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Bucks reach 60-win mark for first time since ’81

MILWAUKEE — The Milwaukee Bucks checked off one more regular-season accomplishment on Sunday night in Fiserv Forum: beating the Atlanta Hawks 115-107 and securing their 60th win of the season. As the clock wound down and the Bucks’ dribbled out the clock, Bucks fans chanted “Sixty!” at the top of their lungs.

With just one or two games remaining on most schedules, no other team will be able to reach the 60-win mark this season. Still, there were no champagne showers or cake-cutting ceremonies to commemorate the moment after the game, despite the club reaching the mark for the first time since 1981.

“We have bigger goals ahead of us,” said coach Mike Budenholzer. “But it’s important for the group to enjoy it and celebrate it. Not a lot of people get to participate on a team that can win 60 in a season. It’s down our list of priorities, but it’s certainly something to be enjoyed.”

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Enjoying the 60-win mark is something new for Budenholzer, who said he took very little time to celebrate after leading the Hawks to the mark in 2014-15. Budenholzer now joins Pat Riley, cheap nba jerseys china
Phil Jackson, K.C. Jones, Mike D’Antoni, Don Nelson and Rick Adelman to win 60 games with multiple franchises.
Giannis Antetokounmpo, who had 30 points and nine rebounds, said that he won’t be doing anything to mark the occasion. Ultimately, he hopes to accomplish more, but he did take a minute during his postgame comments to reflect on how far the team has come since his rookie season, when the Bucks won only 15 games.

“Now, we have four times that amount,” Antetokounmpo said. “It’s big. Our goal coming into the season was to get 60 wins.”

He continued: “I think you enjoy it in the summer, when you look back. You enjoy it a little bit right now, but if you enjoy a moment for too long, I think you lose track of what is important.”

The Bucks don’t yet know who they’ll meet in the NBA playoffs. Does it matter? Matt Velazquez, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

With all 30 NBA teams off Monday night, everyone got a rest from scoreboard watching and trying to sort out all the remaining possibilities. That included members of the Milwaukee Bucks.

With a league-best 60 wins with one game remaining Wednesday night against the Oklahoma City Thunder at Fiserv Forum, the Bucks don’t have to run any numbers to figure out where they stand. They’re the No. 1 team in the league and will have home-court advantage throughout the playoffs, tipping off the first round in Milwaukee this weekend.
However, they still don’t know who their first-round opponent will be. With two days left in the regular season, they still have four possible opponents.

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“I’ve definitely been watching the last couple weeks, but it’s just too close,” Khris Middleton said of keeping on eye on the out-of-town scores. “I don’t know who has the tie-breakers, cheap nba jerseys
everybody’s been going back and forth just like musical chairs. It’s going to be interesting; it’s going to come down to the last game, I think, which is fun to watch as a fan I would say but when you’re in those moments it’s kind of stressful.

“Whoever we get matched up with I’m sure we’ll be ready to go.”

The Bucks have certainly put themselves in a position to be confident regardless of the matchups they face. They won the season series against all 14 other Eastern Conference teams, including a sweep of the Detroit Pistons – the team occupying the No. 8 seed entering play Tuesday.
Where last year the Bucks were at the bottom of the pack among East playoff teams and at times angling for the right playoff matchup, they’ve reached a point where they generally aren’t worried about who comes next.

“I haven’t been, honestly,” center Brook Lopez said about scoreboard watching. “It’s all about who we have in here.”

It’s been five years since the Bucks won a franchise-worst 15 games; it’s a season that’s hard to fathom today

Milwaukee Bucks guard O.J. Mayo grimaces as he is called for a foul by official Scott Wall during the fourth quarter of an NBA basketball game in Sacramento, Calif., Sunday, March 23, 2014. The Kings won 124-107 (Photo: Rich Pedroncelli, Associated Press)

The Bucks secured their 60th win on Sunday with two games to play in the NBA regular season. It’s hard to wrap one’s mind around the idea that this total represents four TIMES the total number of wins from a season just five years ago, the 2013-14 campaign.
Giannis Antetokounmpo, a rookie that season, Wholesale nba jerseys
was just getting his feet wet, and the team was relying on a collection of unproven players (and the timeless classic of Ersan Ilyasova).

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Here’s a look back at that year, which feels like a relic from a distant past era.

Can you name the 2013-14 top two scorers?
The leading scorer was Brandon Knight, who scored 17.9 points per game that year in 72 games. Knight was later traded to Phoenix in a three-team trade that also involved Philadelphia, receiving Michael Carter-Williams, Tyler Ennis and Miles Plumlee in return. Those players ultimately didn’t work out long term, and the Bucks eventually traded Carter-Williams for current rotation piece Tony Snell.

