There are lots of weird tidbits coming out of the Bucks’ trip to Oklahoma City, so without much fanfare, let’s just jump right into it.
HoopsHabit: Michael Dunlap picks over the worst NBA shooters of 2013-14 in a number of categories. Based on a minimum of 50 attempts, the worst three-point shooter in the league this season has been Ersan Ilyasova (23.3%), who at one point missed 20 in a row. (Dunlap notes that the decline is Ilyasova’s production isn’t due to injury which isn’t entirely true since Ersan bounced in an out of the lineup with a mangled ankle for all of December.) On a more positive note, Ilyasova has made 6 of his last 11 three-pointers — though it’s hard to believe he’s at 23% after a week of hot shooting. With any luck the regression to the mean is blooming.
NBA.com: Speaking of Neal, Steve Aschburner spoke with him about his situation, and Neal spoke openly and honestly about the frustrations of going from San Antonio to Milwaukee.
“I thought I’d be able to get a consistent 20, 25 minutes a night. But for whatever reason, that hasn’t panned out,” Neal said. “It’s a business. I could have stayed in San Antonio on the qualifying offer, but then you miss out on $6 million. Sometimes all the cards fall in your favor, sometimes they don’t. Right now, it’s hard with the record being [7-28] and my role basically being non-existent. It’s a tough spot. You’ve just got to fight through it.”
NewsOK.com: Two notes from Darnell Mayberry from the conclusion of Saturday’s game:
Anybody else see (Kevin) Durant and Gary Neal talking all secretly in front of the scorer’s table at the end of the game? I know they’re both from Maryland. But I don’t care. Conspiracy!!
Fish (Derek Fisher) and former NBA guard Nick Van Exel, now an assistant with Milwaukee, had a real spirited discussion right after the buzzer. Wonder what that was all about.
Stuff (NZ): A New Zealand site picked up on Steven Adams‘ ability to goad Larry Sanders into getting tossed, and on Adams’ subsequent reaction:
However, (Adams) did shoot a sly smile to a delighted Oklahoma City bench as Sanders was given his marching orders on Sunday.
Obviously, Sanders has a reputation to overcome. His actions aren’t defensible, specifically because of the sheer volume and variety of them. But his past two in-game ejections were both borderline; his “blow” to the face of Adams was based on location not ferocity, as the preceding full speed bump Adams used to rile Sanders had far more impact.
So it’s disappointing to see Adams, a known baiter (and rookie!), get the benefit of the doubt, especially when said baiter was grinning afterward.
— James Herbert (@outsidethenba) January 13, 2014
Youtube: I’m still having a hard time coming to grips with the fact that Giannis Antetokounmpo was able to fire up and/or frustrate Durant’s competitive spirit as much as he did. Sure, Durant scored 33 points, but the majority of that came at the line. In addition: Durant nearly maimed himself trying to get a chasedown block on Giannis, screamed at a ref for a goaltending call that clearly wasn’t, and let Giannis get a couple of easy baskets by trying too hard to deny Giannis the ball. I love all of it.
RealGM: Watch closely at the 1:45 mark of the above video to see Giannis make the near-impossible block and to also see the Bucks’ bench absolute non-reaction, as noted by RealGM forum user Bizarro. How can they … ? I mean there’s no clapping, no hooting, no smiling. I’m not even sure they’re breathing.
It’s disappointing to say the least.
And finally, from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, a piece by Charles F. Gardner (who makes a cameo in the lead photo up top) on the promise of Giannis.
He has entertained his teammates, whether it was bringing cupcakes on the team flight for his birthday, learning how to throw a football or climbing up to the top row of the stands in Phoenix, just to get a view from up there, you know?