Hey, I’m back. Sorry for being away, but the illness that knocked me off track last week has subsided thanks to the miracle of modern medicine. Shoutout to JSOnline Castaway for the well-wishes and noticing that the publication schedule was off.
Enough about me, back to the Bucks.
When I stand atop the metaphorical tower of the present and cast my gaze between the past and the future for this team, there are a few things that give me reasonable confidence in our ability to be a force in the 2022 playoffs. One is the fact that we’ll have Giannis Antetokounmpo on the team. This is lowest common denominator stuff, but if his series-altering self from the Finals is a preview of what is to come, he may have taken that next leap we’d all wondered about.
Another is simply the fact that we will have a training camp. Remember how slapdash the lead up to last season was? Jrue Holiday kind of showed up to town, the coaching staff said we should try to switch more on defense, and then we worked it out on the fly. Even a few dedicated weeks spent hammering out strategies on both ends of the floor could do us a world of good in terms of execution.
Finally, there will be lessened anxiety from all fronts if we aren’t off to a high-flying start and running away with the Eastern Conference. Of course we’d rather have guaranteed home-court advantage throughout the playoffs, but our repeated ability to win do-or-die playoff games on the road gives us a little breathing space in case we end up in the second or third seed. The entirety of the 2020-2021 seasons was one long marathon, and this offseason won’t be all that much of a breather. If we have heavy legs compared to teams who have been off for months now, it’ll be the least of my concerns.
I haven’t had a chance to listen, but it isn’t often that Budenholzer gets himself cornered into a (sort of) lengthy one-on-one interview with the press. Zach Lowe is usually a pretty good interviewer who is more relaxed in style than most, so hopefully that will have drawn something more original than a “yeah, no, we were just happy to play hard and win” from Bud.
Just How Much Of The Exterior Of A 1997 Subaru Outback Could Giannis Clean From The Passenger Seat? A Scientific Inquiry (Defector)
From the “This Is So Stupid” beat, here comes some real math for you stat heads out there.
A lot of mental and physical energy is expended on this site and elsewhere trying to 1) Unlock the secret of whether three-point shooting is more of a function of defense, skill, shot selection, etc. and 2) Being absolutely befuddled when the Bucks’s 3P% annually drops like a rock once the postseason begins.
While I will go forward assuming they will forget how to shoot yet again a year from now, the team has continued to try and add plus shooters to the roster. Whether this group is the one that finally gets off the schneid is honestly as open a question about these Bucks as any.
I added this one to the lineup because it is both funny to watch all these other players contort themselves seven ways to Sunday in order to discredit Milwaukee’s achievement, and also to reiterate to everyone that the big race in next year’s Eastern Conference is between the Bucks and Brooklyn’s training staff. Maybe the Nets will keep a totally clean bill of health on the guys who matter, but until they do I’m working under the assumption that they’ll be less than 100% if/when we face off again.
Giannis Is What Happens When N.B.A. Dreams Come True (New York Times) & ‘Horror Stories’: New Giannis Book Rips Mavs Coach Kidd (Sports Illustrated)
I’m not much of a sports book reader, though I do note that we have plans of doing a little site coverage of Mirin Fader’s new “GIANNIS: THE IMPROBABLE RISE OF AN NBA MVP“ in the near future. For those who are on the fence for ordering, some of the snippets that have made their way to social media suggest the book covers quite a bit more than simply Giannis’s very personal journey. If you’re looking for some stark stories about the reign of Jason Kidd, for example, it appears Mirin has you covered and then some.
Chase Buford, former Wisconsin Herd coach and now former Milwaukee Bucks assistant coach, has taken his talents to Australia. With the organization opting to not assemble the Herd for the G-League bubble, Buford was left in limbo before being elevated to the parent team staff as a lead coach for the young end-of-the-bench guys. It was likely a role he was well-suited for given his experience working with raw talents during his tenures in the G-League, and now he gets to test his mettle at the helm of his own professional team.
Best of luck, Chase!
Fan Post of the Week
I was a little out of things last week, so I’ll give Knox5 (and myself) the time-delay mulligan with their “Last Roster Spot?” piece from last Sunday. Surely nobody expected Gorgeous Georgios to be the guy who nabbed that final slot, but here we are.
Know Your Enemy
Technically, the Nuggets are the final foe before the Bucks truly disappear into the ether before training camp begins in late September. So, uh, get your basketball fix now and go check out some film evaluation of the Nuggets if that’s your thing!
The Social Media Section
Very cool for Bobby to show and be shown so much love by his home town
To cap a packed weekend, Bobby Portis gets a key to the city. It’s also Bobby Portis Day in Little Rock. pic.twitter.com/0REpXcMWFL— Kyle Deckelbaum (@KATVKyle) August 15, 2021
"I'm a proud Arkansan, I'm a proud guy from Little Rock, and you see it all right here."— Troy Lynch (@mrtroylynch) August 13, 2021
How cool is this! @Bucks forward & the People's Champ @BPortistime came back to Little Rock for his foundation weekend and surprised the campers with the Larry O'Brien trophy! @FOX16News pic.twitter.com/OMGZoZp21P
Let’s head back into the Frank Madden Time Machine
Here's Giannis appearing to shrug off Kidd's instruction to miss FT up 3 and 0.2 left. Related: Jason Kidd does not understand math. pic.twitter.com/oAor5lHuAz— Frank Madden (@fmaddenNBA) March 25, 2017
Giannis is as basic as the rest of us but taller
...I’m not buying something called “Freaky Flakes”. Sorry.
Welcome to the (Summer) league!
We’re about to really head into the doldrums of the offseason as far as national non-BH content goes, so if pickings get a little slim around here, just remember it’s our annual drought. With luck, we’ll get a few human interest stories from our new guys and maybe some thinkers out there trying to parse how the new-look Bucks may compete next season.
That’s next-week-Riley’s problem, though. For now...