The Week Ahead (March 1st-7th)
If the Bucks want to continue to lose on the road and win at home I’ll take that. The Bucks have 12 home games left and 8 on the road, at the current pace the Bucks would end up pulling even by season’s end. (It’s March so maybe I’ll do this whole post in Green.)
Maybe not though.
The loss to New Orleans hurt. Coming back that much only to fall short on a tip in, I was sure would have residual effect for Saturday. I underestimated the terribleness of Washington. How can they be this bad? Is Gilbert Arenas that good? Does Brendan Haywood carry that much weight as a defensive force? At no point was Saturday’s game a contest. It could have been about halfway through the 4th, but my key to the rest of the season Keith Bogans drilled a big three. One of two he hit. I have hope.
The upcoming week screams OPPORTUNITY. New Jersey and Chicago are the Bucks primary competition for the eighth and final playoff spot in the East. My prediction is a 3-1 week where the Bucks can begin to spring themselves into a playoff burst. Be forewarned; my predictions usually suck.
March 3rd vs. New Jersey (26-33)
New Jersey comes back to Milwaukee on Tuesday in front of what surely will be a lively crowd. The last time Jersey came into the BC Wauwatosa legend Devin Harris missed the game with an injury. That was a helluva game. Bobby Simmons let fly a three from the corner that seemed to put the game in New Jersey’s favor, before Luke Ridnour hit a floater with less than a second left to secure it for the Bucks. This weeks game obviously has a little more weight attached to it, given the Nets are only a game and a half back from Milwaukee. Given the way that Detroit has fallen off the map as of late, none of these teams scrambling behind them has really put too much pressure on them. It’s a shame that Detroit has gotten away with this foolishness they’re calling basketball.
March 4th @ Cleveland (46-12)
Can we cancel this game? Hasn’t Lebron done enough to harm Milwaukee recently. And now apparently Cleveland will be replacing the awful Ben Wallace with the still talented Joe Smith. Smith is in his “Scott Williams Stage” now but that means he can still can a baseline jumper and be an important guy. If the Bucks win in Cleveland they should be granted a playoff bid right then and there.
March 6th @ Chicago (27-33)
The rivalry continues. I should say semi-rivalry. When Chicago last visited things got a liiitle chippy and there was actually some crowd noise involved. I’m not saying the Cubs and the Brewers need to watch out for this rivalry becoming king of the Milwaukee Chicago sports universe, but at least an interesting under current appears to be developing. I’m glad these two are battling for a playoff spot, that can only add to the distaste. I’m thinking things may get testy again with the playoff spot still on the line. The New Jersey Chicago matchups this week will go a long way towards deciding who’s playing in late April and who is sitting at home waiting for the 13th pick in the lottery.
March 7th vs. Golden State (20-39)
It’s always fun to see Don Nelson and his lovable brand of up-tempo basketball running up and down the court. Nelson has recently decided to sit one of his veterans every game to make way for a younger player. Seems like he might just be trying to piss off some guys, but you never really know what Nellie is thinking. Golden State has a ton of young guys who are fun to watch. Anthony Randolph might be a star one day. Marco Bellinelli used his last game Milwaukee to create a highlight tape. This could be the Bucks toughest game of the week or easiest game of the week. You never know what you’ll get when Don Nelson brings his brand of fun into town.