Tag:Milwaukee Bucks
Posted on: March 8, 2012 9:12 am
Edited on: March 8, 2012 2:12 pm
 

Wednesday Night Game-Winner Power Rankings

By Matt Moore and Ben Golliver  


Wednesday night was one of those nights in the NBA. Multiple game winners, so many that we decided we need to break them down, power rankings style. 


1. Rose does MJ: Derrick Rose's game winner had to be the best of the night for pure elegance. It had everything we look for from a winner: at the buzzer, walk off, isolation, high degree of difficulty, total calm, nothing but net. So much was going on in this one. He read the defense patiently, unleashed some crippling dribble moves, created and took the exact shot he wanted and even had large swaths of a road crowd cheering for him. Watch that thing and try not to think Michael Jordan.



2. Kyrie Irving's end-to-end. Irving's dash to the rim for what would be the game winner wasn't 94 feet of basketball brilliance, but it was as close as you want it to be. The fact that Byron Scott had the confidence in Irving to navigate all that space and the tactical knowledge to know the Nuggets wouldn't expect Irving to just get a running start and barrel to the basket deserves some points, while Irving's approach to switch hands on approach shows off his handle. That kid is something special. 



3. Isaiah Thomas read-and-react. Thomas, at his best, is the type of undersized guard that just makes you marvel. That he was the 2011 NBA Draft's "Mr. Irrelevant" just makes the story that much better. Thomas was at his best on Wednesday night, intercepting an idiotic entry pass at full stretch and with perfect timing. Thomas' game is all action/reaction/action and he made an incredibly heady play to move the ball forward to a streaking John Salmons, hitting him in stride. No second-guessing, no covering the ball to allow the defense to react. Just pure open court instinct in a very unusual game situation. The only downside is that it wasn't a walk off winner, or the Power Balance Pavilion might have stormed the court. Thomas' growing reputation for putting smiles on faces continues to grow.

 

4. DWill trusts Farmar. What? Why aren't people flipping out over Deron Williams passing up the crucial shot in the Nets' win over the Clippers like they did with LeBron James? Regardless, Williams made a great play and Farmar didn't get too excited or go hero-mode. He just lined up and knocked down the open jumper. You know, the right basketball play. On the opposite end of the spectrum,CP3 was never going to take that pass, and gambling on it meant he couldn't run Farmar off. Big mistake as Farmar's been en fuego from the outside this year.  



5. Nick Young has daggers on daggers.  If this was later in the game, it would be a top-three candidate. After all, Young did rise and fear to knock off the master of rise and fire. But alas, we had more free throws and missed Kobe Bryant threes to get through before it was said and done. But make no mistake, Nick Young's dagger to punch the Lakers' comeback attempt was the game winner in the Wizards' stunner over L.A.. 

Posted on: March 7, 2012 11:07 pm
Edited on: March 8, 2012 1:53 am
 

Bulls G Derrick Rose game-winner vs. Bucks video

Posted by Ben Golliver    

The Milwaukee Bucks elected not to send a second defender at Derrick Rose, and the reigning NBA MVP made them pay.

With the score tied at 104 and just seconds remaining on the clock, the Chicago Bulls spread the floor to allow Rose to work on Brandon Jennings one-on-one on the perimeter. Rose took his time, methodically dribbling to the right of center court as he eyed Carlos Delfino to see whether he would offer a double-team. Delfino instead chose simply to clog the paint, discouraging a drive. Recognizing that Jennings was by himself, Rose hit him with a right-to-left crossover and a leap back gather step, easily creating a clean look as Jennings flailed a bit in closing the gap. 

Jennings rose to contest Rose's resulting fadeaway jumper but it didn't matter, as the shot looked good as soon as it left Rose's hands. The ball swished cleanly through the net as the buzzer sounded, and Chicago left the Bradley Center with a dramatic 106-104 victory on Wednesday night. Rose finished with a game-high 30 points, 11 assists, 8 rebounds, 11 steal and 1 block in 39 minutes.

