It’s February! That happened quick! What happened to January!? Where’d it go?! I have no idea. It’s also 2013, guys. That’s crazy. It’s the future. And because it’s the future, anything is possible. Like flying cars! Or instant pizza! Preferably instant pizza because pizza is pizza and I wouldn’t trust a stinkin’ flying car. You know what else is possible in the future? The Milwaukee Bucks being only 3.5 games out of both first place in the Central Division and the 3rd seed in the Eastern Conference. It’s a long shot but who cares. It’s the future! So let’s dig up some optimism, get our popcorn ready and enjoy the Bucks next nine games before the February 21 trade deadline. Today is a new day and anything could happen. Sort of. Here’s your recap of the week that was.
Speaking of the future, yesterday the Bucks announced that February will be throwback month and that these will be the team’s jerseys for the entire month. Begin rejoicing.
Also yesterday, Steve von Horn of Brew Hoop released Volume 3 of his infinite-volume LARRY SANDERS! Block Party series. This article covers blocks 21-40 for Sanders this season and it, like the previous two volumes, is great.
On Wednesday, Kirk Goldsberry of Grantland charted the worst shooters in the NBA from different areas of the floor. All-star snub Monta Ellis makes an appearance on the chart as the worst shooter from the left elbow, where he shoots 27%. Good job, good effort!
Also on Wednesday, David Thorpe of ESPN made an appearance on TrueHoop TV with Henry Abbott to discuss players he thinks have “massive potential.” Thorpe mentions Tobias Harris, saying that he is “enormously talented” and that “we shouldn’t be surprised if a year from now [he’s] a solid player on a good team […] but we also shouldn’t be surprised if he’s a nobody playing in Poland in two years.” (Harris discussion starts at 05:35.)
Also also on Wednesday, Dan Sinclair of Brew Hoop ranked players from the 2010 draft class. Sanders came in at number six on Sinclair’s list, which is of course incredible value for a 15th pick. At this point, I would have Sanders at fifth ahead of the Jazz’s Derrick Favors because I hypothetically wouldn’t trade Sanders for Favors and that’s how I rank players.
Amin Elhassan at ESPN Insider wrote about five under-the-radar players so far this season. Sanders makes an appearance, with Elhassan mentioning stats that we hear often, but that I can’t get enough of:
“Despite playing the equivalent of 2 quarters a game, Sanders leads the league in blocks per game (3.1) and is also the league leader in block percentage (8.9). His combination of “aircraft carrier” length, leaping ability and reaction time allow him to also be a force on the offensive and defensive glass (ORB: 11.3; DRB: 25.1).”
On Monday, Matt Moore of CBS Sports wrote about the current candidates for the league’s Most Improved Player and he thinks that Sanders is in fifth place. He also has Sanders in the fourth place spot for defensive player of the year. Here’s a fun quote:
“He’s a blocks machine, but that stat is often empty. In truth, he’s mastered the art of protecting the rim, managing rotations and containing penetration while not allowing his man easy scores routinely. This is the hardest thing in the NBA to do right now in a half-court set and Sanders is elite at it.”
On Sunday, Lori Nickel of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel wrote a great feature on Sanders and his creative spirit. If you haven’t read it yet, read it now. And if you’ve already read it, read it again. I love that everyone loves Larry.
Finally, this photo of Mike Dunleavy happened: