The “Real NBA Finals happens in the second round” Edition
Like two ships passing one another by night, the Milwaukee Bucks and Philadelphia 76ers have long felt like two teams destined to have a gust of wind see them meaningfully clash. After the Bucks swept the Sixers 3-0 in the season series my feeling has only grown stronger that the most important playoff series in our potential future is one against Philly.
It’s about something bigger than a shiny trophy at the end of the playoffs. Yeah yeah yeah, a Finals appearance or (dare I say it) win would clearly be more important in the near- and long-term futures, but we’ll have three more familiar opponents to get through before that is even a possibility. When I consider the field of Eastern Conference teams and who I think would make for the most investing series, the answer isn’t the star-driven Brooklyn Nets, but the Sixers.
Our franchises and their respective paths to this point of “contention” mirror one another too closely for there not to have been friction. On one side you have the persecution-complex Sixers, the team that adopted losing as a philosophy for years, nabbed two star players, and used their treasure chest of assets to slap together a roster. Opposite that you have bumbling Milwaukee, their sole trip into the heart of a tank getting them a largely wasted second overall pick, and plenty of middling seasons with roster maneuvering building something competent around that unexpected Greek fellow.
Of course, deep down the thing that unites both of our franchises (besides mutual loathing and disrespect) is the fact that both have proven to be loser frauds in recent history. Nobody around the league has any regard for either team, and nor should they. That’s why the stakes are highest if we have the chance to play Philadelphia. It’s a chance to settle between us and them, once and for all, which of our loser fraud franchises is the bigger loser and which is destined to get trounced in five by Kevin Durant & Co.
Jrue Holiday on Playing w/ Giannis and The Confidence of The Milwaukee Bucks (JJ Redick Podcast)
It has been awhile since we last featured a podcast here on the MMMR, but if Jrue Holiday goes for an hour on a whole number of topics, we’ve no choice but to include it. I haven’t had a chance to finish the listen, but if you’ve watched Jrue speak before you know how engaging he can be. Imagine that, but with the added relaxation of speaking with former-teammate and current NBAer JJ Redick.
I’ll take any and all praise of the Milwaukee Bucks we can get this late in the season, so thank you Rob Mahoney. Having thought about the season, it’s unique ups and downs, truncated timeline, bunched games, and the task of ripping out the wiring to start from scratch, holding the East’s third seed feels absolutely correct. You’re a team near the top of your conference, but you’ve had troubles clicking consistently enough to overawe opposition. Making it to the Finals is not at all a ridiculous proposition, but nobody is looking at you come May as the team to beat.
Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer buys Third Ward condo for $1.1 million (Milwaukee Business Times)
Potentially bad news for the folks who want to see Mike Budenholzer driven out of town the second we get bounced in the ECF, potentially good news for those who hope to bump into Mike Budenholzer at the Shake Shack on Buffalo.
Fanpost of the Week
…begrudgingly, R983’s “Best Fanpost of the Week”. It’s a piece that gently pokes fun at the entire ludicrous idea that brought this column to this point, but also one that prompted other Commissar of the Commentariat stoneAge to ask, “Does this mean we’re now closer to the brink of society’s extinction?”.
Yes. Yes we are.
Know Your Enemy
Ball was a terror the last time he played against the Bucks, but he’s been sidelined with a broken wrist since the end of March. Now, the cast is gone and he began resuming basketball activity a week ago with a return timeline of 7-10 days. There’s a good chance LaMelo will be available against the Bucks.
DJ Wilson had 25 points (10/17 from the floor), 8 rebounds, 4 assists, and 3 steals in a 40 minute outing. That’s the only reason this is here.
I take great pleasure in watching the Bulls flail around, waste everyone’s time, and come to loathe each other, and while Nikola Vucevic is a nice guy who can get 35 and 20 on Milwaukee any night he wants, he’s just a bandaid slapped on a gaping wound.
- Brooklyn Nets – NetsDaily – The Brooklyn Nets will be fine despite their injuries
You know, the Nets fans do have a good point: We can point and laugh about Brooklyn only having had 7 games where KD, James Harden, and Kyrie Irving have played together, but they’re also holding the best record in the East despite that fact. They might, indeed, be a good overall team.
The Social Media Section
Michael 1) Looks great and 2) Seems like a nice guy
Giannis: “One day I’m going to break your record”
Michael Redd: “I know you will” pic.twitter.com/d24ju3jb8H
— Milwaukee Bucks (@Bucks) April 23, 2021
Welcome to the avocado toast squad, PJ
Get used to it because we’re giving you all of the money via Bird Rights to stay here
Congrats to the young man
Thanasis does have great teeth, it’s true
It was indeed
As long as you let them know they play for a loser team, Bobby
Riley’s 2020-2021 Prediction Record: 36-24
retired janitor’s 2020-2021 Prediction Record: 37-23
The astute among you will have noted I’d forgotten to add a prediction for last night’s Hawks game. Whoops! I’d have picked us to win anyhow, so more egg on my face.
Bucks stay out on the road all week with a game in Charlotte on Tuesday, a game in Houston Thursday, a trip up to Chicago Friday, and finally the first of two games against the Nets at home on Sunday.
Look for a loss to Charlotte (who have something to play for), a win in Houston (with a DJ Wilson revenge game), beatdown of Chicago (they’re Chicago), and a loss to the Nets to put the final dagger in our first seed hopes.