"I’m blessed to be on this team," Rose said aftewards, according to the Chicago Tribune. "They gave me the ball at the end. It shows how much respect they have for me."

Here's the video of Derrick Rose's dramatic game-winner against the Milwaukee Bucks via YouTube user chiddybang40.


Posted on: February 17, 2012 4:59 pm
 

Skiles and Jackson aren't getting along

Stephen Jackson and Scott Skiles are not getting along in Milwaukee. (Getty Images)
By Matt Moore 

In news that will surprise exactly no one, Scott Skiles and Stephen Jackson are not getting along. Jackson was initially reticent about being traded to the Bucks, and has struggled mightily on the floor. It was thought Jackson's perimeter shooting and commitment to defense would be a perfect fit for the offensively inept Bucks, but the Racine Journal Times reports that things have already hit a pretty low point: 

 
After Stephen Jackson was benched for the second half of a game against Denver Jan. 17, I asked the Bucks veteran swingman whether he had any inkling Bucks coach Scott Skiles was going to do that.

Jackson said he didn't get any advance warning and he didn't get any explanation after the game, either.

It was abundantly clear even then that Jackson, whom the Bucks acquired from Charlotte last June and was expected to be a key piece to the Bucks' puzzle this season, wasn't on the same page with Skiles.

Now, a month later, Jackson's relationship with Skiles seemingly has disintegrated. In an interview with Rod Burks of Channel 4 (NBC) in Milwaukee, Jackson said: "We don't have no relationship like I've had with other coaches and I don't expect to have one. Too much stuff has happened."
via BUCKS BEAT: Jackson, Skiles are all business.

Yeah, that's not good.

The Warriors were criticized for handing Jackson his last massive extension, the Bobcats were criticized for trading for that contract, and the Bucks were criticized for trading for that contract the Bobcats had traded for. That Jackson has seemingly fallen off the age cliff just makes matters worse. He's the worst kind of asset when he doesn't fit in with the team culture. He's an outspoken veteran who won't fall in line just to fall in line, who can be great in the right situation and terrible in the wrong, on a massive contract with years remaining and a declining skill set.

So, no, the Bucks will not have an easy time finding a suitor. That said, there's always someone out there looking for veteran scorers, and Milwaukee should definitely accept taking a bath on the investment in order to clear Jackson's money off the books. It wasn't a terrible idea to bring in Jackson, it just didn't work. Seems like so many ideas under the current regime in Milwaukee, unfortunately. 
Posted on: February 14, 2012 1:09 pm
Edited on: February 14, 2012 4:06 pm
 

NBA Power Rankings: Breakdown, Takedown Vol. 9

Posted by Royce Young and Ben Golliver

The Spurs have plenty to smile about as they ride a 7-game winning streak. (Getty Images)

The 2011-2012 NBA season continues. Here's the ninth weekly installment of CBSSports.com's NBA Power Rankings by Eye On Basketball's Matt Moore.

What did he get right? What did he get wrong? We're here to break it down and take it down.

1. Too High: Los Angeles Clippers at No. 4. You might be thinking, "Didn't I already read this before?" The Clippers were too high last week and the Spurs too low. And wouldn't you know it, they both moved up this week. The Clippers are a fine team in the West, but fourth best in the league? Even after losing Chauncey Billups for the year? I mean, Kenyon Martin was a nice pickup but not THAT nice. It just doesn't make sense to me to place the Clippers above the Spurs, or really even the Mavericks for that matter, especially after losing a top starter. -- RY

2. Too Low: San Antonio Spurs at No. 5. The Spurs have won seven straight, risen to second in the West and are getting maybe their best player back. It's not that they're too low, it's that they should be in the conversation for the top three right now. Putting them at No. 5 is fine, I suppose, but having them behind the Clippers is criminal. I wouldn't even argue with you if you wanted to bump them ahead of Oklahoma City right now. -- RY

