Fading to Nothing Bucks 106 Nets 95

The Bucks won. Hooray. Bigger news: they’re one loss or Sixers win away from officially being knocked out of the playoffs. So let’s be realistic – the season is over.

There’s been some talk on this blog about whether or not it was all worth it. Whether the season was just a waste and whether the last ten seasons were all also a giant waste. There’s a strong argument to be made for tanking: better chance at a franchise player which will lead to more wins and more money and more relevancy. It’s a smart move. It’s much smarter than scratching and clawing just to stay in place.

When Clayton Bennett bought the Sonics, he blew the team up. The Maloofs right now are leading a fun little tank job as part of the debacle going on in Sacramento. The guide to relocating a sports team is right out of the Major League script: blow up the team, drive attendance as low as possible, cry about revenue then run out of town as fast as possible.

I’m happy they fought this season and I’m happy they fought every other season too (the 2006-07 season not included). And I’ll support them if they continue to fight because it means ownership still cares about Milwaukee and they’re still committed to making it work.

This doesn’t mean much right now because Herb Kohl would keep the team in Wisconsin no matter what. He is selling soon though. When he sells, if the new owners blows everything up and starts tanking, it won’t necessarily be the signs of a smart, new ownership, it could be a sign of something far worse than mediocrity.

Game Notes

  • Bucks scored 53 points in the first half without hitting a single shot outside of 10 feet. There are degrees of nuance in judging defense, but if you want a really simple yes/no answer to whether or not a team plays good defense, look at how they perform against the Bucks. The Bucks offense right now is just a pretty simple motion offense full of offball movement. Good defenses pay attention to guys moving without the ball. Bad defenses like the Nets are completely flabbergasted by the idea of someone moving without the ball. The Bucks fed off cuts to the basket and fast breaks in the first half.
  • Despite the first half dominance, the game was still in jeopardy with two minutes left in the game until Brandon Jennings started raining daggers to put the game away. A big 30 point game from him would have garnered an A grade if I decided to do grades. Monta Ellis would have received a D+ with his atrocious shooting performance. The two inefficient shooters seem to exist on separate islands from the rest of the offense and the distance might be too great for them to traverse back to the team. Due to time constraints caused by the lockout(lack of practice, lack of training camp) and the Bogut/Ellis trade, it’s pretty clear that the new Bucks offense isn’t quite complete.
  • Ersan Ilyasova had 17 rebounds tonight. He is an unrestricted free agent this summer. The Bucks will never rebound again.

Categories: Recaps

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  1. Tanking doesn’t guarantee anything, and whatever happened to pride and/or professionalism? Or how about the fact that these guys are making millions of dollars and the fans deserve better? no less than 100%
    This team has been mismanaged for so long I can’t see straight.. used to like Hammond, now realizing he was overrated.. the second man to Joe Dumars.. OOOh.. how is Joe D doing as a GM right now? Charlie Villanueva and Austin Daye think he is doing just fine.. The draft is part of building a team, but so are transactions (free agency and trades for the novice). We have traded for Richard jefferson, Corey Maggete, and Stephen Jackson.. none are winners.. none buy into particular systems.. all have been helped by the talent around them.. Just wondering how any of those transactions was going to help this team long term.
    Tanking is the Dumbest thing to even suggest if you are trying to keep a franchise viable or relevant.. Don’t think for even one minute that Seattle or San Diego wouldn’t take this team as is. And let’s examine tanking for a minute. What are you really guaranteed? I really like Bradley Beal and Davis in this draft, but outside of those two guys who is a franchise player? Not a knock on all the players in this draft because there is obviously unrealized talent in every draft, but are gonna tank at the hope of getting Harrison Barnes or Jared Sullinger? Or how about those teams that got the #1 pick? How many wins have Bogut, Oden, or Andre Bargnani returned on the investment? You just have to do your the job you are payed to do and identify the best talent available.. Or if there isn’t talent available trade back or out to secure players or future draft picks.
    I do feel bad for the Bucks because of their draw as a free agent destination, but that just means the guys we get want to be here( e.g. Mike Dunleavy).. And I only want guys on my team that want to be on my team
    YOU HEAR ME BRANDON JENNINGS??????????????????????

    • PattiRafalskiDavison

       @JustinNixon Agreed!  For a shortened intense season, things really turned out okay.  It started with our franchise center leaving for Australia the first day of our West Coast trip…then concussion…then broken foot.  LRMBM & Dunleavy injured.  That was a frustrating slow start, but they pushed all the way through to a playoff bid.  SJax was toxic and BJ acted like the 22 yr old that he is after the all star break, but Jennings came around.  Otherwise, these guys kept working together and raised this team to respectable levels in most categories.  They gave us the best offense we’ve seen in years and some pretty exciting games.  They beat Miami, and hung in there with some pretty formidable opponents.  For an overall smaller team than most, they played with a lot of grit.  Jennings & Ersan have had their best seasons.  This group of men is more a “team” than most in the NBA, and these guys are fighting to get into the playoffs in the last week of the season.  They didn’t BLOW a lottery pick, they gave us a viable group of players that I’m looking forward to seeing again next year.

    •  @JustinNixon Just for your first paragraph, it seems like there’s a general misunderstanding of how tanking works. The players don’t tank. The front office tanks. They put below-average talent on the court. Every player always give 100% and a lot of the time players on tanking teams are trying the hardest because they’re D-leaguers that want to prove they belong in the NBA.

  2. I admit, I stinks to see the Bucks as such a “middle-of-the-road” team in all my years as a fan. Although, I can say that I’d rather have the team here, than have no team at all. I have faith that things will turn around for this franchise. I believe that Tobias Harris and Jon Leuer were solid draft picks and I think that they have some interesting potential. I feel like that draft was a step forward for the organization and hopefully they continue that with a nice draft this offseason. It’s disheartening to know that Milwaukee won’t lure in the big-time free agents, but on the flip-side it’s refreshing to see a player like Mike Dunleavy who really wants to be in Milwaukee and wants to be a solid contributor. Overall, I enjoyed watching the Bucks this season through all their ups and downs and I especially love listening to Jim Paschke and Jon McGlocklin’s commentary on FSN Wisconsin during the games. This offseason will be an interesting one, especially with the draft and free agency of Ersan Ilyasova. 

  3. Bucks are very lucky that Sacramento’s deal fell thru getting a new arena because otherwise they are next on the list of NBA franchises that will relocate. Bucks need a new arena, yet why buy a new arena if there isn’t a good enough product to support the arena? It’s a catch 22 that my guess will inevitably lead to the Milwaukee Bucks becoming the Kansas City (insert name here)

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