It’s nothing personal, the Milwaukee Bucks were an embarrassment against the Kings

Carlos Delfino, Donte Greene

AP Photo/Jeffrey Phelps

A record setting embarrassment against the Boston Celtics on the road is one thing. A back breaking defeat (on two days rest) at home to an NBA doormat on the verge of re-locating and playing without the face of their franchise is something else entirely.

There’s very few positive things to take away from the Milwaukee Bucks‘ 97-90 soul-crushing loss to the Anaheim Royals Sacramento Kings Wednesday night. As Wayne Larrivee, the voice of the Green Bay Packers, said four times this NFL season: “There is your playoff dagger.”

By Jake McCormick [Read more…]

Bogut-less Milwaukee Bucks defense solid in win over Detroit Pistons

Jon Brockman

This definitely happened

The Milwaukee Bucks tossed a proverbial monkey off their backs with a 92-90 victory over the Detroit Pistons Tuesday night. It may have been the size of a Pygmy Marmoset, but it was still a monkey that had prevented the Bucks from beating the Pistons in their previous two meetings.

By Jake McCormick [Read more…]

Bucks tranquilize the Timberwolves to sweep the season series

By Jake McCormick

Synopsis:
Two words: Total domination. [Read more…]

Brandon Jennings vs. Tyreke Evans: A referendum for Rookie of the Year

Evans

By Jake McCormick

The 2009-10 Milwaukee Bucks and Sacramento Kings were expected to spend more time in the basement of their respective conferences than Jerry Stiller in the King of Queens. But thanks to the accelerated development of point guards Tyreke Evans and Brandon Jennings and some added help from previously unknown Euros (Omir Casspi, Ersan Ilyasova), both teams have been a pleasant surprise to their fan bases. [Read more…]

Kobe Bryant does work against the Milwaukee Bucks

Kobe

By Jake McCormick

Editor’s note: For the rest of the season, I’ll be breaking down Milwaukee Bucks games as if they are a national security measure – literally. I’ll be using the Department of Homeland Security’s terrorist color coding system to grade the team, with Green being the highest high and Red being the lowest low. I’m already putting the system to a better use than its current purpose.

George W. Bush once said, “There’s an old saying in Tennessee — I know it’s in Texas, probably in Tennessee — that says, fool me once, shame on — [pauses] – shame on you. Fool me — You can’t get fooled again.” [Read more…]

Milwaukee Bucks early 2000s dominate all-decade team

Bucks

By Jake McCormick

The last 10 years of Milwaukee Bucks basketball have followed a  success arc similar to former point guard Damon Stoudamire. When Stoudamire broke into the league as a Toronto Raptor, he won the Rookie of the Year award and averaged 20 points and nine assists in two and a half years in Canada. After a trade to Portland, Stoudamire’s role diminished and he never topped his career highs in assists, points, and rebounds again.

The 2000-01 Bucks won 52 games and came within one game of the NBA Finals, but the team has only managed one season above .500 (42-40, 2002-03) and two seasons at the Mason-Dixon line since then. Despite their best efforts, the Bucks made the playoffs in three years and fizzled out faster than a reality show contestant’s fame.

After two 50 loss seasons and a near miss with 48 last year, GM John Hammond and Scott Skiles have seemingly started to get back to the future of the decade’s early glory. But because of the Bucks’ recent 1-4 skid, bringing their current record to 8-7, I think it would be appropriate to relive the highs of the last 10 years through an honorary all-decade team. Hopefully, it helps Brandon Jennings and a close to fully healthy cast (Andrew Bogut comes back tonight, and Michael Redd and Luc Richard Mbah a Moute are just around the corner) take on three divisional opponents in the next four games.

Keep in mind, the 2000s have NOT been especially good to the Milwaukee Bucks. But if you’re reading this, you probably know that already.

Milwaukee Bucks All-Decade Team
Sam CassellSamCassell
It’s too early to put Brandon Jennings here, so the obvious choice is Cassell. He holds the fifth spot in total assists as a Buck and second in assists per game. I wonder if anyone still owns a Sam Cassell jersey?

Ray Allen
Allen was money for the Bucks in the early 2000s, plain and simple. He was the only reason (and a bit of K.G.) I was OK with watching the Boston Celtics buy a championship.

Glenn Robinson
One of the Big Three from 2000-01 and one of three easy choices to round out this list. Robinson is second in Bucks history in total points and first in defensive rebounds, although he surely wasn’t known for his defensive prowess.

Tim Thomas
Thomas was a budding player for his first two seasons in a Milwaukee uniform, and many players (Ray Allen, for one) have said that Thomas could’ve been the best player in the league if he applied himself. Milwaukee has relied more on guards than post players to carry the team, and Thomas is the closest thing to the four position that contributed for more than three years.

