Friday, November 21, 2014

Bucks Return To Brooklyn With Their Old Boss | Bucks versus Nets

Bucks versus Nets
The Milwaukee Bucks managed a win in New York on Wednesday in what was possibly their most anticipated game this season. In dramatic fashion, freshman head coach Jason Kidd returned to Brooklyn for the first time since leaving a head coaching job there for the vacant Milwaukee position. Fans in the Barclays Center taunted the former New Jersey Nets player and one-year coach of Brooklyn on Wednesday night, proclaiming him as a traitor. One fan even delayed the national anthem with their outburst. Kidd shrugged off the return greetings when asked about scene, instead praising his players for a job well done.

Milwaukee entered the mid-week match-up on the heels of a win over the other New York team, the Knicks, at the BMO Harris Bradley Center on Tuesday. A game ahead of Cleveland for second place in the central division was the highest position the team has held in over two years, holding a six-and-five record, already winning over a third of the games the team had won in all of the 2013 season.

Meanwhile, Brooklyn, now led by former Bucks assistant Lionel Hollins, is struggling to hold a third place spot in the lowly Atlantic division. The Nets had dropped four straight games coming into Wednesday, maintaining a position in the middle of the pack thanks only to the losing records of four of the five teams in the division; Toronto is atop the Atlantic with nine wins and two losses, also the best record in the eastern conference.

The drama surrounding the game and Kidd's return to Brooklyn began weeks prior to tip-off. Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov hinted to reports on November 4 that Kidd was still upset at the franchise's management for the handling of his departure from the organization. Back in Milwaukee, the head coach responded with a 1-on-1 challenge to Prokhorov. The Russian businessman declined the offer, instead asking that the two leave the playing to their players, who would meet two weeks later.

Kidd came out on top of the airy ego-battle waged on the court on Wednesday. Following an impressive performance in the first two quarters by Brooklyn, the Bucks forced a comeback after halftime, tying the game at 95. A back-and-fourth first overtime saw what should have been a winning last second breakaway layup barley miss from veteran Brandon Knight, leaving Kidd and the Bucks bench in shock. Knight made up for the mistake minutes later in the second overtime, putting down a three pointer that tied the game at 112 and sent it into a third overtime, just the third time in Milwaukee franchise history that a game has gone that deep.


Milwaukee held the Nets to just four points in the final overtime period while earning ten for themselves, sealing the game at 122 to 118. Highlights for the team included a career and game-high 23 points for rookie first round draft pick Jabari Parker, complimented by another 21 from O.J. Mayo, and a combined 36 from Knight and Giannis Antetokounmpo. The second-year guard Antetokounmpo topped the Bucks overall stat board for the night with 12 rebounds, four assists, and three rebounds, all despite twisting an ankle early in overtime.       

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

2014 Milwaukee Bucks Preview



Bucks 2014 Season
Fans and analysts got their first looks at the 2014 Milwaukee Bucks in action on Saturday. The team, peppered with new faces, including head coach Jason Kidd and rookie Jabari Parker, held a public scrimmage at the BMO Harris Bradley Center that afternoon. A respectable crowd gathered to watch as the full roster was split into a White team and a Black team, providing a half hour of exiting play that ended with a three-point White team victory. 

Kidd, leading the Bucks for the first time since a partial roster joined him in the Las Vegas summer league, told reporters that he was excited to help the team recover from a horrific 2013, which saw them finish last in the NBA. The former player and Brooklyn Nets coach said that he was pleased with the performances of all his players as they debuted for the first time in front of a home crowd.

O.J. Mayo, Elijah Millsap, Kendall Marshall, Zaza Pachulia, John Henson, Jerryd Bayless, Giannis Antetokounmpo and Johnny O'Bryant made up the winning White team, earning 37 points to the Black team's 34. Mayo tallied a team-leading eight points, including two from beyond the arc.

Despite his group's close loss, first round pick Parker stole the show Saturday. Receiving a standing ovation as he stepped onto the Bradley Center court for the first time as a Buck, the 19 year old went on to score a game-high 10 points on five of nine from inside the paint. His performance was a pleasant turn-around from the lowly time he had in Las Vegas earlier this summer, where he struggled to find the basket or make much of an impact at all as the Bucks dropped four of their five games.

Joining Parker on the Black team were a number of familiar faces from last season, including Brandon Knight, Nate Wolters, Larry Sanders, Ersan Ilyasova, and Khris Middleton. Jared Dudley and Michael Eric also appeared for the losing side. The third-year veteran Knight was among the other stand-outs that day, managing seven points and leading the floor in assists with seven.

