What's up with the Bucks?
I asked the excellent Frank Madden of the excellent Brew Hoop Bucks blog:
The Bucks clawed out an improbable (and much needed) comeback win in Chicago on Monday, snapping a three game skid and assuring them of the Central Division lead for at least a couple more days. Not that Monday's game will necessarily tell us much about how the Bucks will play on Wednesday--it was, in technical terms, a really weird game--but some recurring themes were still to be found. Brandon Jennings was nursing a sprained ankle suffered on Saturday and Monta Ellis continued his recent tailspin, and the starters were mostly lifeless following a disappointing home loss to the Bulls on Saturday. That left the Bucks with a 78-51 deficit midway through the third, but the bench somehow managed to engineer a 27-point comeback while the Bucks much-hyped, overly-talked-about backcourt watched from the bench. Whatever, we'll take it.
The Bucks' early season success owes mostly to much-improved work on the defensive boards and their ability to transition off opponent misses and turnovers, though the Bulls exposed them on the boards with disturbing frequency in the last two games. Offensively, the Bucks are fun and fast, but that comes with the middling efficiency that you'd expect of a team relying on Ellis and Jennings to carry the offensive load. Ersan Ilyasova's aggressive terribleness through the first eleven games has also been a huge drag on an offense that relied heavily on Ilyasova and Mike Dunleavy for efficient scoring last spring, so it was encouraging to see Ersan play well for the first time all season in the fourth quarter on Monday. It was his first time coming off the bench this year and thankfully he responded well, while rookie John Henson was once again impressive in his first start of the season. Ekpe Udoh and Larry Sanders have been especially effective as defensively disruptive big men off the bench, teaming with the ball-moving Beno Udrih and Dunleavy to form one of the league's most dangerous benches.
Defending Carmelo Anthony will undoubtedly be a chore for the Bucks on Wednesday, and we'll probably see four or five different guys take on the task over the course of the game. For reference: Tobias Harris, Ekpe Udoh, Marquis Daniels and Mike Dunleavy all took their turns against LeBron James a week ago. Normally the Bucks' best option would be matching Luc Mbah a Moute against Anthony, but he's only now getting close to returning from a bum knee. Melo definitely scares me most when he's playing at the four, especially since it would likely limit the Bucks' ability to use all of their big men.
Meet the new Bucks!
Samuel Dalembert- The Bucks accidentally signed Samuel when an intern placing a staff lunch order mistook Samuel's surname for a type of cheese. When, instead of some cheese, a 6'11" Haitian man arrived at their door, they decided it'd be rude to send him back.
Marquis Daniels- Marquis signed with the Bucks only once he'd vetted every member of the organization to confirm that they'd never conducted business with any goblins. Marquis loathes goblins.
John Henson- According to reports, John's favorite Muppet is "Very funny. Fuck off."
Doron Lamb- When he's not on a basketball court, Doron's preferred mode of locomotion is to sit cross-legged on the ground and grab the ankles of those walking past him so they can tow him places.
Joel Przybilla- Joel re-signing with the Bucks is one of several moves he's made in an effort to convince everyone around him that the year is 2000. The ultimate goal of the project is to trick radio stations into putting "Who Let the Dogs Out" back into regular rotation.
Adventures in Impersonating Brandon Jennings on Omegle!
You're now chatting with a random stranger. Say hi!
Stranger: male or female?
Stranger: female :)
Stranger: i'm 17
Stranger: what's your name?
Stranger: hi bradon :) i'm december
You: december? that's a month though
Stranger: i know it's odd but that's my name
You: is your birthday in december
Stranger: no its in april
You: that's nuts
You: since april is actually a girl's name
You: cool though
You: btw my name is brandon, not bradon
Stranger: oh i'm sorry
You: it's cool
Stranger: where are you from *brandon?
You: california originally
Stranger: that's cool
You: yeah it's okay
You: now i live in milwaukee
Stranger: so your a guy that travels i see :)
You: yeah, i've been a lot of places
You: lived in italy for a little while
You: but i have to travel for my job
Stranger: that's so cool :) i live in london but i'm dying to get out
You: one thing you can do is just go work overseas instead of going to college
You: people get really mad at you but whatever
Stranger: i rather do that then stay here
You: yeah, i don't blame you
You: that's what i did
Stranger: you're lucky i'm still young
Stranger: my parents would never let me leave
You: oh oh. gotta separate them clauses
You: yeah parents can be tough
You: but you gotta chase your dream
You: even if it means sitting on the bench behind a bunch of euro scrubs for a whole season
Stranger: :D your so true. but my father always tell me my dream will never come true
You: i am so true.
You: and so are your dreams
Stranger: i hope your right brandon
You: i think you mean *you're
Stranger: curse my English
You: don't worry about it
Stranger: have you ever been to america?
Your conversational partner has disconnected.
Jim Todd Pep Talk!
listen up jimmy. jimmy. jamie. listen. i know you don't usually play a lot, but tonight is gonna be different. we're gonna need you to play like ten minutes tonight or as long as it takes to commit all six of your fouls. no coach woody doesn't know about this yet but it's a good idea so shut it. okay one of these rats we're playing tonight is this pasty faced sock licker from duke. yeah he always hits all his shots against us. well not tonight jamie. tonight you're gonna play some minutes and you're gonna foul him six times. and you're not just gonna do regular fouls. you're gonna carry this sponge with you and you're gonna smear it on him. don't squeeze the sponge too tight. don't squeeze it at all. just try to hold it by the corner. yeah there's some stuff in it. stuff. don't worry about it. okay it's mercury. yeah. just don't touch it or breathe at all and it won't be a problem. rub this thing on that rat's face and hands as much as you can and we won't have a problem with him. illegal yeah it might be illegal but so is going on the subway with a stroller full of gator eggs and that doesn't stop me. we need you tonight jimsy. no don't tell coach woody.
And now you're ready for Knicks-Bucks!