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Monday Morning Media Roundup: January 24th, 2022

The “It’s coming together (again (again))” Edition

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NBA: Sacramento Kings at Milwaukee Bucks Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

Stop me if you’ve seen me write this before: The Bucks are putting things together.

I’ve a sneaking suspicion this is the fourth or fifth time I’ve typed those magic words, but I swear, this time it’s for real! With most of the roster having gone through the Covid safety protocols, the rotation should hopefully find something of the extended groove together they’ve missed since the first month of the season. Even if they continue to miss a member or two (see: whatever suspension is coming Grayson Allen’s way), these 11 games from now until the All-Star Break are ideal to work out any remaining kinks in the system.

My optimism is buoyed by a few things. First, even with the injury and health trouble, the Bucks sit top-8 in both offensive and defensive rating and sixth in net rating (+3.9). Second, their core group (think starters plus Pat Connaughton, George Hill, and Wes Matthews) have all played nearly 75% of the games on the year with the exception of Brook, so there haven’t been huge gaps in missed playing time together. Third, the pending return of Brook Lopez and whatever parts GM Jon Horst can find on the trade market mean Milwaukee can feasibly rely on a very strong nine to 10 man rotation in the playoffs.

There are still unknowns, but they’re relatively few and far between for this team. Giannis Antetokounmpo is at the peak of his powers, when Jrue has been able to play he’s made a significant impact, Khris Middleton has found his scoring rhythm as of late, Grayson Allen fills his offensive role neatly, Bobby Portis is getting plenty of reps as a small-ball big, and our top bench guys are all plus contributors. Combine all that with the confidence of a title defender, and it looks like most everything is looking up for Milwaukee. Again.

Let’s roundup!

NBA 75: At No. 24, Giannis Antetokounmpo has become one of the game’s most decorated players in less than a decade (The Athletic)

I know we generally have a no-paywall rule here at the MMMR if we can make it work, but I saw too many good things about this piece floating around the internet not to share. A few examples:

The NBA’s Best Supporting Cast, Best Level-Up, And More Of Our Midseason Awards (FiveThirtyEight)

Jared Dubin over at FiveThirtyEight has a lot of midseason awards to hand out, and the Bucks are taking home a little hypothetical hardware. First up is Bobby Portis getting the nod for his output on offense and how he’s used his athleticism to help shore up Milwaukee’s defense with Brook Lopez away. Then the Bucks as a whole can take a bow for being the title defender flying most under the radar. I understand why there isn’t much talk around Milwaukee as a threat to repeat (see: it’s Milwaukee and our big three have played less than half of all games together), but I direct you to this column’s intro to reinforce why we should be feeling pretty good about things in spite of the quiet around the team.

An Update From Grayson Allen (Grayson Allen Discord Server)

(All this from the r/NBA subreddit)

“Giannis, this is never going to stop” (Eurohoops)

Our Greek friends here know the hierarchy of Greek basketballers past and present, but I always enjoy reading about how Giannis crossed path with XYZ Panthiakos legend during his offseason workouts. Even better is that he seems to elicit a lot of wisdom from these individuals on the ethics that guide a professional player. A man of all peoples.

Jrue Holiday on Grayson Allen: We have his back (Yahoo)

Well... good. I can’t tell how much of the general chatter is shared by the “NBA brotherhood”, but certainly be ready for an even bigger target on your back if any given team looks to get one over on Allen whenever he returns.

Giannis Antetokounmpo on Miami Heat: ‘Miami was built to be an NBA bubble team’ (HeatNation)

Before you react one way or another, ask yourself this: When was the last time Giannis was wrong about something? Keep that in mind when evaluating the validity of his point. And make sure to not let the shine from our title trophy disturb your vision too much.

Fan Post of the Week

All quiet on the Fan Post front, though I do note G may was in the posts mixing it up about two weeks ago asking whether waning fanaticism is hurting site traffic. Well, I gotta say, our new Bulls fan readers who were going to town on that Grayson Allen piece by Mitchell indicates we’re on the way up! If it bleeds, it leads (to greater numbers of comments).

Know Your Enemy

The great hope for a rebuilding Cleveland team was that either one (or ideally both) of Darius Garland and Collin Sexton would develop into a starting-caliber player. With Sexton unfortunately out due to a torn meniscus, the Cavs can at least find some solace in Garland’s play in the other’s absence.

More Cam Reddish content for the sickos out there who are into that sort of thing. Anyways, the Knicks are in the danger zone sitting at 22-24 and the 11th seed in the Eastern Conference. Hard to believe they’ve hit the Thibodeau Wall already.

Massive respect to the folks out in Denver who saw all of Milwaukee’s success with Bryn Forbes on the roster and decided to do us one better and bring both him AND Boogie to town. Bucks West? And how many points will those two put up in their version of a revenge game this week?

The Social Media Section

Look, if we’re going to make the rules the rules and speculation about Oubre’s “intention to harm” come into play, this is worth at least a 1 game suspension given recent precedent. Let’s hammer out a system so we don’t leave it up to vaguely defined standards of conduct.

This dweeb has the basketball world in a chokehold

Fiserv Forum North

Yes, of course, Bobby’s favorite franchise in the world: The Chicago Bulls

Zora not only filling in on the main TV role, but having to do it without monitors to reference from

We’re still doing this

Remember this for future debates

retired janitor’s 2021-2022 prediction record: 30-19

Riley’s 2021-2022 prediction record: 27-22

Don’t look now, but I’m gradually reeling rj back into reach. It’ll be tough to catch up since my introductory optimism about the team would conform with his “just win, baby” theory, but if endless masses can keep trying to beat Vegas at its own game, I can try to beat rj at this one.

Milwaukee has a lighter week ahead with only three games to play, and a good amount of rest to boot. They start on the road in Cleveland on Wednesday and then will be back home to host the Knicks on Friday and the Nuggets on Sunday.

Unfortunately for my hopes to make up ground I do believe we’ll keep the streak alive and win all three games. Cleveland is fun and a tougher out than they’ve been for a long while, but I believe in the rest we’ll have and that great record our Big Three share when playing together. The Knicks are the Knicks and the Nuggets can be a little boom-bust-y (helps that we won’t be in Denver).

Happy Monday!