Following a day off to close the weekend, the Bucks will return to practice at the Cousins Center on Monday. Memphis comes to the Resch Center in Green Bay on Wednesday to open the team's preseason, which also features Detroit, Chicago, Cleveland, New York, and a pair of games against Minnesota.

Monday, October 6, 2014

First Look At Our 2014 Milwaukee Bucks



Bucks 2014
Fans and analysts got their first looks at the 2014 Milwaukee Bucks in action on Saturday. The team, peppered with new faces, including head coach Jason Kidd and rookie Jabari Parker, held a public scrimmage at the BMO Harris Bradley Center that afternoon. A respectable crowd gathered to watch as the full roster was split into a White team and a Black team, providing a half hour of exiting play that ended with a three-point White team victory. 

Kidd, leading the Bucks for the first time since a partial roster joined him in the Las Vegas summer league, told reporters that he was excited to help the team recover from a horrific 2013, which saw them finish last in the NBA. The former player and Brooklyn Nets coach said that he was pleased with the performances of all his players as they debuted for the first time in front of a home crowd.

O.J. Mayo, Elijah Millsap, Kendall Marshall, Zaza Pachulia, John Henson, Jerryd Bayless, Giannis Antetokounmpo and Johnny O'Bryant made up the winning White team, earning 37 points to the Black team's 34. Mayo tallied a team-leading eight points, including two from beyond the arc.

Despite his groups close loss, first round pick Parker stole the show Saturday. Receiving a standing ovation as he stepped onto the Bradley Center court for the first time as a Buck, the 19 year old went on to score a game-high 10 points on five of nine from inside the paint. His performance was a pleasant turn-around from the lowly time he had in Las Vegas earlier this summer, where he struggled to find the basket or make much of an impact at all as the Bucks dropped four of their five games.

Joining Parker on the Black team were a number of familiar faces from last season, including Brandon Knight, Nate Wolters, Larry Sanders, Ersan Ilyasova, and Khris Middleton. Jared Dudley and Michael Eric also appeared for the losing side. The third-year veteran Knight was among the other stand-outs that day, managing seven points and leading the floor in assists with seven.

Following a day off to close the weekend, the Bucks will return to practice at the Cousins Center on Monday. Memphis comes to the Resch Center in Green Bay on Wednesday to open the team's preseason, which also features Detroit, Chicago, Cleveland, New York, and a pair of games against Minnesota.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Bucks Summer League Ends But Hopes Are High

2014 Bucks Summer League
The Milwaukee Bucks finished Summer League play last week, failing to win more then one game, though giving fans and critics an eager look into the next generation of the team. Led by rookie first round pick Jabari Parker and newly appointed head coach Jason Kidd, the Bucks finished the series of five exhibition games with one win and four losses. The team, coming off of an NBA-worst 67 loss season, were able to defeat the Golden State Warriors in their final game of the tournament, though they fell in their first four match-ups against the likes of Cleveland, Phoenix, Utah, and San Antonio. The 100-to-71 drubbing at the hands of the defending champion Spurs was Milwaukee's worst showing in Las Vegas.

As always is the case with the annual Summer League, critics are focusing on the positives. Second overall pick Parker was under the most intense spotlight of the tournament, starting all five games in what was his first ever professional experience. The former Duke star did not disappoint, managing over 15 points and 8 rebounds per game. The 18-year old even earned the respect of the stoic Kidd, who told reporters following Parker's tournament-high 20 points and 15 rebounds against Golden State that he was looking forward to his progression on the full-roster.

Another stand-out who is also sure to have a place on the Bucks roster come fall is Giannis Antetokounmpo. The Greek native was the talk of the town prior to the draft, though has temporarily fallen into the shadow of Parker. Despite that, the youngster impressed in his four games at the Summer League, putting up an average of 17 points and 6 rebounds.

Antetokounmpo was absent from the Bucks closing game against the Warriors due to duties to the Greek national team, which will compete in August in the FIBA World Cup.


First-year owners Marc Lasry and Wesley Edens and coach Kidd didn't miss a beat following the conclusion of the Summer League. The team has already signed two high-profile names in the week since, taking former Lakers point guard Kendall Marshall and free agent Jerryd Bayless. 

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Who Will The Bucks Pick In The Upcoming 2014 Draft?

