[waits for applause to die down]
Hello ladies and gentlemen, welcome to a night full of stars! Well some stars. Kinda stars. No All-Stars, but stars to us nonetheless. [gestures to random spot in the front row] This guy gets it.
I am Eric Buenning, your host for the evening and I’m glad you all could join myself and the millions of viewers at home for this event.
Tonight, we celebrate the past 82 days of Milwaukee Bucks basketball and the emotions that have come from it.
Let’s not waste any more time. We all have places to be.
Please welcome our first presenter, Bradley Lindberg (who you all know and love as the voice in the beginning of the critically acclaimed Bucksketball podcast)!
The nominees for Milwaukee Bucks Rookie of the Year are…
Doron Lamb! Lamb, the 6-foot-5 guard drafted out of Kentucky and chosen with the 42nd overall pick. He is averaging 3.4 points .9 assists and .7 rebounds this season. He was recently called back up from his stint with the Fort Wayne Mad Ants and is looking to turn his stroke around and play a valuable backup guard position in the second half of the season.
John Henson! He is a 6-foot-11 forward out of North Carolina selected as the 14th overall pick. He is averaging 6.1 points 4.4 rebounds and .6 blocks in only 13 minutes a game for the Bucks. In January, he has started to come into his own, averaging over 18 minutes with almost 10 points, 7 rebounds, 1 block, and 1 assist a game. Making the most of his opportunity, we expect to see big things from Henson going forward.
And the Winner is…..
JOHN HENSON! Not only has his performance on the court been impressive, but his great attitude towards the game of basketball and the Bucks organization have stood out.
Thank you, Bradley. You look stunning in that dress, by the way.
Our next category is best play. To present the award, we have avid Bucks fan Andy Goodman. The floor is yours, Andy.
The nominees for best play are..
Although this happened in garbage time of an easy victory over the Suns, the hilarity of Sanders cupping his hand over his eyes is something we won’t soon forget.
What made this close back and forth overtime affair in Boston all the more exhilarating was when Jennings and Sanders leaked out for a 2-on-1 fastbreak against defensive force Kevin Garnett. Good things were to be expected from this break, but those expectations were blown away when Jennings lobbed one up for Sanders, with Larry finishing emphatically, all up in Kevin Garnett’s business. It was awesome.
The home opener was capped off by an electric buzzer-beating three by Jennings, and it sent the whole arena into a frenzy. It also was the finishing touches on Jennings winning Eastern Conference Player of the Week.
And the winner is…
Brandon Jenning’s buzzer beater against Cleveland! Why is it the best play? Well, it’s pretty self- explanatory. It won them the game and got them off to a 2-0 start. Also, Brandon was struggling that night, hitting only 4 of his 12 shots before the game winner. The play was nicely drawn up, Jennings came off a nice screen from Ekpe Udoh, Mike Dunleavy delivered a perfect chest pass to Brandon who hit the shot as time expired. Pretty exciting way to open up the season at the BMO Harris Bradley Center.
Our next presenter is a frequenter to ESPN.com’s Daily Dime Live chat and Bucks fan, Eric Rosenthal.
The Nominees for Milwaukee Bucks Most Improved Player are…
Jennings has really stepped up as the leader of the Bucks this year. His on ball defense has improved greatly, and his scoring has gone up to 22 points per game in January. He might notch his first All-Star game appearance, and if he keeps getting better at this rate, the 23 year old point guard will be a cornerstone of the franchise.
Sanders has been the most exciting player on the Bucks all season. He has been a one man swat team, averaging a league-high 3.15 blocks per game despite only playing 25 minutes a night. He has improved his FG%, FT%, Points, Rebounds, Assists, Blocks, and Steals from last year and making Bucks fans forget about Andrew Bogut rather quickly.
(Cut to Eric (host) sobbing heavily)
And the winner for Most Improved Player is…
This was a rather easy choice. Sanders has exploded on to the scene this year, becoming a dominant rebounding and shot-blocking big man. His offensive game is also much improved, and he will soon be a double-double machine. At only 24 years old, he has a very bright future ahead of him.
Thank you, Eric. Are you growing out that beard for an upcoming role? No? Alright then, moving on.
Our next category is for best Bucks Twitter account. Presenting the award is Bucks fanatic Mitchell Vomhof. Take it away, Mitchell!
As we all know, one of the most important parts of being a professional athlete is maintaining an outstanding social media presence. In the category of “Best Twitter”, your nominees are…
For outstanding and consistent use of the #TERRIBLE hashtag…
And Ekpe Udoh
And the winner is…
BRANDON JENNINGS! He’s usually got something interesting to say, and honestly, those jerseys are pretty sweet.
Thank you, Mitch. Always a pleasure seeing you. Say hi to the wife and kids.
We’d now like to take minute and remember those we’ve lost, whether it be via trades or free agency.
[Quickly rushes through a slideshow of Andrew Bogut, Stephen Jackson, Shaun Livingston, and Jon Leuer].
Our next award is for Coach of the Year. Sadly, sometimes you have to present an award like this in a season. Our nominees are:
Skiles’ fervor for consistent defense was something to be respected. He demanded the best out of himself and his players, and always brought the intensity.
After taking over for Skiles, Boylan has led the Bucks to a 6-2 record and has somehow brought forth better versions of Brandon Jennings and Ersan Ilyasova. He has embraced the head coaching role and seems to be having fun with this group of guys.
And the winner is….
JIM BOYLAN! In a mild upset and only after coaching 8 games, Boylan wins the award for being a part of the Bucks resurgence after it appeared that they were heading into a tailspin. Boylan may not be the main reason for the Bucks recent run of success, but he surely can’t be ignored for the quick (if even temporary) fix.
We’ll now take minute and thank our sponsors with this brief commercial break.
[Cut to the Marshfield Clinic commercials we all know and “love”].
Welcome back, while you were gone, the following awards were given:
Best nickname: Larry Sanders (Dr. Blocktopus)
Best moment: Brandon Jennings buzzer-beater
Lifetime Achievement Award: Jim Paschke & John McGlocklin
Our last award for the evening is for Bucks’ Most Valuable Player. To present the award is Behind the Buck Pass writer Dakota Schmidt. Dakota!
Your nominees for Bucks MVP are.
Despite not really making improvements since last season, Brandon is still without a doubt the leader of this team. Just the way he’s taken over games this season (i.e Portland victory on January 19th) alone has made him worth of being the Bucks MVP. The skeptics might look at his shooting percentage and laugh but there would be no way Milwaukee would be in the position they currently are today. I’ve changed it
One of the coolest players in all of the NBA has to be Dunleavy with just how smooth he is every time he touches the ball. Sure he will never be the quickest or most athletic guy on the court but you get the feeling the ball will go through the basket before he even shoots. His .440 3P% is 5th in all of the NBA which has been used to make some extremely clutch shots for the 7th seeded Bucks.
Before the season I really don’t think a lot of people were expecting much out of this 6’11 center but his overall production has not only shocked Bucks fans but the rest of the NBA in general. Sure his league leading block totals (3.15 BPG) are fantastic but just the overall energy he brings to the team night in and night out have not only made him a leader on the front-court but also a leader on this team.
And…the winner is…
..heh. Wow, these envelopes are hard to open!
LARRY SANDERS! The big man who has taken the art of the blocked shot to a whole new level, while also making an insane amount of progress and becoming a key part of the Bucks future.
Alright, everyone that wraps up tonight’s ceremonies. Please, tip your waitstaff. They’ve worked hard all night. Drive home safely.
A big thank you to Mitchell, Eric, Dakota, Bradley, and Andy for their contributions. This would have been a lot worse without them.