Style points are temporary, recorded wins are forever. That’s about all there is to take away from Milwaukee’s game one win over the Chicago Bulls last night. That, and thank goodness Brook Lopez came back when he did.
How strange a position we are in as fans having seen this story play out so many times just a playoffs ago: The Bucks come out, look completely out of sorts to start the first game of a series, only to then work their way into shape over the next couple games. Difference this time being that they snuck away with the win in spite of how poorly they played. It’s actually remarkable that the Bulls had 12 more shot attempts and still lost.
If you’re looking for some silver linings, I’d highlight the fact that Mike Budenholzer had a pretty tight rotation from the jump. That was necessitated by the scoreline, but I’d rather we skip from A to Z with nine days of rest to work off of. You’d expect Khris to average fewer than seven turnovers a game, Giannis is a menace, and Pat Connaughton’s shooting percentage should head upwards as well. The dual wing defense of Jrue Holiday and Wes Matthews also has promise and flexibility.
So the Bucks messed around and nearly found out. Regardless, they emerge one win closer to a repeat. I’ll take that.
As NBA playoffs begin, Bucks and Suns aim for Finals rematch (Washington Post)
A good piece to set the NBA playoff table here. Amid the noise it does indeed look quite likely that the Suns will come out of the West. Whether Milwaukee can manage to do the same from the East is another question. Giannis will be the best player in any series, but whether our second, third, and fourth-best players match up or overawe their counterpart is more of an open question than most of us probably like from night to night.
One Thing to Watch in Every NBA First-Round Playoff Series (The Ringer)
Zach Kram has been very good all year long with his NBA coverage, which is why his “one thing” for Bucks-Bulls being nothing at all is so hilarious. This was, of course, written prior to yesterday’s game, but the dynamics underlying both teams do make the mismatch that much wider.
De’Aaron Fox details how Giannis’ strength caused season-ending hand injury (NBC Sports)
Breaking news: Giannis is big and strong. More at 9.
Fan Post of the Week
Is it tasteless to make a he is risen joke a day after Easter? Apologies if so, but R983 is officially back with the triumphant return of definitive player rankings. Please consider, for your reading pleasure, “Player Ranking Top 20 - 2022” and “Player Ranking: Top 21-50 - 2022”. And the best part is, R983 takes on suggestions and edits along the way, so you too can have a say in shaping how the rankings turn out!
Know Your Enemy
- Chicago Bulls - Blog A Bull - Bulls vs. Bucks final score: Bulls fight hard, but Milwaukee bests them 93-86 in Game 1
Yeah, it’s cheating to literally just go pull the post-game piece from the other team’s site, but that’s the latest from them. And it’s actually a really in-depth recap with a Bulls-centric point of view. If you want to go a little deeper, you can read the finely named “Big trouble for little Chicago: the Bucks’ dangerous size advantage” piece from Saturday.
The Social Media Section
Bench mob is alive and kicking
These guys look oddly alike
Please make more threes for charity’s sake
Massive respect to whichever Bucks intern has to round up these niche celebrities for appearances like this
"To our allies in the Kingdom of Milwaukee.."— Milwaukee Bucks (@Bucks) April 16, 2022
Jrue & Sando received a special message from the cast of @TheLastKingdom and they were geeked. pic.twitter.com/WtlBBlOqGW
Brandon Jennings: Truth teller.
Bro deleted this but he was spitting pic.twitter.com/xGSCOqVKjM— Deezy (@DozManDark) April 18, 2022
Proof that BJ3 is on to something, if you needed it
Thompson also said he challenged Nikola Vucevic to “be the best big in the series.”— K.C. Johnson (@KCJHoop) April 15, 2022
Sounds like Thompson challenged a lot of teammates. https://t.co/B94x80TOvC
Zion has always looked up to Marques and continues to do so to this day
this is how we talk about marques johnson's annual birthday dunk videos https://t.co/vCohcs3l0b— punished piss shiddleton (@rynrly) April 14, 2022
Taking bulletin board material to new heights
Dawg… pic.twitter.com/hdU461Moyo— Michael Grady (@Grady) April 17, 2022
Nets in 6!#NetsWorld #Playoffs— Thon Maker ™ (@ThonMaker14) April 17, 2022
The best nightly quote in the league is right here in the Twin Cities
Anthony Edwards said he likes playing Memphis because they matchup up so well against each other.— Chris Hine (@ChristopherHine) April 16, 2022
"1 through 15 ... to the equipment guys."
Apologies for a bit of a short MMMR this week. The media didn’t give me a whole bunch to work off of, and once we get into the playoffs this last section becomes somewhat obsolete. Anyways, the series moves on to Game 2 in Milwaukee on Wednesday with an 8:30 PM Central tip, Game 3 takes us to Chicago on Friday, and a potentially pivotal Game 4 will be played at noon in Chicago on Sunday.
Here’s to hoping the good parts of yesterday are here to stay, and the bad parts fade into the mists of the past.