Discerning readers of Brew Hoop will have probably expected a quick newser announcing the latest Bucks signing. Oops! Consider this intro our making up for that omission:
Luke “The Unikornet” Kornet comes to Milwaukee by way of the Cleveland Cavaliers and prior stops in Boston, Chicago, and New York. Listed at 7’2”, he might truly be the tallest guy on the roster now, though whether we’ll see him in actual action is an open question. His signing was preceded by the news that Semi Ojeleye and Thanasis Antetokounmpo had entered the NBA’s Covid health & safety protocols, triggering the need for Milwaukee to sign a hardship exception guy. Javin DeLaurier, the last hardship guy, signed up with the Bucks on December 23rd, 2021, which likely means his deal has run out and Kornet is being signed in his place.
So, there you have it. The big Luke Kornet news.
More importantly, this week we’ll have the final decisions made on DeMarcus Cousins’s and Wes Matthews’s non-guaranteed deals as their guarantee date is this Friday, January 7th. Given their performances and how well they fit in with the rest of the locker room, it would appear unlikely the Bucks won’t pick up the back half of those contracts. The transaction calendar carries on!
Robert Horry, Some Guy, Takes A Huge Shot (Headline Writer’s Choice Of Words) At The Milwaukee Bucks: “We Know Milwaukee Ain’t Gonna Go Back-To-Back Cause They Shouldn’t Have Been There In The First Place.” (Fadeaway World)
Lord grant me the strength of delusion to prognosticate on future title-winning prospects of various teams based almost solely on a split-second moment that happened months ago. Anyways, Mr. Horry can say whatever on a podcast because that’s how this works. I won’t bother to listen to the interview to see if he tempers his take at all, though I’d guess that’s unlikely.
Giannis Antetokounmpo, Rudy Gobert lead this season’s top 10 rim protectors & Giannis among top 10 paint scorers (NBA.com)
Both rankings are notable, but I find the fact that Giannis is literally at the top of the league in lowest opponent FG% near the rim seriously impressive. He’s been drafted into a more direct defensive role since the loss of Brook Lopez, has been putting up significant offensive numbers, and has stifled opposing offenses even while he’s defending the highest number of paint shots of his career. A true dynamo.
It’s good to have Donte back as a talent infusion, chaos engine, and a new name to help mix up our discussions about what directions Mike Budenholzer/Jon Horst should go in with the roster. Here’s hoping this twisted ankle is the last of his injury woes for at least a little while so we can get a solid stretch of play to see where he’s at after surgery and rehab.
Novak Djokovic named best Balkan athlete for record 7th time; Giannis Antetokounmpo finishes runner-up (ESPN)
Beef! It’s what’s for dinner!
We’ve an erudite bunch here at Brew Hoop. No, I don’t mean the staffers, much as we strive to acknowledge that X + Y = Z. I mean you, the readers, and I want to thank G may for taking the lead suggested by other commenters on Mitchell’s recent book review post to post a review of their own in, “December 2021 book review. Leaders Eat Last”. I’m not one for books on leadership or team dynamics given my real world role as a humble peon at a bank, but I appreciate G may, stoneAge, and Thirty Point Buck’s thoughts on the subject of effective leadership. Just another lens through which to evaluate so much of what goes on around us, Bucks or otherwise!
Know Your Enemy
- Detroit Pistons - Detroit Bad Boys - NBA’s hardship deals uncovering ghosts of Pistons’ past
This was a fun exercise from our pals at DBB, though as a partisan for the Bucks, I should note that the title of this article could equally read “NBA’s hardship deals uncovering ghosts of Bucks’ past”
Toronto is unluckily back to the slow days typical of the franchise prior to the success of the Kyle Lowry/DeMar DeRozan (and eventually, Kawhi Leonard) era, but it should give their fans heart knowing they have some promising talent on the roster and a clever mind in their front office in Masai Ujiri to try and guide them back into relevance.
- Brooklyn Nets - Nets Daily - Kyrie Irving’s return is looming: ‘I think he’s on his way. It’s getting close’
Kyrie is nearly back, but he’ll still only be playing away games so long as New York City keeps its vaccine mandates in place. The Nets are as topsy-turvy as “super teams” come, and this latest twist in the Irving saga will only add to it. Their top three are obviously talented, but... won’t the excess buildup of weird not founder the ship at some point or another?
We know Charlotte can hang points with the best of them, but outside of one of the Plume brothers, their roster lacks many true interior defenders. For a long time it was the hope and dream of many a Hornets fan to move Cody Zeller on for anything else. A Zeller this team does not need, but if their front office can acquire someone to help steady the defense, look out for how far Charlotte can go.
The Social Media Section
The campaign begins in earnest. Go vote, folks.
Breaking news from the desk of Bobby POTUS : “My fellow NBA fans – I’m officially launching my campaign for All-Star 2022 and asking for your vote”! Retweet to vote @BPortistime for #NBAAllStar pic.twitter.com/FsdnHjWdPZ— Bobby BP Portis (@BPortistime) December 30, 2021
If he retires afterwards to retain the record, my respect for him would be immense
if we win the next 4 games Donte can become the most winningest player (based on %) in NBA history. pic.twitter.com/wP1MHrGrpg— Blitzen Burner (@BangoBurner) December 29, 2021
He’s starting to believe
Start putting together the script for that Boogie-Grayson buddy cop movie
Honestly, the double half-sleeve tattoo look is undefeated here
When money truly is no problem, you can order custom Georgios jerseys
Sacrifices to the Great Lakes Gods, we thank you
This exact moment was when the ascendence began
I hope the voters remember this crucial fact later this year
retired janitor’s 2021-2022 prediction record: 25-13
Riley’s 2021-2022 prediction record: 20-18
Two at home and two away this week, beginning tonight as the Bucks play host to the Pistons. Then, on Wednesday, the Toronto Raptors come to town, after which the Bucks will begin a short three-game East Coast road trip with stops in Brooklyn on Friday and Charlotte on Saturday.
I’d pick us for a 3-1 week with a loss to the Hornets