New names, new faces, new season! It’s all so exciting, isn’t it? As if they walked right out of a formless fog, your Milwaukee Bucks are most of the way back to actual game action. Better news than their return is that they’re bringing a full complement of players to camp between the guaranteed contract fellows (15 of them now that Jordan Nwora is coming along for the ride) and the five two-way/camp deal guys (Sandro Mamukelashvili, AJ Green, Marques Bolden, Luca Vildoza, and Lindell Wigginton).
The real interest for the year can begin now with the chess pieces more or less set. Milwaukee now has at their disposal some young players who could develop a little and help out here (see: MarJon Beauchamp or Mamu in his fever dreams), a young guy who could easily be sold as a fixer-upper to other front offices (Nwora), and a load of old dudes who will hopefully not even sniff the court much when playoff rotation cutdown time comes (Serge Ibaka, George Hill, Wes Matthews). To me, that feels like a roster that will be begging for mid-season consolidation in some form or another, and GM Jon Horst now has some ammo to throw into a moderately sized trade to get the trade machine to light up green.
So for now, we’ve got 20 guys in Bucks uniforms. That will whittle down quickly through preseason, and then it’s a waiting game to see if/when a player elsewhere can’t just be gotten at the right price to be added to a rotation. Unlike last season, though, it won’t be nigh impossible to come up with a combination of salaries to make it happen.
This is the kind of bit a touring artist uses to endear themselves further to the crowd beyond simple cries of “WE LOVE YOU (insert town name here)”. The beat was fine, a little plain to be honest, but I look forward to seeing what Mr. Black can workshop it into for their next album.
Giannis has climbed to the top of the ranking of ESPN’s top 100 NBA players, which to be honest comes as a complete surprise to me. Not because he isn’t deserving, obviously, but that I’d figured the outlet in question would have docked him a few points for not having dragged us past the Celtics mostly by himself.
We’ve reached the point in his career now where major leaps in skillset or ability just isn’t all that feasible. Instead, it is about the continual honing of what he does in conjunction with the team around him. His dominance and the ways he imposes it increasingly becomes as much a mental game as it is about physical training.
Some more detail on the short film Giannis starred in that debuted last week — I’m planning on watching some time this coming week and hope to write a little about it. I love the idea of their taking cues from Homer’s Odyssey as a way to tell Giannis’s story as a young man growing up far from the shores of his parents’ birth, grounded in Greek life, and then getting sent further afield on an American journey as essentially a kid. Here’s hoping if it goes well we get more of the same work with Giannis directly at the center of it all chronicling the way he continues to change as he ages.
If they’re actually going to follow-through on the take foul rule change — and color me skeptical as NBA refs backed way off ignoring the James Harden special flopping after the first three weeks of last season — we may never lose a game again. It was a shame it got so out of hand because transition play offers some of the most exciting sequences in any given game. Anything we can do to penalize throwing a flowing sequence right into the mud will generally be a good thing.
Could Khris Middleton Leave The Bucks Following 2022-23 NBA Season? (Sports Illustrated)
What’s the saying? If a headline ends in a question mark, the answer is “yes”? Which is to say, yes, in a very technical sense, Khris Middleton could indeed leave when his current contract is up (if he forgoes his $40 million guaranteed player option for next season). The odds of that happening, though, are slim to none, if only because neither party benefits from his just walking away into weirdo free agency.
Fan Post of the Week
The calm before the storm that will be furious amounts of regular season Fan Posting, surely.
The Social Media Section
Coach Budenholzer had ankle replacement surgery about a month ago. Says he’s TBD on the sidelines (has a scooter)— Justin García (@tmjgarcia) September 25, 2022
I’m not sure which has me more shook: Jordan being back or Serge re-upping like five seconds into free agency
I guarantee this is one of his personal highlights of 2022. God King Goof continues his reign.
This is one of the funniest tweets I’ve ever read. Ain’t no fuel like righteous indignation
No need for revenge. Just sit back and wait. Those who hurt you will eventually screw up themselves and if you're lucky, God will let you watch.— Enes FREEDOM (@EnesFreedom) September 22, 2022
Fingers crossed a full summer in Suki’s PED program will help get this guy to his old form
"I thought about it (retirement), I thought about it hard. Sometimes you can get inside yourself. I felt like I let the city of Milwaukee down last year"— Justin García (@tmjgarcia) September 25, 2022
Confirmed footage of Milwaukee MJ without a cast on
Pluto’s a cutie
By vision, I hope he literally means his ability to pass to teammates
Not a single sign that his entire back is reconstructed scrap metal
The Cavaliers finally have some recent-vintage championship-winning leadership for that young roster of theirs
Cavaliers sign Mamadi Diakite to training camp deal https://t.co/iHpSHMuvK0— SB Nation NBA (@SBNationNBA) September 22, 2022
Bucks basketball is back this week with the preseason getting underway this Friday at home with Milwaukee hosting the Memphis Grizzlies. That will precede the team getting on a flight to the UAE to play the Hawks twice in Abu Dhabi.
Preseason games generally work on a sort of bell curve, with limited action for starters and main rotation guys in the first outing before they work their way to a “maximum” effort in the second or third game before tailing back off prior to the real season. Heck, don’t be surprised if we get some weird starting lineup shenanigans right away this week with Khris Middleton out and the entire team one bout of Giannis knee tightness away from seeing Sandro take his starting PF role from him.
Anyways, it’s good to have the team back. Enjoy it!