3. Most Overrated: Milwaukee Bucks at No. 19. It's not easy to be considered overrated when you're ranked No. 19 out of 30 but that's the case when you're the ninth best team in an Eastern Conference which goes -- maybe -- five teams deep. The Brandon Jennings distraction, the Stephen Jackson distraction, the Andrew Bogut injury, it's all bad. The Bucks are just outside the playoff picture, but would be the third worst team in the Western Conference right now, better only than the New Orleans Hornets and Sacramento Kings. By season's end, the Kings would probably pass them. 2-5 for their last seven, Milwaukee's recent wins have come against the Toronto Raptors and Cleveland Cavaliers. The March schedule will kill this team. -- BG

4. Most Overlooked: Dallas Mavericks at No. 9. A 4-game winning streak over Western Conference foes -- highlighted by a late Dirk Nowitzki winner against the Portland Trail Blazers in double overtime -- was all the reminder anyone needed that this team will be a major factor come playoff time. Expect them to keep getting overlooked. They might just have the toughest lead-up to the All-Star break of anyone in the league coming up -- with games against the Nuggets, 76ers, Knicks, Celtics and Lakers over the next eight days -- so there's a good chance they don't separate from the West pack until March or April. Even if the breakout never comes, this will be a feared first round match-up and the early-season questions will be a thing of the distant past. -- BG

5. Sure Thing: Oklahoma City Thunder at No. 3. How do you know that you're a really good team? You spend your week on a ridiculous road-trip that includes four games in five nights in some of the toughest buildings the NBA has to offer. You emerge 3-1 -- with wins over Portland, Golden State and Utah -- and yet all anyone wants to talk about is the loss, a close one to Sacramento on national television, with the fanbase fighting to keep its franchise in town. Watching those four Western Conference teams get up for the Thunder made it clear that OKC's reputation as the team to beat in the West is firmly established and agreed upon. Watching OKC match energy with energy on the road only underscored the point. -- BG  

6. Wild Card: New York Knicks at No. 15. So, about that whole Linsanity thing. The funny thing about it is, the Knicks have now won five straight and are back in the Eastern playoff picture. And that's with Amar'e Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony returning. Which is what makes them so intriguing. Are they going to lose their mojo? Will Lin get marginalized? Or will it all be a perfect marriage? The Knicks could be rocketing up to the top 10, or the bottom could fall out any second. -- RY
Posted on: February 10, 2012 9:36 am
Edited on: February 10, 2012 9:41 am
 

Jennings already discussing leaving Milwaukee

Brandon Jennings is already thinking about leaving Milwaukee as a free agent. (Getty Images)
Brandon Jennings is not saying, he's just saying. In other words, he's getting a head start on creating his own version of the Melo Drama in Milwaukee, and he's not even off his rookie contract yet.

A collection of quotes from an overly chatty Jennings from ESPN.com:

"I am going to keep my options open, knowing that the time is coming up,'' Jennings said in an email interview. "I'm doing my homework on big market teams.''

I am going to keep my options open, knowing that the time is coming up. I'm doing my homework on big market teams.”

"I'm not saying I won't (sign an extension with the Bucks) and I'm not saying I will,'' he said. "I'm just keeping my options open.''

"When you start seeing other players like Dwight Howard or CP3, you start thinking,'' said Jennings, who is averaging 18.9 points and 5.3 assists for the Bucks.

"It has nothing to do with the city of Milwaukee or anything like that because that's where I started my career,'' Jennings said. "They've been nothing but good to me. (Coach) Scott Skiles and (general manager) John Hammond have been good to me. It's just that I'm understanding the business of basketball now.''
via Milwaukee Bucks' Brandon Jennings doing 'homework' on big market teams - ESPN.

Oh, good grief.

Now we're doing this off rookie contracts? That's where this is starting, now?

The common rule is that you take the rookie extension. Kevin Love may not be thrilled with how the Timberwolves have treated him and has a much bigger complaint and desire to get out than Jennings, but Love took the rookie extension (though he did ask for the three-year opt-out since the Wolves didn't want to sign him to the max, which we still can't believe). LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, Carmelo Anthony, Deron Williams, Chris Paul, every single one of them signed the rookie extension. That's how this works, supposedly. You ensure those first six to seven years before moving on.

