find out who Milwaukee’s first round opponent will be. Well, now we know: We’re going to have to exorcise some demons against the Miami Heat.
Whether this is a nightmare or a dream come true is ultimately to be derived from which side of two logical (in my opinion) camps you end up on. There are those who want the easiest possible path to the Finals and would have chosen to avoid adding another layer of difficulty on to the Brooklyn Nets and Philadelphia 76ers who will probably stand in the way. On the other side of the divide, you’ve got the “scared money don’t make none” position which believes there isn’t a reason to let the failures of the past stand in the way of making good on this team’s promise right now, no matter the opponent. After all, we’re here to beat up on teams or get beat up on; that is the nature of sports. A path through the Heat (who are a national/“serious” basketball observer heartthrob), Nets, Sixers, and a Western opponent would provide plenty of chances to either beat up or get beat up on.
The best part of all is that we get to sit and stew in our anticipation for nearly a whole week. With a play-in tournament running through this Friday, the NBA will be enchanted as *checks notes* the Lakers fight to see whether they’ll even have a chance to defend their title. That gives us time to sit around and contemplate whether we’re about to taste the sweet fruit of vindication or the bitter chalice of another failure.
It’s here! The playoffs! Get excited!
Jrue Holiday: ‘I feel like I’m the Defensive Player of the Year every year’ (Yahoo!)
Jrue does bring up a good point about the conundrum voters have in evaluating DPOY candidates, namely that there is a dearth of meaningful statistics to measure impact the way there is on the offensive side of the ball. Taking in healthy consideration of reputation among players would certainly help Holiday’s odds of improving wider recognition of his talents, but he’s fighting a two front battle between the (lack of) numbers and the strong tendency to still view impactful big men as the fulcrum around which defense swings. Just ask Jrue’s teammate Giannis, the reigning DPOY.
For Jrue Holiday, It’s a Good Game When His Wife Says So (New York Times)
...or his wife Lauren, who knows a thing or three about bringing home hardware at the highest level of a sport.
2021 NBA Play-In Tournament schedule (NBA.com)
It’ll either be the greatest invention since sliced bread, or a shambles. Ladies and gentlemen, the NBA play-in tournament is here.
Former BYU guard Elijah Bryant signs with NBA’s Milwaukee Bucks (Deseret News)
In the world Milwaukee now occupies, finding any ounce of serviceable talent at a discount is going to be critical to helping keep the roster afloat around the big three. The Bucks paid $500,000 to Maccabi Tel Aviv for the ability to sign Bryant and will have a bit of control heading into next season if he can prove himself able to stick somewhere in the rotation. Best of luck to the guy and hopefully he finds success here with us.
FanPost of the Week
All credit to my friend and yours, G may, for throwing a little kerosene on the fire right at the end of the season by asking a question that could be wildly appropriate or inappropriate depending on the next month and a half. Namely, “What’s the return for Khris?”
The main point I come back to any time discussion about moving Khris before he (as is foretold) craters into oblivion is what team would send us viable assets if Milwaukee is moving him as a liability. For better or for worse, I just don’t see the rationale for either the Bucks or a trade partner to make things work unless the situation is unexpectedly catastrophic.
Know Your Enemy
- Miami Heat - Hot Hot Hoops - The Heat had a tough season, Ariza and Dedmon helped turn it around
Great, I look away for like half the season and the Heat have acquired and turned Trevor Ariza and Dewayne Dedmon into critical components of a winning rotation? I’m not sure I’m ready for this timeline where the seventh through ninth Miami players decimate us like they’re stars.
The Social Media Section
Congrats to Brew Hoop compatriot Andrew on his graduation!
It wasn’t the easiest journey, but I’m officially a college graduate!— Andrew (@AndrewG_NBA) May 12, 2021
Getting in the right mindset for the playoffs
Look at your own peril
Best ATOs in Clutch Situations— ShotQuality (@Shot_Quality) May 10, 2021
These coaches are drawing up the best plays and get the highest quality shots after a timeout in clutch situations! pic.twitter.com/qThUfLGtu8
And congrats to the happy couple on incoming child no. 2
#Bucks Giannis Antetokounmpo and his girlfriend Mariah are welcoming baby No. 2!— Lily Zhao (@LilySZhao) May 12, 2021
(Via Mariah’s IG) pic.twitter.com/v5fseUsvyt
Gonna tell my kids this was Michael Jordan pic.twitter.com/2mXliSfxnt— Random Bucks Players (@RandomBucks) May 11, 2021
At least we won’t be facing these guys. How the mighty have fallen.
For the first time in eight seasons, the Raptors have been eliminated from playoff contention. pic.twitter.com/uflo0fuBEy— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) May 11, 2021
Riley’s 2020-2021 Prediction Record: 42-30
retired janitor’s 2020-2021 Prediction Record: 47-25
It was a much closer-run thing than the previous iterations of this experiment, but by a five game difference rj’s “always back the Bucks” stance has proven unassailable yet again. Respect.
In terms of schedule, I haven’t seen anything official as of this writing. If that changes, you’re sure to fill me in on it in the comments section for which I thank you ahead of time.