The Milwaukee Bucks – lovable underdogs or suddenly overrated?
Milwaukee, the citizens and the sports teams, have typically thrived under the radar. National attention has been rare and to be completely honest, typically undeserved.
But suddenly, things have changed. Everyone is talking about the Bucks and everyone is, “Fearing the Deer”. The most recent example comes in the latest GQ, as Brandon Jennings woos R&B singer Ciarra and GQ reflects on the rookie’s affliction for Twitter.
And Jennings hasn’t been the only one getting notice lately.
- Bill Simmons of ESPN.com kept a running diary of the Bucks-Hawks game starting in the fourth quarter. Spoiler alert: he’s convinced the Bucks are legit.
- Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated details just how intense Scott Skiles is and how well he’s done in his job as Bucks coach this season.
- Chris Tomasson of AOL Fanhouse piles on as he writes about how the Bucks have “bucked expectations.”
And I could go on.
Slowly but surely, the Bucks are turning the corner and going from darkhorse to trendy pick, and that’s dangerous ground. It takes a good team to unseat opponents that don’t see them coming, but it takes a great team to hold off the opposition when that opposition has been hearing about how great the team they’re about to play is. The Hawks were all the rage at the start of the season as they distinguished themselves amongst the top four in the East and the Celtics were still the Celtics at the start of the year.
But as the Bucks continue to win and the Hawks and Celtics hold steady, Milwaukee is becoming the flavor of the moment. Suddenly, there aren’t many stories about the Hawks and their consistent winning ways. Consistency is boring.
As for the Celtics? More and more people are beginning to shovel dirt on the grave of the veteran laden Celtics. Suddenly, Milwaukee could be heading into a first round series against the Celtics as favorites in many circles, giving the Celtics more motivation and something to stew over. Yes, playoff basketball is motivation in itself and you’ll hear everyone say if a team needs bulletin board material at that time of the year, they shouldn’t be there anyway, but who doesn’t like sticking it to critics?
Wouldn’t the Celtics like nothing more than to shut everyone up come playoff time and pulverize their first round opponent, whomever it may be?
If the Bucks keep winning I don’t foresee the attention their getting now to slow much, if at all. And while it seems unlikely that it would directly impact the efforts or play of the Bucks themselves (this is a very quiet group who gives me the impression that they don’t care much about their own press clippings) it could have an adverse effect on the team by virtue of motivating their opponents.