If there is one overriding theme for the Milwaukee Bucks right now, it’s this: Make it to the All-Star Break.
By the time we’re there, much of the landscape around the league should hopefully be more or less settled. We’ll have a resolution to any pending trades (not that it sounds like much is in the pipeline for Milwaukee at the moment), buyout season won’t have finished, but teams may have a better idea who may end up on the market and their general intentions, and the return of Brook Lopez should be imminent.
Signing Greg Monroe to a 10-day contract (which may lead to a second) fits within this constellation as he stands in as a center stopgap to tide the team over. Potentially holding onto Donte DiVincenzo works here, too, if the team largely thinks the unit as constructed is good enough and merely needs to get to the postseason in decent position. That puts them in the driver’s seat to respond to Donte’s market in the coming offseason based on internal dynamics like need for younger players to fill in for departures, how helpful a DDV on a slightly larger salary would be for trading purposes, or even simply trying to cash in on a sign and trade when the market isn’t moribund.
We’ve been through a somewhat similar situation in the recent past during the 2019-2020 season when Milwaukee hung back in lieu of acquiring buyout superstar Marvin Williams for the stretch run. It’s hard to assess just how well that strategy played out given the extenuating circumstances of Covid and The Bubble. Maybe the process was right and other challenges too strong to overcome. Maybe the process doomed us from the beginning. Now, though, the Bucks have their hands tied by lackluster draft capital and rigid cap concerns.
Which is a ton of words spilled in the service of explaining (to myself, mostly) why the Bucks might be net transaction neutrals come next week’s MMMR. It’s not as exciting as getting in on the deadline feeding frenzy, but I can grasp the logic.
Report: Giannis, Thanasis, Alex Antetokounmpo May Team Up for NBA Skills Challenge (Bleacher Report)
If you’re an inveterate gambler, here’s my advice: Don’t wager on the Antetokounmpos winning this thing, much less ending up anywhere other than dead last. They’ll thoroughly enjoy themselves and Thansis will likely spear tackle a dummy defender in the process, but I can’t think of a trio less adequate for the skills challenge that doesn’t include members of the Brew Hoop staff or commentariat.
Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo notches 29th career triple-double, passes Michael Jordan on all-time list (CBS Sports)
With the direction his game is traveling, you could easily see Giannis starting to really get on a tear of triple doubles over the coming seasons. He’ll probably never reach Westbrook-like levels, but that may not be a bad thing considering. Oh, and we got this hell of a quote from Antetokounmpo on Bobby Portis getting in Montrezl Harrell’s face post-foul:
“Bobby has my back and I have his back too,” Giannis said. “I respect all of my teammates, but I respect the s--- out of Bobby for doing that. At the end of the day, we as a team we gotta set the tone. Like if somebody gets fouled hard, we’re not gonna let that happen. Especially in Milwaukee, in our house.”
One on One with the Milwaukee Bucks’ Donte DiVincenzo (The Athletic - Paywalled)
Yes, I know, I’m not supposed to share paywalled articles here, but it’s pretty depressingly moribund out there for content. I caught a few snippets from around the web, which boils down to “Donte wants to be here, but he’s already gone through the process of being ‘traded’ once, so he simply focuses on what he can control (his attitude).” There was also a segment which seemed to suggest that his torn ligament in his ankle will never fully reattach to whatever it ripped free from initially. I’ve not noticed any clear drop in physical ability since he returned, but that doesn’t sound great?
Giannis rounds out the top-four in frontcourt/center plus/minus per the NBA’s stat database, but what’s more impressive than that is whatever the hell George Hill is out here doing:
That means he’s just a hair behind Jokic as having the best net rating differential in the entire sport. I mean... what?
Genuine question: Does he spend more free time working on his post moves or sharpening his arsenal of just the lamest jokes you’ve ever heard? I submit another piece of evidence that it may be the latter.