But Jennings has never been one to go the normal route. He headed off to Europe when he was unsure of his eligibility and wanted to get started making money right out of high school. He famously essentially lobbied for the Knicks to take him. He's spoken about playing in New York on a regular basis. And now we're here.

Let's put it simply. If this isn't just a negotiating tactic by his management team, if this is really how Jennings feels, the Bucks are doomed. Completely ruined. They've built everything around Jennings and Andrew Bogut (who can't stay healthy to save his life). The Bucks have been unable to build off their momentum of their playoff run. Meanwhile, as BrewHoop notes, the Bucks brought in a player to mentor Jennings, and it hasn't exactly worked out great.
We've also made note of how much Jennings is hanging out with Stephen Jackson, who has had some run-ins with Milwaukee management of his own.

But here's the heart of the issue: John Hammond brought in Stephen Jackson to help mentor Brandon Jennings. It was a calculated risk, bringing in someone with as volatile a personality as Cap'n Jack (especially in the same locker room as Scott Skiles). And lo and behold, mentor is exactly what Jackson has done.

Jackson wants out of Milwaukee, that much is clear. He simply doesn't like it here. But with Jennings under his wing, not to mention their lockers side-by-side, can we really say that we expected this to end well?
via Everybody Panic! Brandon Jennings "Keeping His Options Open" - Brew Hoop.

So here we are, and it could be the start of a downward spiral. Jennings wants to skip the natural process and go right to "holding your team hostage to go to the team you want." Bucks fans in denial regarding him saying he's not ruling out Milwaukee, I direct you to comments from any player above and the fact that not a single one outside of Wade has re-signed. Once a player gets in his head this is the way, that's how it goes down.

Can the Bucks match any offer in restricted free agency? Sure. Unless Jennings refuses to sign an offer sheet, then takes the qualifying offer for his fourth year with the Bucks, then becomes an unrestricted free agent the following summer. It's difficult to get out of a rookie extension. It's not impossible. The fact that Jennings is starting this conversation now, in the middle of a season, with the Bucks the eighth seed if the playoffs started today, is not a good sign for Milwaukee. 

Bucks GM John Hammond is officially in the weeds. Defusing this situation would be a smart approach. These aren't quotes from sources close to Jennings. This is straight from the horse's mouth.

It's danger time in Milwaukee.
Posted on: February 8, 2012 12:09 pm
Edited on: February 8, 2012 1:42 pm
 

Ten likely candidates for contraction

Let's see how many kids' dreams we can crush with contraction just to make the Knicks and Lakers better, shall we? (Getty Images)

By Matt Moore 

Oh, no, there's (insert problem in the NBA)! Quick, let's contract some teams!

That's pretty much the standard fare from a lot of mainstream basketball scribes. Their proximity to large cities, usually coastal, is something you should try and not look at too closely. It's like one of those 3-D images. Yes, it's a schooner, which is a sailboat, and you still have a headache.

The answer always seems to pop up. "Oh, we don't have enough stars!" Contract! "There's a lockout and the owners want more money!" Contract! "We're out of sandwiches in the media room!" Contract!

There's about a billion reasons why contraction won't be happening. David Stern won't allow it on his watch. Losing games, twice in 12 years? Sure. Losing teams? No way. One thing hurts your fans. The other hurts your business.

But let's say it did, because there are more fans of big market teams than small market teams, and big market teams love the idea, because they get a talent influx. Who goes on the chopping block? Here are teams that would be up for contraction, if we're going to go ahead and kill off sections of fans.
(Franchise valuation data courtesy of Forbes, attendance via ESPN.)

1. New Orleans Hornets: Trying to avoid this conclusion is something I spent a solid hour on. Surely there's a way around this. But there just isn't. The Hornets staged a massive ticket sales promotion in order to try and boost their attendance profile for a potential buyer as well as to satisfy various city and state requirements regarding their lease. The result? They're 26th this season. With Chris Paul having gone to the Clippers, things are going to get worse before they get better. If we absolutely have to chop off a team, you have to start with the Hornets, as much as it pains me.

