It was about the halfway point during my visit to the local Dave & Busters when I came to a realization. While playing “Time Crisis 7: Less Time 2 Die Than B4” and physically barrel rolling over the main console so that the various onlookers — in the main, underemployed Millennials and young families — understood I take everything I do seriously, the idea that Jae Crowder is Milwaukee’s buyout guy smacked me in the face like a pesky flaming bullet from a virtual Time Terrorist.
There shouldn’t be much lament for the Bucks having not nabbed any of the usual suspect buyout guys. Patrick Beverly, Reggie Jackson, and so far Will Barton are all players who will have wanted to find playing time and the possibility of another professional contract this summer. Now that the Bucks are rolling 10 to 11 rotation guys deep, the ability to offer a consistent sizable role isn’t there (see: Serge Ibaka). So, then, we are stuck with two options on the free agency market. First, the half-retirees who have wisdom to offer and not much else — Marvin Williams and Pau Gasol belong to this vaunted group — or second, fringe players who may searching for any breakthrough opportunity.
Jae Crowder fits the bill as an extremely high-end buyout guy, though. He will absolutely play, and probably play a lot. Milwaukee has his Bird Rights and so can pay him a bunch this offseason if all goes well. He was acquired for, frankly, next to nothing in terms of outgoing assets. His previous employer had no inclination to work to keep him around and so happily threw him into a trade goodie bag to be rid of him. In many ways, Crowder is the perfect buyout candidate. Trader Jon strikes again.
Milwaukee Bucks Khris Middleton invests in farming (TMJ4)
The one thing I’m most confused by by this story is why it takes two dozen pro athletes’ money to buy up 104 acres of land in northern Iowa. I haven’t checked land prices in a bit and maybe NI is a real estate hot spot on the level of a Miami, NYC, or LA, but shouldn’t Khris be capable of buying 104 acres on his lonesome if he wanted to? What kind of scam is being run here?
In a Season of Parity, Style Is Paramount (The Ringer)
Good point here about how no team in the league is so dominant that it has forced every other competitor to alter their approach to match them. The Warriors still exist, but are a shadow of their former selves; teams work to have a “Giannis stopper” on the roster, but can also be content throwing a wall his way to see if that works, etc. Still, I can’t help feeling that the East is really up for grabs between two teams only — Mahoney’s theory will apply better to the West this season, though.
Focused on an NBA playoff push, Joel Embiid says Sixers ‘not worried about Boston or Milwaukee’ (Philadelphia Inquirer)
Anyone else hear that buzzing noise? It sounds a lot like a fly that keeps hitting a window in vain.
The best interpretation of the quote in the headline is that the Sixers aren’t worried about Boston or Milwaukee because Philly is too busy worrying about the Wizards or the Bulls as being their true competition.
Our Not-Quite-Midseason NBA Awards & Can The NBA’s Experimental Endgame Make It To Games That Count? (FiveThirtyEight)
First piece is fun with random award categories for your perusal, and the second piece is interesting if only because Adam Silver is the kind of commissioner who might just alter the entire fabric of basketball as people have understood it for decades and decades solely due to online meme potential.
Fan Post of the Week
Dave in Madtown has questions, and I know our illustrious commentariat has answers for, “How to get the Bucks past the Celtics...or the Heat..or the Sixers...”. I believe dsereno4 is a first-time FPOTW winner, so congrats Dave for the victory! And I appreciate an attempt at reevaluating the threes > twos debate in the context of Milwaukee’s specific roster construction. The team is past its heaviest Let It Fly phase (although they still take a metric ton of threes relative to competition), so maybe Mike Budenholzer is on a similar track mindset-wise to you.
Head over to read Dave’s questions yourselves, and I encourage you to jump in the comments if you haven’t already!
Know Your Enemy (Until SBNation Ceases to Exist)
Brooklyn Nets - Nets Daily - ‘We need to make the playoffs and just be a scary team’
- The Nets have finally completed their story arc. Once a “frisky young team who could make some noise in the playoffs” to a mercenary clown car to a “frisky young team who could make some noise in the playoffs”. Kyrie was only half right: Time is a flat circle, not the Earth.
Orlando Magic - Orlando Pinstriped Post - Thank you Magic fans, it’s been quite a ride
- OPP is one of our sister sites who definitively got the cut from Vox — the content well dried up there after this post to merely game threads as the place shuts down for good. The staff gave us one last parting shot, though, and I appreciate just how similar SBN blogger stories are across the country.
Philadelphia 76ers - Liberty Ballers - James Harden is making history and the Sixers’ offense hum
Washington Wizards - Bullets Forever - For Wizards fans, this All-Star Weekend was forgettable
- I really appreciate that the author zigged where I thought they were going to zag. Expecting a lament that the Wizards are disrespected, I instead found a Wiz fan lamenting that the organization has been so incompetent for so long that nobody outside of DC (or maybe even inside) cares enough to have a single member of the roster appear in any All-Star event.
The Social Media Section
Here’s the only tweet that mattered this past week:
Jason Kidd: “I’m not the savior here. I’m not playing. I’m watching, just like you guys. As a team, we’ve got to mature. … We’ve got to grow up.”— Tim MacMahon (@espn_macmahon) February 26, 2023
What a dweeb. Isn’t Kyrie halfway to collecting social security checks already? Lol.
Riley’s 2022-2023 Weekly Prediction Record: 33-27
Milwaukee’s Actual 2022-2023 Record: 43-17
After all that time away, the Bucks are right back in the grinder with four games coming up this week. They start in Brooklyn tomorrow night, get back to Milwaukee to host the Magic on Wednesday, have the Sixers visit on Saturday, and finish things on the road in DC to play the Wizards on Sunday.
Until proven otherwise, I will continue to back the team to win everything. 4-0 upcoming. Book it.