Andrew Bogut
Bogut has steadily increased his rebounding totals since his rookie year in 2005, and if healthy, can average close to 20 points and 10 rebounds every night. Bogut won’t be Dwight Howard anytime soon, but he has clearly been the best center in beer town over the past decade.

Bucks All-Decade Second Team
Mo Williams
Even though Williams’ time in Milwaukee was short lived, he spent two of his four years as a Buck averaging over 17 points and six assists per game. Williams’ is doing just fine as a Cleveland Cavalier and can attribute much of his development to Milwaukee.

BJBrandon Jennings
Jennings has only been around for a few games, but it’s clear he is taking the fast track to becoming a team leader and franchise cornerstone for many years. With Redd out, coach Scott Skiles has ran some double point guard rotations with Jennings and Luke Ridnour on the court together, so I figured this would be appropriate for the all-decade team.

Michael Redd
Redd was the only consistent scorer throughout the darkest days of the decade, and has averaged 20.4 ppg as a Buck. It has yet to be determined if Redd’s best days are behind him, but it’s hard to argue against a guy that dropped 57 points in a game to set a franchise single-game record.

Charlie Villanueva
I wish I didn’t pick a guy that played his best as a Buck in his contract year, but Villanueva is second in a very slim pool of choices. Averaging 16.2 points and 6.7 rebounds last year is definitely a respectable number for a role player.

Jamaal Magloire
If you can find a better argument for Dan Gadzuric, Joel Pryzbilla, or Scott Williams I would love to hear them. Magloire averaged a near double-double in 2005-06 and was a part of that below .500 playoff team. That’s all I got.

Bucks continue bad first half, strong second half trend with 99-85 win over Nets

Nets Bucks Basketball

By Jake McCormick

Editor’s note: I’ll be updating The Sports Bank Twitter status from the Bradley Center on a regular basis, and I’ll have a reaction to this weekend’s games on Monday.

Milwaukee Bucks head coach Scott Skiles must be the best motivational speaker since Tony Robbins. For the third game in a row, the Bucks were trailing at halftime before finishing the game the way it should’ve been started against the winless New Jersey Nets.

Down 48-41 at the half, Milwaukee came out and rattled off a 15-0 run to start the third quarter. The highlight of the run came when rookie sensation Brandon Jennings picked off a soft pass from Chris Douglas-Roberts and finishing his first NBA dunk.

“It was like a gamble, I went in for the steal and wasn’t going to dunk at first,” Jennings said. “That’s probably all you’re going to get out of me this year.”

The Bucks held the Nets to 12 points on 23% shooting in the third, while making 57% of their own shots. Milwaukee is now 4-1 when trailing at halftime, and could’ve very easily been 5-0 if not for Dirk’s last second heroics Monday. Skiles said he isn’t content to sit on strong second halves, especially as the team gets into a regular NBA schedule and takes on tougher opponents.

“We’re trying to figure it out, trying to find a way to set a better tone at the beginning of the game,” Skiles said. “We’re easing our way into the game, and we need leadership out there.”

Nets Bucks BasketballPart of the team’s ability to comeback in games can be attributed to a surprisingly deep bench, most notably a point guard that acts, leads, and plays like a starter. Luke Ridnour continued his strong play off the Bucks’ bench, scoring 17 points, four rebounds and three assists. It’ll be interesting to see what Skiles decides to do when Michael Redd comes back, because Ridnour and Jennings are making a case for shared floor time. Ridnour especially has been making his signature three dribbles and pull up jumpers from midrange with relative ease while helping Milwaukee fans forget all about the loss of Ramon Sessions.

“My whole approach is to try to come in and bring energy,” Ridnour said. “Whatever I can do, not just me but anybody else who comes off bench, tries to bring energy as much as we can.”

While Andrew Bogut had what can now be called a regular night (21 points, 11 rebounds, besting Brook “Shrek” Lopez), small forward Carlos Delfino chipped in 21 points, four rebounds and six assists of his own in his best game of the year.

With Luc Richard Mbah a Moute out with a leg injury, Delfino seized the opportunity and displayed a shooting touch from the outside that had to make Skiles a little more confident in the overall makeup of his team.

Milwaukee and its grinder defense heads into a match up with the low scoring Charlotte Bobcats. The Bucks could very well finish the homestand with a 5-1 record, which plays nicely into the first big road trip of the season starting Saturday. It’s still too early to think Milwaukee can keep shooting Ws every night, but the upcoming road trip and Michael Redd’s return should shed some light on where this team is headed this season and as an organization.