There are a lot of factors here, but George Shinn's horrific ownership should not be overlooked, nor should two natural disasters in the span of five years. But it's never been a strong market, and if we have to make cuts with our minds and not hearts, the Hornets have to be silenced.

Biggest argument against: Have you no soul? Honestly?

2. Memphis Grizzlies: Such a great playoffs run. But here are the facts. It's one of the newest franchises, with little in the way of successful history (as in, none outside of last season). It's been evaluated as 29th in overall worth by Forbes. Despite making the playoffs last season and being expected to contend for the West this year, they are 21st in attendance, Z-Bo or no Z-Bo.

The Grizzlies are trying to build a new culture of passion and success in Memphis. But if we have to make the cut today, they have to be on the block. If you need me I'll be in the corner gurgling arsenic.

Biggest argument against: Memphis' playoff run shows what can happen if that fanbase is engaged.

3. Charlotte Bobcats: Terrible team. The newest in the league. No success to speak of. Poor ownership. A fanbase damaged by George Shinn's tenure in Charlotte (hey, look, a theme!). The overriding influence of college basketball and its permeating stench throughout any sports discussion. The reasons go on and on. I mean, just look at their attendance.

They're... 14th this season?

That's up from 21st, which really isn't that horrible. And that's why they manage to slide to three. If you took the way the Bobcats have been run and put them in Memphis, New Orleans, or Sacramento, they're toast, first out the door. But Carolina gets basketball. So they slide to third. So... uh... good for them?

Biggest argument against: Decent attendance, run by the sport's biggest icon, awesome mascot.

4. Milwaukee Bucks: We're going to kill off the first team Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, then Lew Alcindor, ever played for? The 1971 champs?

Yeah. We are. Milwaukee is rated last in the league by Forbes in overall value. Despite some promising drafts, they have yet to put together a contending core. Their arena situation is not dire, but it's going to get there in the next five years, and Milwaukee voters are unlikely to come streaming to the polls to help the team out. Killing off a franchise with this much history is pretty horrific, but at some point the dollars and cents have to matter.

Biggest argument against: Championship team, history, good ownership, active fanbase.

5. Sacramento Kings: No one has fought harder to keep their team than Kings fans have. They have staved off their owners feeding vultures from Anaheim. They have scrapped up enough support for a new arena plan coming to vote this month during a recession. They have chanted and made documentaries and brought signs and banners and petitions.

And it still might not be enough.

This may be the best example of why contraction is flawed. Ten years ago, even six years ago, this would be incomprehensible. The Kings were on the verge, the doorstep, had their foot jammed into the entryway of the Finals. The biggest problem with contraction is that we look at it through the lens of the present. "Oh, the Bobcats/Kings/Bucks are terrible." But in five years, those teams could be San Antonio. Or OKC. Or Orlando. Winning will change your bottom line, and losing will change it just the same. But considering the arena situation at present time, the financial situation of the club, and their ongoing attendance issues, it's impossible to leave them out.

Biggest argument against: Here we stay.

Five more.

6. Atlanta Hawks: You want to talk about history, this one's like chopping off a limb. But the Hawks are 28th in value, have been unable to put together legitimate success, and feature one of the most lackluster fanbases in the league. Atlanta may simply be oversaturated for the NBA.

Biggest argument against: It's called the Highlight Factory, for crying out loud.

7. Philadelphia 76ers: You can already hear the sounds of those coastal writers crying out in agony. Start talking about an East Coast team that won a title within the past 30 years and it's a whole different story. But the 76ers come in at 22nd in value, just had the team sold, no real success even if you count the Iverson years that victimized a terrible, terrible Eastern conference, and continually have horrible attendance. They're bottom ten this season, and their team is a handful of games out of first in the conference.

Biggest argument against: Erasing what Moses Malone and Julius Erving did should be a federal crime.

8. Minnesota Timberwolves: 27th in value, 24th in attendance despite all the excitement. The only reason this team gets put so high is out of practical considerations. Basically, despite killing Kevin Garnett's prime and bobbling the next All-Star they landed in Kevin Love, their owner is close friends with David Stern and one of the heads of the Board of Governors. You see that guy getting his team lopped off any time soon?

