State of the Bucks – Week 23
State of the Bucks – A Weekly Review and Preview of the Milwaukee Bucks’ Previous and Upcoming Weeks
Last Week’s Results :
vs. Sacramento, Lost 97-90
@ New York, Won 102-96
vs. Chicago, Lost 95-87
@ Charlotte, Lost 87-86
I’ve always done my best to be an optimist. As a fan, you cheer for the highs and scream for the lows. As a neutral observer, you work with facts, figures, statistics, and weight out the likely scenarios based on past production and future potential. For the Milwaukee Bucks as it stands today, there are very few scenarios in which they make the playoffs at the end of this season. Is it possible they wiggle their way into the postseason? Mathematically, yes. 3 games out of the playoffs with 9 games remaining presents a mathematical opportunity. Judging on past production and future potential? Simply, no. There will be more on this topic at the end.
Player of the Week:
A couple of players actually had quality weeks. Carlos Delfino continues to pave the way, sustaining the high level of shooting he has seen in recent weeks. His hot hand must have been a bit contagious on the inside, especially with Andrew Bogut who looked very comfortable in the post.
Other Standout Players :
Jon Brockman continues to be the guy who gets his hands dirty. He’ll never command a starting spot, but he seems to be content as a role player who does all the things the other players won’t. He can usually be trusted to make good decisions with the basketball, and he even has the ability to make a few trick shots, as we saw this past week .
Highlights of the Week:
Winning in New York? Awesome. The Knicks aren’t in danger of missing the playoffs, but the win on the road helped the Bucks reach double digit wins away from the Bradley Center. This past decade, no team has made the playoffs with less than 10 road wins. If nothing else, it’s at least a benchmark to separate the teams close to the playoffs from those with no hope at all. If the Bucks joined a horseshoe league, they’d love to talk about how close they are.
Disappointment of the Week :
The loss to Charlotte might be the nail in the coffin. How does this team bounce back from a game in which they lead by six with 3 minutes left but failed to score the rest of the way? Brandon Jennings was disgusted with the defeat, kicking everything in his path on the way off the court. That complete emotional investment is what was missing this entire season.
This Week’s Games :
Wednesday March 30th, @ Toronto
Friday April 1st, @ Indiana
Saturday April 2nd, vs. Philadelphia
Tuesday April 5th, @ Orlando
The final 9 games. 3 games out of the playoffs. Let’s talk numbers:
Milwaukee has 3 games left at home, 3 somewhat-easy games against Philadelphia, Cleveland and Toronto. Those are absolute must-wins. That is the simple part. It gets a little more difficult when discussing the final 6 road games: Toronto (20-53), Indiana (33-42) and Detroit (26-47) are the worst of those teams. Then again, the Bucks don’t always bring their best against the worst teams. Orlando (47-27), Miami (51-22) and Oklahoma City (48-24) are all fighting for playoff positioning and won’t make life easy for the Bucks. By winning the 3 home games and the 3 weaker of the road games, the Bucks would finish the year 35-47 while picking up one game from Indiana.
There are a lot of ifs because Milwaukee has to get through two teams: Indiana and Charlotte. Their backs are against the wall and they need to play like it. When the Green Bay Packers faced the possibility of missing the playoffs at the end of their season, they came out swinging. How will the Bucks respond? That aggression from Jennings after the Charlotte loss? That must be sustained over the final 9 games. The simple solution: win all 9 of those games. The difficult solution? Sprinkle in a few losses down the final stretch and hope for a miracle.
Milwaukee Brian’s Bucks Report runs from Wednesday-Tuesday and covers all the highlights, all the highs and lows of the 2010-11 Milwaukee Bucks season. Topics can be found at Pocket Doppler – The Wisconsin Sports Blog and Milwaukee Brian Sports