There’s something very special about the start of a new NBA season. Yes, we are staring down the barrel of an 82 game slog, but anticipation and excitement is at its highest this time of year. The sky is the limit! Giannis could go for his third MVP trophy! The Bucks could repeat! Sandro Mamukelashvili could end the year as a Spur! Nearly anything and everything is at least hypothetically on the table.
This campaign looks like it’ll give us Bucks fans plenty to keep track of in particular. A new defensive scheme getting thrown together to help our sinking rating on that end — and asking Brook Lopez to be even better than ever — should provide fireworks of its own kind. Khris Middleton and Pat Connaughton are out for virtually the first month of play which means resident astronaut Jordan Nwora and guy-who-is-just-happy-to-be-here MarJon Beauchamp should be force-fed minutes whether they’re ready for them or not.
Mike Budenholzer has been off the sidelines after undergoing ankle reconstruction surgery; will he be back or will replacement Charles Lee continue in his place? We’ll be checking in on the relative cooked-ness of our 34 year-old-plus contingent as they groan and stumble their way into playing shape. And we’ll get to find out whether Giannis is still ready to do literally everything everywhere on both ends of the court to help prop his team up.
It helps that the team starts with such a long home stretch with six of their first seven games in the Forum. If the Bucks can get through the first seven with an above .500 record, I think we should pop the champagne. It’s about managing expectations.
Saw a few pieces run about Mr. Steinmiller this past week, and given that he was the longest-tenured employee of the organization (52 years!), I wanted to put this here. I never met him personally, but have read some great anecdotes about his always going above and beyond to accommodate fans whether they were at games, at an event, or anything else related to the Bucks. Condolences to his family and friends.
Everyone’s A Favorite In Our 2022-23 NBA Forecast (FiveThirtyEight)
Per RAPTOR projections, we’re slotted to be a sixth seed trailing behind the *checks notes* second seeded Atlanta Hawks and a Boston Celtics team that wins six more games than anyone else in the Conference. To be fair, FiveThirtyEight’s projection estimates a pretty tight grouping at the top of the East which would be a repeat of last season. And, if we’re being honest, while 49 would be a lowish win total, it definitely falls within the realm of the possible for a slow-starting season from the Bucks.
Three Big Questions for the Milwaukee Bucks for the 2022-23 Season (Sports Illustrated) & Milwaukee Bucks 2022-23 NBA preview: Will a change in defensive philosophy lead to another championship? (CBS Sports)
Nice enough perspectives and I appreciate the CBS one for the modicum of effort put into it. To be frank, I’m reaching the point now where I just want the games to start so we can be wrapped up with recaps that boil down to “Milwaukee did next to nothing and Khris Middleton”.
Usual stuff from Giannis here, but the interesting note is that Khris Middleton only just resumed basketball activity with the team last week. Unless Suki Hobson has gifted him a robotic wrist, I assume he’s still got a ways before he’s back on the court. Doubly so with how cautious we tend to be in nursing guys back into things.
Milwaukee Bucks Request Waivers On Luca Vildoza (Bucks.com)
Goodnight, sweet prince. And as you waltz into those quiet places in-between Milwaukee and whatever Serbian city you find yourself in, take comfort from the knowledge that your 45 seconds of an absolute razzle dazzle festival with Thanasis against the Bulls in their house will live on in our memories for generations to come.
One of the finest organizations in the states meets up with one of the cities of the state. The result? Hodag magic (and some fine outstate outreach from the Bucks).
The perfect Jae Crowder trade offer Bucks must make to Suns (ClutchPoints)
I know Jae is the hot not-so-young thing on the trade market right now, and every member of the commentariat’s analysis of the Bucks goes no deeper than “getting PJ Tucker worked so do it again!”, but shipping out Pat Connaughton and Grayson Allen seems a bit much, no? Pat because he’s one of five guys on the roster who knows how to dribble a basketball, Grayson because he’s one of five guys under the age of 45 on the roster. We better at least be getting some useless draft picks for the trouble of offloading Crowder for Phoenix.
Fan Post of the Week
The crew is resting up for the regular season treating this final week of the preseason as they should. Come next Monday, they’ll be firing on all cylinders.
The true Fan Post of the Week winners were everyone who took part in yesterday’s Unofficial Brew Hoop fantasy draft. May your fake teams enjoy much success (especially those who had bots auto-draft their rosters)!
Know Your Enemy
One of my favorite segments is officially back now that the regular season is soon-to-be underway! For the newer MMMR readers who uncomprehendingly stumbled on this “column” during the summer, each week I pull some of the best recent work from our upcoming opponent/sister SB Nation blogs and post them here. It’s a nice way to keep tabs on the rest of the league and read some local perspectives along the way.
- Philadelphia 76ers - Liberty Ballers - Ben Simmons says there was ‘never really a relationship there’ with Joel Embiid
When you assemble a group of men and assign them the goal of being out and out losers, don’t be surprised when they end up hating each other along the way. That Simmons and Embiid have almost exactly the same narcissistic streak makes it unsurprising they weren’t in love with one another’s visages. Winners, each and every one in that organization.
- Houston Rockets - The Dream Shake - Five Out: The point of tanking, contrition, odd bets, trades and the thing itself
Great piece, all over the place, and exactly the kind of off-the-wall column SBN sites can be so good at. Did I find the author’s desire to send Grayson Allen on a one-way rocket ship to the center of solar system a little excessive? Naturally! And yet I couldn’t help keeping reading anyhow.
The Social Media Section
Great bit of footage I’ve seen people share under some of the site’s articles. Worth watching in full if you haven’t already.
Keep an eye on this space
Sick world where Mamu has to lobby the Twitter admin to not exclusively post video clips of him getting dunked on
Post the block too my guy— Sandro Mamukelashvili (@Mamukelashvili5) October 15, 2022
The trick to the ad is that it is realistic for Thanasis to literally paddle board across all seven seas for a box of Kellogg cereal.
Our team will all look 20 years younger than they actually are forever
More “thanks Abu Dhabi” stuff
MarJon become a viable NBA player in less than a week’s time challenge
Riley’s 2022-2023 Weekly Prediction Record: 0-0
Milwaukee’s Actual 2022-2023 Record: 0-0
It has been a bit since our weekly prediction thread made an appearance, and I’ve retired the retired janitor branding on the Milwaukee Bucks record tracker to go with it. For those who are, again, new, I line up all the games to come in the week ahead, more or less randomly guess at whether the Bucks will win or lose each, and we keep track of whether my guesses were correct or incorrect as the year goes on. Exciting!
This week the Bucks are BACK for real this time. The season begins on the road in a primetime slot this Thursday to take on the Philadelphia 76ers. Then it’s back to Milwaukee for the home opener against the Houston Rockets on Saturday. I don’t feel like I’m going out on too much of a limb to guess we will lose to a more-healthy Sixers squad and beat the tank-o-rrific Rockets to begin the year at a respectable 1-1.
Our long offseason nightmare is over! Rejoice!