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The Bucks Stops Here...


Quick...name one friend that you know that is a legitimate fan of the Milwaukee Bucks? Okay, they don't even have to be your "friend", do you know anyone in your entire lifetime that was a Bucks fan ever? Other than when Ray Allen & Glenn "Big Dog" Robinson was there, was there at any time a jersey you wanted to rock from the Bucks?

Don't worry...I'll wait.

However, if you're not paying attention then you are missing out on a team that has two legitimate stars and role players that are as versatile as they come. Oh, and their coach? Well...he's probably one of the most hated/loved coaches in the NBA, all while still holding the single game assist record and has a protege who wears gumby haircuts for fun.

Oh boy.

Let's play a little guessing game real quick...

I want to show you people something, take a look at the graph to your right. Two players with highly similar numbers. One is a virtual unknown to casual fans. The other is a global phenom. They are both similar in age and physical stature, yet you probably would never compare the two at all. Can you name the two players?

(Jeopardy music...)

Player A is Andrew Bogut, Player B is Dwight Howard.

So why do we not talk about Andrew Bogut as being a legitimate, dominant big man in this league? Its not like he has had the opportunity to play with the same resources as Howard, nor the media attention. Plus, he keeps to himself, has some "interesting" views on how the players and the league operates. Needless to say, this man deserves our respect. 16 points, 10 rebounds, and 2.5 blocks a game? This man needs to be in an All-Star game immediately.

Plus, Bogut's game has risen due to the Bucks luckily getting the opportunity to draft Brandon Jennings, the wunderkind floor general from Compton (by way of Italy) who has brought some legitimacy to the point guard position not seen since Sam Cassell. Moreover, Jennings did one of the worst/greatest things he could've done in his career by dropping a double-nickel against Golden State early in the season. It put everyone on notice that he's capable of doing it. However, it also let Jennings know in his mind that he could do it. Bad for business for someone who's 20 and a streak shooter. (And he has a penchant for absurd yet loveable haircuts. Let Ed be the first to say that Brandon Jennings has a chance to be one of the most memorable players ever. Like on some Chad "OchoCinco" Johnson type stuff. I'm just saying.)

But look at the Bucks now, Scott Skiles has reigned the young man in and turned him into more of a distributor and away from the score-first mentality he had coming in. Skiles is the man that still holds the single-game assist record with 30...yes THIRTY assists in one game. (By the way, is that record EVER getting broken?) Jennings has evolved into being much more conscious of his decision making, from an October turnovers/game of 4.0 to finishing February with a 1.9 TOs/game. Yes, his shooting woes have continued but his distribution and ball security has coincided with the Bucks second half turnaround.

The Bucks are 9-1 in their last 10 games, second only to the Mavs 11-game win streak. Plus the addition of John Salmons has filled a major hole in their swingman rotation with Michael Redd being down (again) for the year with another knee injury. Their bench & role players are actually pretty deep and versatile. The ever-seasoned Jerry Stackhouse has become a mentor for this young squad, and Charlie Bell (defensive stud), Luc Richard Mbah a Moute (rebounder), Luke Ridnour (distributor), and Carlos Delfino (3-point shooter) all excel greatly in a rotation that goes 10-11 deep every night. They can matchup with anyone in the league, and although they aren't elite yet, no one wants to see them.

Mark my words on this one, if the Celtics matchup with the Bucks in the first round...just make sure you know that Ed said it first. Upset special.

Kudos to the GM, coaches, and players of the Milwaukee Bucks. You've stayed in the dark for too long, its time to bring you to the light. We're looking forward to seeing you all do work.

-Ed.
www.edthesportsfan.com

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