Erik Thorne

OnBucksBasketball - Week 24

With just a handful of games remaining and the number one seed in the balance, coach Frank Vogel and the Indiana Pacers decided to rest all five of their starters in their last visit of the season to Milwaukee. The visitors started players many had never heard of before, like Rasual Butler and Donald Sloan. The Bucks are way past the point of no return in their worst season in franchise history, so it was interesting to see which team wanted to get the win. Brandon Knight again led Milwaukee in points scored and shots taken with an 8/21 showing for 25 points. Just as we learned from Brandon Jennings, when your shots attempted and total points are similar it usually doesn’t produce a victory. Indiana’s Chris Copeland (?) scored on a runner in the lane with 1.4 seconds left and the Bucks racked up their 64th loss by a score 104-102.

The Cavaliers traveled to the brew city for a clash between two struggling teams. Kyrie Irving has been healthy for most of the season, but his presence hasn’t mattered much in Cleveland’s goal of making the playoffs behind their all-star point guard. The Bucks looked inspired by the play of newcomer Chris Wright, who signed his second 10-day contract with the team this week. The highflyer from Dayton stole the show with a handful of dunks predicated off of the energy he brings to the floor. The fourth quarter was tense until the final minutes, when Milwaukee pulled away by going 6-8 at the free throw line. Not much defense was played in this game, but the Bucks found a way, winning 119-116.

The final road trip of the season sent the deer to the nation’s capital against the Wizards. Currently, Washington holds the six seed in the eastern conference playoffs with two games to play. It was clear from the start that the Bucks would not come out the Verizon Center with a victory. With the late scratch of Brandon Knight and without the services of injured Nate Wolters, Milwaukee was down to only one point guard in Ramon Sessions. That being the case, the Bucks needed somebody on the roster to lead the offense when Sessions takes a breather. No problem! Giannis Antetokoumnpo, who has been described as a “point-forward”, took the reins and filled in admirably. In the end, the Bucks lost to the up and coming Wizards behind John Wall’s superior skill 104-91.

Without a doubt, this has been a lost season for the Bucks. They have lost more games than any team in franchise history and seasons like these aren’t easily forgotten. With a sale or expansion of the ownership group on the horizon, it seems like Milwaukee is trying to position themselves to completely rebuild. Newly anointed NBA commissioner Adam Silver has recently expressed a desire to keep the Bucks in town – as long as a new arena is built before the Bradley Center lease expires in 2019. Look for this franchise to completely re-invent the brand this summer. Not only will they be adding a top four pick in a talent rich draft, but they will likely don new jerseys and try to foster a new culture beginning the second this season ends. The road may be rocky now, but the future, whether good or bad, will certainly be interesting to watch.

BUCK OF THE WEEK!   Jeff Adrien   33 points, 36 rebounds, 2 assists, 3 blocks.

15 wins/65 losses