The return of the 2021-2022 regular season went just about as you expected: Milwaukee loafed around, their opposing point guard broke free and scorched them for nearly 40 points, and they did it all in front of a national audience on their home floor. All in all, a somewhat unremarkable occurrence for the Bucks this year.
Funnily enough, this campaign is starting to boil down to the usual two overarching theories of the Milwaukee Bucks. Either they outright don’t care about the regular season, agree to not care about the regular season as a roster from just below the top (see: Giannis) to bottom or there’s real trouble in paradise. Neither option is all that comforting even if they fit within the wider MO of parts of the Budenholzer tenure. A relaxed approach is even understandable in light of the injury trouble the team has faced and a roster in turmoil.
Like last season and The Bubble before it, we have little choice but to stoically face down televised indigestion while we wait for the playoffs and the answer to whether Milwaukee is capable of “flipping a switch”. Largely on the back of Giannis Antetokounmpo’s ascendent play they did, indeed, flip that switch in a big way last year, though they also played quite well to close out the season. Maybe the fire of a Jevon Carter can help stiffen the backbone of the crew, maybe Giannis will play so well that it won’t matter much, maybe Jrue Holiday will shoot better than 30% at the rim with 5-8 turnovers a game.
Extremely good timing for this piece to run as the Bucks come back from the break only to promptly face-plant. I’d rather they not even talk about having to play basketball right now in “playoff mode” because of the mismatch between words and actions. I know they can’t really say anything else, but c’mon.
A nice piece about Wigginton and his path to the NBA. To go from a city of less than a thousand to the NBA does indeed take a huge amount of effort, not only on his part, but also from family, friends, colleagues, etc. Happy to see someone’s hard work pay off for them like this.
Ex-NBA player Charles Oakley says Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo would come off the bench in his era (Yahoo Sports)
Two weeks in a row where former NBA players are going after Giannis for no apparent reason other than... he’s a star player of today? This argument coincides beautifully with Tracy McGrady’s recent position that Giannis would’ve sucked “in his era” because he didn’t have a jump shot. So Giannis would be unplayable because he couldn’t hit a J AND someone would’ve killed him in the 1990s driving to the hoop. Cool.
Pro Athletes [Incl. Jrue Holiday] Say They Wanted Everyday Financial Advice but Got Cheated (New York Times)
A pretty sleazy situation all the way around, and it does seem like this is a case of an investor gone rouge; the guy took some of Chandler Parsons’s investment money and sent it to a charity to build a basketball court in his house’s backyard for God’s sake. Thankfully someone was able to notify the irregularities in their accounts before damage in the tens of millions was done. Instead, it was only in the low millions. Cold comfort, of a sort.
We’re getting ever closer to Giannis posting pictures hanging out with Mark Zuckerberg in the Meatverse or whatever. I look forward to the goofy ads of a split screen with Giannis on one side looking thoughtfully at his phone while Thanasis sits on the other side reacting to goofy messages superimposed in the space between. Whichever marketing firm inevitably executes that idea owes me a soda for the legwork.
The Art of Passing (The Ringer)
There’s a good story in here somewhere beneath the shovel loads of millennial internet absurdist speak. If you get through and can provide us all a TLDR, the commentariat would be eternally in your debt.
Fan Post of the Week
Nothing new to report on the FPOTW front. That’s okay, there wasn’t a whole bunch going on as it was. Give it a few more head scratching losses and I’ll really have to start picking who gets the coveted award on a week to week basis between all the “this team is a disgrace” posts.
Know Your Enemy
Bridges is not a replica of Giannis, but he is at a similar place in his growth arc in the need for his passing to improve in order to raise his game. Understandable as it is to fall back on your attacking instincts since its what got you to the dance, becoming a serious threat takes involving teammates, too. Curious to see where he goes from here.
- Miami Heat - Hot Hot Hoops - The Heat Will Play the East’s Elite This Week, Let’s See Where They Stand
You’ll hear it a lot in the coming weeks: “The East is going to be a bloodbath!” And you know what? Whoever says that is right! As of now the Heat sit atop the pileup, though a great week of play could help them distinguish themselves more fully from the rest of the conference in regular season play.
- Chicago Bulls - Blog A Bull - DeMar DeRozan is carrying this injured Bulls team and re-vaulting himself into the MVP *conversation*
Nobody can be quite sure whether DeRozan can carry his success this year into the playoffs since we haven’t really seen it before. But... he did average 35.5 points, 6.2 rebounds, and 5.3 assists in 12 games in February. That’s remarkable.
With Chris Paul sidelined for the next month or so, more of the scoring load will fall to their 1a Devin Booker and their second-tier guys led by Deandre Ayton. Ayton has seen his scoring unlocked when working in tandem with Paul in P&R, so now we get to see if he can make it happen without a two guard set generating such gravity on the offensive end.
The Social Media Section
Folks, he’s still dunking!
Still dunking at 66 years old!— Elder Marques Johnson (@olskool888) February 21, 2022
This ones for you, Madea pic.twitter.com/N7vNXmpZtG
Congrats to the happy couple!
Rejoice, for He has returned
There. Goes. That. Man.— NBA G League (@nbagleague) February 23, 2022
D.J. Wilson picking up where he left off early tonight, recording 21 points and 6 rebounds in the first half pic.twitter.com/nsiDDrbW1u
How about a little less wheels up in the sky and a little more wheels up in these standings?
My man is built like an oak
AND he’s an accomplished cook??? A renaissance man.
Congrats to Harden
James Harden has tied Ben Simmons on the Sixers all-time three-pointers made list.— Adam Aaronson (@SixersAdam) February 26, 2022
For those not in the know, Hart and Nance swapped homes for the time being once they were traded. It’s like NBA AirBnB
you can take those down if I can have the key to the wine cellar here https://t.co/9vqTPBtaFc— Larry Nance Jr (@Larrydn22) February 25, 2022
A warm welcome to our newest player
Welcome back, Frank
The Wisconsin Herd has acquired Frank Mason lll and a 1st round pick in the 2022 NBA G League Draft from the South Bay Lakers in exchange for Tremont Waters and a 2nd round pick (via Agua Caliente) in the 2022 NBA G League draft.— Wisconsin Herd (@WisconsinHerd) February 24, 2022
retired janitor’s 2021-2022 prediction record: 36-25
Riley’s 2021-2022 prediction record: 35-26
The home stretch begins in earnest this week with four games to be played. They’ll all happen within the area with three being at home and the fourth being just across the state border. Things begin tonight with the Hornets in town, continue Wednesday with the Heat, move to Chicago on Friday against the Bulls, and finish on Sunday with an afternoon tip-off against the Suns.
I’ll go for a 2-2 week in line with our inconsistent ways. I think we will beat the Hornets and the Suns, but struggle against the Heat and Bulls. A win against any of the latter three would be nice, and picking up two or more would be a great week.