This was a good week for the Milwaukee Bucks, even with Wednesday’s loss to the Los Angeles Clippers. Brandon Jennings learned how to pass, totaling 48 assists in three games. Monta Ellis learned how to shoot, making 61.1 percent of his shots. And J.J. Redick single-handedly propelled the Bucks to victory in overtime against the Utah Jazz. The only negative of the week was Larry Sanders’ 40-game block streak being snapped in LA. But don’t worry. I commemorated the streak with a slideshow. So, the weather is getting warmer, the playoffs are getting closer, and things are looking up. Optimism! Here’s your recap of the week that was.
Lots of links this week so let’s start at Grantland. Yesterday in The Triangle, Bill Simmons talked about Mike Dunleavy, Zach Lowe had some notes about the Clippers-Bucks game, and Brett Koremenos wrote about how the Spurs are using what he calls the “Milwaukee” set.
Also from Grantland and also from Brett Koremenos, on Wednesday he wrote an amazing article about the Bucks and what they need to do to be successful. Read it and become smarter.
On Tuesday, Chris Ryan at Grantland wrote about how much he likes the new-look Bucks, saying:
“I know that lineups made up of Monta Ellis, Brandon Jennings, J.J. Redick, Ersan Ilyasova, and LARRY SANDERS! are not the stuff that Larry O’Brien Trophies are made of. All I’m saying is that I really, really like that lineup. I really like this team. So does the crowd at the Bradley Center, based on their reactions to the action last night. And if these guys want to do the Cardiac Kids/Fear the Deer 2.0 thing for the rest of March, you’ll hear no objections from me.”
That’s enough from Grantland. Over at Bucks.com, Alex Boeder wrote a great piece about the Bucks knack for coming back. More like the Milwaukee ComeBucks amiright?? HAHAHA.
At Yahoo!, Adrian Wojnarowski wrote about Redick and how he’s excited to compete for the playoffs in Milwaukee. Nice quotes from Redick in there, like:
“To be wanted here – to be wanted anywhere in the league – is something I’ll never take for granted,” Redick says.
On to Brandon Jennings news. At ESPN Insider, Amin Elhassan wrote about five players looking to play there way into a big contract this summer. Jennings is of course on the list, along with Tyreke Evans, Gerald Henderson, and Jeff Teague. Regarding Jennings, Elhassan says:
“One month into his NBA career, Jennings was declared the steal of the 2009 draft. Fast forward to last summer, and several of his point guard draft classmates (Curry, Holiday and Lawson) received lucrative extensions; he did not. Despite shooting a career-high 37.9 from 3-point range this season, Jennings is still a low-efficiency player (lowest effective field goal percentage and true shooting percentage of all 2009 point guards), and despite his quickness and dribble penetration skills, his size and slight frame prevent him from being effective at the rim.”
At Brew Hoop, Dan Sinclair broke down all of those assists that Jennings has been getting during the past three games. It’s incredibly interesting.
Also from Brew Hoop, on Tuesday, their four writers recorded a podcast about the playoffs, horrible new slogans, and why Behind the Buck Pass had to change its name. If you like the Bucks, then you should probably listen to it.
On to LARRY SANDERS! news. We all read Kirk Goldsberry and Eris Weiss’ essay about how Sanders is great at defense. If you haven’t, do it. And if you don’t like reading (or don’t know how), here are one and two videos of Kirk Goldsberry explaining his essay.
Then at Hoop Chalk, Jack Winter looked in depth at a few plays by Sanders to analyze why he’s so good and to show how Sanders affects the game even when he doesn’t record a block.
And finally at ESPN, Justin Verrier wrote about how Sanders is swatting his way to stardom. Isn’t it nice knowing that the Bucks have a really, really good, young player that everyone loves? I think it’s nice.
Okay. We’re done with Sanders. On to new arena discussion. Yesterday, Marquette Law School announced that they would be having a conference on April 8 to, “explore key issues in the debate over a new, multipurpose arena.” Lots of interesting people will be there including County Executive Chris Abele, the owner of the Minnesota Wild and representatives from Seattle and Oklahoma City. The event will be free and open to the public.
On to Ekpe Udoh being a wonderful human being. Sunday night, he was super cool and joined a Google Hangout with fans and bloggers from “basketball Twitter.” Then on Wednesday, he accomplished his life-long goal of meeting Betty White. And finally, thanks to Jim Paschke, we know that the Bucks went bowling on Thursday and apparently Udoh is the best bowler because of course he is. Here are pictures to prove it!