Biggest argument against: Rubio? Rubio.

9. New Jersey Nets: Is there enough room in New York for two teams? Of course. Is there room for two fairly terrible teams? Additionally, if they can't get Dwight Howard, they should just pack up and go home, anyway.

Biggest argument against: They will always make money because they will play in New York now, and Prokhorov may come after you.

10. Indiana Pacers: No NBA championships (3 ABA). They are 25th in value and dead last in attendance, despite being a top five team in the East. The Pacers have simply been unable to capture the city's attention since The Brawl. Maybe that just did too much damage, combined with the emergence of the Colts. Yes, it's a historic team, but without any championships since the ABA. And with the Fieldhouse eventually needing a new home and all the money the city has spent on sports and event facilities, hard to see it coming through.

Biggest argument against: 8 points. 9 seconds.

--------------------------------

In the end, any of these teams could become the Spurs in the next ten years. Or the Blazers. Or the Jazz. Or the Magic. It takes ownership, a little luck, and the subsequent success. Get that, and you're good to go. But we never see that when we talk about contraction. We only see the benefits for the Bulls, the Lakers, the Knicks. And we forget that while there are more fans in cities than towns, having an NBA nation makes the game that much stronger. But if we have to do the deed, those are the teams that should get the axe.
Posted on: January 31, 2012 12:05 pm
Edited on: January 31, 2012 12:39 pm
 

Stephen Jackson the key to getting Dwight Howard?

Dwight Howard wants to play with... Stephen Jackson? (Getty Images)
Posted by Royce Young

The Dwight Howard rumor mill might be reaching an all-time low. And this teaming up with other players thing is getting a little out of hand.

Because ESPN reports that Dwight Howard wants to play with... Stephen Jackson? Wha?
"If the Nets want to improve their chances, my understanding is that Stephen Jackson and Dwight Howard have talked several times about playing together. And [they] would love to do so with the Nets with Deron Williams at the point guard setting them up. If the Nets want to improve their chances of getting Howard, making a deal for Stephen Jackson as well ... should be on their menu."
You hear about Deron Williams and Howard wanting to pair up or maybe Rose with Howard or at a time Chris Paul with him, but Stephen Jackson definitely wasn't to be expected. I suppose they're friends and people like to work with friends, so I guess it makes sense.

Jackson though hasn't been happy with the Bucks as they won't extend his contract. Jackson is on an expiring deal paying him $10 million this season. Said Jackson, "Everybody knows the situation. My situation is going to get better soon. Until then, I'm going to support these guys and continue to collect my check." Doesn't exactly sound like the happiest man in the world with his situation.

As Howard Beck of the NY Times tweeted: "Possibly relevant: They have the same agent." Yep, that could potentially be a major part of this. And it could give an idea where this rumbling is coming from.

But you can be sure that the Nets will have an eye toward Jackson if that really means an edge to get Dwight Howard. That franchise has basically sold its soul to build around a Williams-Howard combo. So if Howard said he had to have Leonardo DiCaprio as his power forward, I can guarantee Billy King would be getting on the phone to see what he could do.
Posted on: January 28, 2012 4:34 pm
Edited on: January 28, 2012 5:44 pm
 

Stephen Jackson suspended one game

Posted by Royce Young

Prepare for some news that will not likely surprise you. The NBA announced Saturday that Bucks guard Stephen Jackson has been suspended one game for verbal abuse of an official and for not leaving the court in a timely fashion during Milwaukee's Saturday night game against the Bulls.

Jackson's ejection came late in the game after he was hit with a second technical foul. Jackson will serve his suspension tonight against the Los Angeles Lakers.

Jackson did apologize on Twitter:

"To all my fans apologize for my actions. Its just somethings refs shouldnt say. Gotta keep my kool. Lesson learned."

Jackson, who was acquired from Charlotte in a deal that sent Corey Maggette to the Bobcats, is averaging 12.8 points, 3.2 assists and 3.4 rebounds a game.
 
 
 
 
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