Thursday, May 22, 2008

Pieces Of Eight

So there you have it Bucks fans. Once again, the Milwaukee Bucks take a back seat to the Bulls. With less than a 2% shot, the Bulls jumped eight spots to take control of the burdensome numero uno in this years lottery. In doing so, they knocked four through eight (Memphis, New York, the Clippers, our beloved Bucks, and Charlotte) down by one spot.

It's the third time since the NBA lottery started in '85 that the Bucks have walked away with the eight ball. Their picks at that spot have been Todd Day, Vin Baker (who could forget old Vin 'n' Juice) and T.J. Ford. Of those three only Todd Day could be truly labeled a bust. In his defence, those were some lean years in the middle nineties.

Hammond and his staff have a little over a month to contemplate the direction thay want to take with their top ten pick. This years draft appears to have some nice talent. Bucks fans can also expect a modest ammount of wheelin' and dealin' to take place. (One can only hope.)

So everybody relax, get a couple Brewers tickets and take in a ball game, sit back with a cold one and toast the beginning of the John Hammond/Scott Skiles era. The only way to go is up.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Only Losers Win The Lottery

It's that time of the year again Bucks fans. I'm Hugh Jass, recently back in Milwaukee after a nice vacation in the subcontinent, just in time for the annual gathering of the NBA's doormats in Secaucus, New Jersey. Of course, I'm talking about the NBA Lottery - that glorious day where ping-pong balls allow the masterminds that make up the front offices of the NBA's worst teams to decide the fate of the current crop of collegiate and international elite.

The Bucks are lined up at lucky number seven in this year's lottery and are guaranteed a top 10 pick, although they cannot get four, five or six. They have less than a 5% chance at the first or second pick and about a 6% chance of landing at number three. The smart money (a 60% chance) has them staying at seven but they also have a 24% chance of slipping to eight or nine.

Although the Bucks aren't a stranger to the lottery, it's a new deal for recently hired general manager John Hammond. That's generally how it goes when you're part of an organization that makes the playoffs every year - during Hammond's seven seasons with the Pistons they made the playoffs each year, never posting less than a 50 win season.

So Hammonds is on his way to Jersey to participate in his first lottery as a Bucks G.M. For the Bucks it will be their 12th appearance and their third in the last four years. (The Bucks last two lottery picks have been Yi Jianlian with the 6th overall pick in 2007 and Andrew Bogut with the 1st overall pick in 2005.)

I for one have confidence in Hammond. He seems like a sharp guy and he's spent many years in a winning organization. We're about to find out how lucky he is.