Milwaukee Bucks co-owner Marc Lasry revealed his team's plans for the upcoming Thursday draft earlier this week. Speaking to reporters on Monday, the first-year owner said that the Bucks would likely rule-out former Kansas center Joel Embiid as the team's first round pick, second overall. Embiid, a freshman, underwent surgery on a broken foot last week and is expecting a four to six month recovery. At seven feet and 250 pounds, the Cameroon native was one of three elite prospects in this year's class, managing over ten points and eight rebounds for the Jayhawks last season. Cleveland, who has the first overall pick, had reportedly settled on Embiid prior to his injury, and although they have not publicly stated otherwise, it is likely they are reconsidering.

Jabari Parker
When pressed to outline his worries on drafting a temporarily hobbled Embiid, Lasry cited Milwaukee's need for a candidate who can contribute immediately. He also admitted that the sudden injury made the franchise's decision that much easier. Barring any surprises said Lasry, that decision is now between another pair of freshman.

Last Friday, Andrew Wiggins came to the Cousins Center in St. Francis to work out for new owners Lasry and Wesley Edens. Wiggins also played his only year of collegiate basketball at Kansas, earning praise similar to teammate Embiid. As a dual guard and forward, the 18 year old was touted as one of the most versatile college players. Born and raised in Canada, Wiggins comes from a very athletic family, including a father, Mitchell, who played for four NBA teams throughout the 1980s and 90s.

The younger Wiggins had already compiled an impressive resume by the time he committed to Kansas last May. As a senior at a West Virginia preparatory academy, he earned three Player of the Year awards, including the Gatorade National Player of the Year. He was named Mr. Basketball following the conclusion of the 2013 high school season, joining past winners such as LeBron James, Wilt Chamberlain, and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

With the Jayhawks, Wiggin averaged 17 points per game and hit nearly 35 percent from beyond the arc. Despite failing to advance far into March, he was selected as a finalist for both the Naismith and John R. Wooden player of the year awards.


Impressive numbers from Wiggins, though Duke forward Jabari Parker could give him a run for his money as the top-prospect in the 2014 draft class. Lasry mentioned the former Blue Devil as the Bucks other suitor for their first round attention. Parker, hailing from Chicago, has grabbed headlines this off-season as the most prepared prospect, competing in a number of extracurricular and international tournaments during high school. He won two golds as part of team USA in the FIBA Americas Championship and World Championship. He was honored all four years at Simeon Career Academy, the same school attended by Derrick Rose, Bobby Simmons, and Nick Anderson. Immediately part of the starting five at Duke, Parker finished the 2013 season as a First-Team All American and was named the Basketball Writers Association Freshman of the Year. 

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Bucks NBA London Game Set For January 15 | NBA Games Around The World

Bucks Play In London
The Milwaukee Bucks will participate in the franchise's first ever international regular season game in 2014. New owners Marc Lasry and Wes Edens announced last week that the team will take-on the New York Knicks in London, England on January 15, 2015 at the O2 Arena. On paper, the game will be marked as a regular season home game for the Bucks, who will now host just 40 games at the BMO Harris Bradley Center, rather than the usual 41. New York will lose one game on their American road schedule. They called London home in 2013, defeating the Detroit Pistons.

The 2015 match-up is the fifth annual installment of the NBA Global Games at the O2 Arena. Formerly a host to the 2012 Summer Olympics, the venue has sold-out the event nearly every year, including last season, when over 20,000 people watched the Brooklyn Nets face Atlanta. Tickets will go on sale locally in London in October and are expected to sell-out quickly as even some of Britain’s most famous personalities have made a habit of attending. Lasry and Edens boasted in their announcement that the game will be a great opportunity for worldwide exposure for the Bucks, who also have five foreign players currently on the roster, among the most of any NBA team.

League commissioner Adam Silver agreed with the co-owners, touting London's impressive sports history and hospitality for the NBA. Silver also revealed that the league had confirmed a second international date for the 2014 season, featuring Minnesota and Houston in Mexico City on November 12.

The pair of games will continue an international tradition in the NBA that dates back to 1978. That year, the Washington Bullets traveled to Israel to face Maccabi Tel Aviv in the first ever league game held outside of North America. In 1987, the first annual competition between NBA teams and international teams was founded. Dubbed the McDonald's Championship, the series of exhibition games debuted in Milwaukee, with the Bucks defeating the Soviet Union in the inaugural final. The tournament's next eight events were all held in Europe, before the competition was discontinued in 1999. Miami and the Washington Bullets met in Japan for the first regular season NBA game held outside of the United States or Canada in 1990.


As for the Bucks previous overseas resume, the team appeared in two preseason exhibition games in China in 2008. Milwaukee won their first game against Golden State in Guangzhou, China before losing the second in Beijing three days later. That game, held at the Beijing Olympic Basketball Arena, was the first event held at venue following the 2008 Summer Olympics.