Erik Thorne

OnBucksBasketball - Week 23

The season chugged on as the Bucks traveled to Miami for their second matchup in five days. Milwaukee never led in this contest as the Heat jumped off to a great start and did not relinquish their grasp. LeBron James led the way scoring 17 points, dishing eight assists and grabbing four rebounds without playing in the fourth quarter. Even though other teams may be thinking about the offseason in a similar situation, the Bucks continue to play hard. Sure, this season may be over in every account but the schedule, but Milwaukee has shown a desire to use these the handful of games as useful experience. Miami won the day, cruising to a 96-77 victory.

Two nights later the Bucks took a trip down I-94 for a showdown in the United Center. The Bulls have played much better in the second half of the season and are looking forward to entering the playoffs as the third or fourth seed. Milwaukee was shorthanded in this affair due to injuries, so with a tight rotation of seven men they went to Chicago for a battle. The Bulls led most of this game and ultimately it was the rebounds that again spelled trouble for the visitors. Milwaukee was led by Brandon Knight’s 22 points, but fell in the Windy City 102-90.

On a night overshadowed with Wisconsin final four craziness, the Bucks hosted the Raptors for a game that has seeding consequences in the upcoming playoffs. As of now, Toronto is tied with the Bulls for the 3rd seed in the Eastern conference so the visitors were playing with a great incentive. However, Milwaukee recovered after a slow start to make it a very tight game in the fourth quarter. John Henson played a starring role in this affair as he played 39 minutes after Zaza Pachulia was caught up in early foul trouble. In the end, the difference was felt at the three point line, as Toronto made twelve shots from behind the arc compared to just one by the Bucks. Although they gave a great effort, Milwaukee lost 102-98 to the team north of the wall.

Just because the rest of Bucks nation is already focused on this summer’s NBA draft, the players have made a concerted effort to use these remaining games as a springboard for next season. This week, Milwaukee set the franchise record for most losses in a season at 63 (and counting). There are positives to take away from these losses for Bucks fans though, as the prospect of securing a top pick in the draft is a strong silver lining to their futility. One big question is whether Giannis Antetokoumnpo and Brandon Knight are ready to take another step next season. With the addition of at least a top 4 pick, it sure will be fun to watch the Bucks get in the lab next season and let these genetic freaks loose.

BUCK OF THE WEEK!  John Henson 39 points, 14 rebounds, 6 assists and 3 blocks

14 wins/63 losses