I didn't see you there pic.twitter.com/k2MyGCHXW8— Giannis Antetokounmpo (@Giannis_An34) February 6, 2022
“I didn’t see you there” lol. I’m glad he’s our dork.
I legitimately laughed out loud when I reached the end of this one.
boisdevache, get down here and grab your gosh dang award for FPOTW with “One Game Wonders”! This was a really fun exercise, and I truly thank you for the work you put in to dig up some of these names and performances. If others struggle to add more one game wonders, I’d love some reminisces from folks about one season wonders because I’m sure they’re out there. If John Salmons hadn’t signed that deal with us after the Fear the Deer run, he’d probably be atop the mountain for that award.
Know Your Enemy
Let’s check in on the Lakers...
- Los Angeles Lakers - Silver Screen & Roll - Anthony Davis says his wife is ‘ecstatic’ he wasn’t named an All-Star reserve & The Lakers are encouraging Russell Westbrook to get out of his own head following latest benching & How the Lakers can plug the holes in their sinking ship at the deadline
...we’ll probably lose to them by 30+
If you were wondering what an alternate universe where the Bucks signed Bismack Biyombo to a deal would look like, you can take a look over at Phoenix to get an estimate. He’s still pretty limited offensively and needs the assistance of a passing maestro to set him up, but he can leap, and he can rebound. We’ve found our way through regardless, but he would’ve been a fun experiment if we’d gone that route.
The Social Media Section
Folks... this guy is bringing together people from literally all across the globe, yet he remains so accessible that members of the local media can hand-deliver gifts to him from fans an ocean away
A Bucks fan living in South Korea found @Oreo cereal, which is still sold there despite being discontinued in the U.S. He mailed me boxes to give to Giannis, so I felt like I had to do my part.— Stephen Watson (@WISN_Watson) February 2, 2022
“I’ll enjoy it, trust me.” -@Giannis_An34 https://t.co/XPufNRFtqm pic.twitter.com/HGW5F5VoTP
Respect to Mr. Burrow, a fan from the very beginning
Freakin go bucks— Joey Burrow (@JoeyB) January 16, 2015
Blake “Kyle Korver in The Bubble” Griffin
Blake Griffin on the Nets concern level: “Very high.”— Chris Milholen (@CMilholenSB) February 6, 2022
The Nets were 1st in the East on Christmas.— StatMuse (@statmuse) February 6, 2022
They’re now in a play in spot.
They have lost 8 in a row. pic.twitter.com/MfAqX5PaTn
Let. Bobby. Shoot.
We recorded a podcast prior to the Clippers game. Enjoy, if that’s your thing!
On this week's episode of the Brew Hoop Podcast (w/@KyleCoche & @RileyFeldmann)!— Brew Hoop (@brewhoop) February 6, 2022
-Greg Monroe as the perfect sentimental stopgap
-(minimal) trade chatter
-Bucks slowly approaching the one seed
Happy to see when any and every individual associated with last year’s title-winning team gets a ring
The pieces are all falling into place
Like it or not, Pat Connaughton is going to be the Bucks' color commentator in 2028— James Takesmith (@kidziggurat) February 6, 2022
Thanasis “DJ Wilson” Antetokounmpo with the quotes here
retired janitor’s 2021-2022 prediction record: 33-21
Riley’s 2021-2022 prediction record: 30-24
Things really dial back this week with only two games on the docket, though they do make up the back half of our West Coast road trip. Said road trip doesn’t move away from Los Angeles as we’ll play the Lakers on Tuesday in Cryptocoin Coliseum, and then we get the Finals rematch we’ve patiently waited many months for when the Bucks visit the Suns on Thursday.
We should be able to somewhat reliably dispatch the Lakers who are in the midst of a rough go, but I think we may lose that game to the Suns. I hope it’ll be a knock-out, drag-out fight, but they’re going to have a little something extra to prove and we’ll be wrapping up the road trip.
I sincerely hope I’m wrong.