Second would be Ramon Sessions, the former second-round pick who evolved into a pretty reliable player, though he only played in 28 games for the Bucks that year to average 15.8 points per game. But this was his second stint in Milwaukee. After two seasons with the Bucks, he signed with Minnesota before the 2009-10 season, but he was traded to Milwaukee on February of 2014 along with Jeff Adrien for Gary Neal and Luke Ridnour. Sessions last played in the NBA in 2018 and is now with Maccabi Tel Aviv of the Euro League.

Brook Lopez got his chance to meet the bat in San Antonio

SAN ANTONIO — The batty occurrences at the AT&T Center continued Sunday with play delayed for the third time this season when a bat swooped onto the court during the third quarter of the San Antonio Spurs’ 121-114 win over the Milwaukee Bucks.

The scene reminded some Bucks players in the postgame locker room of a remark made to SB Nation by center Brook Lopez, who welcomes the opportunity a bat sighting could bring.

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“If you’ve learned anything from the modern superhero myth, if you see a bat around and it bites you, you have a 75 percent chance of ending up a superhero,” Lopez told SB Nation. “Otherwise, cheap nba jerseys china
you’ll probably get really sick. But it’d be cool to be a superhero. You don’t need to be too afraid. I’d say give it a shot.”

Remembering Lopez’s remarks, both Khris Middleton and Eric Bledsoe, sitting side by side in the locker room, asked Lopez where he was when the bat came onto the court.

“I was standing right there. It was swooping down on me. I made myself available,” Lopez said, spreading his arm wide while teammates laughed
San Antonio’s mascot, nicknamed “Coyote,” immediately jumped onto the floor and captured it with a net. Celebrating a birthday during the game, Coyote was also wearing a Batman costume when it caught the wayward bat as Bucks players such as All-Star Giannis Antetokounmpo and Bledsoe scurried in different directions to avoid contact with the animal.
Bledsoe was asked what goes through his mind when he sees a bat flying his way: “Stay out the way. I was just trying to stay out of the way. That kind of scared me when they brought the little net-catching things over there. I tried to get out of the way of that, too.”
Antetokounmpo, meanwhile, asked Lopez and the media assembled near his locker why San Antonio’s mascot is “a Coyote and not bat.”

“Oh yeah, definitely [I was scared],” Antetokounmpo said. “I think this is the first time I’ve seen a bat up close. I’m scared of all the insects. I don’t like roaches. I don’t like ants. And if I don’t like that, I don’t like a bat. I tried to run away.”

Three bats delayed a Spurs game in January against the Phoenix Suns, and despite arena officials putting together a plan to stop another bat invasion, they weren’t able to prevent bats from delaying a Feb. 2 matchup against the New Orleans Pelicans for nearly two minutes. Prior to that game, arena officials erected netting to capture bats flying over the court.

But the Coyote captured the bats on Sunday against the Bucks and during the Feb. 2 game against New Orleans.

Bucks player Malcolm Brogdon says racially segregated Milwaukee needs to change, and the NBA can help

Malcolm Brogdon, one of the starters for a Milwaukee Bucks team that has fashioned the best record in the NBA, was profiled in a lengthy piece by The Guardian that chronicled his unique upbringing and awareness of social inequity for black Americans … including in Milwaukee.

Among the third-year player’s observations were statements echoing comments made by Bucks President Peter Feigin in 2017 identifying Milwaukee as “the most segregated, racist place I’ve experienced in my life.” Brogdon said the comments didn’t shock him.

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“Before I came to Milwaukee I’d heard the city was the most segregated in the country,” Brogdon said in the article penned by Donald McRae. “I’d heard it was racist. When I got here cheap nba jerseys from china
it was extremely segregated. I’ve never lived in a city this segregated. Milwaukee’s very behind in terms of being progressive. There are things that need to change rapidly.”

Brogdon also said he felt Milwaukee could make changes for the better.

“Leadership and change starts from the top down — with our owners being progressive,” he said. “They encourage players that also want to be forward thinking. For them to support Peter Feigin is a big sign and encourages us to do the same. To speak out for what is good and right.”
The Bucks have demonstrated an awareness of Milwaukee’s racial inequity, including for their own players. The team issued a statement in staunch support of Sterling Brown, who filed a lawsuit against the city and its police department after he was tased and arrested by officers who approached him in a Walgreens parking lot after Brown’s car was parked illegally.

Giannis Antetokounmpo Is N.B.A. Must-See TV, and Maybe the M.V.P.

LOS ANGELES — The evolution of Giannis Antetokounmpo into a global star has been playing out for six seasons. It manifests in soaring dunks, or blocked shots from the weak side that defy logic, or wraparound passes to an open shooter, or crossover dribbles that leave defenders reeling in his impossibly long-limbed wake.

But Pat Connaughton, a reserve guard, did not have the opportunity to witness Antetokounmpo’s feats on a daily basis until last summer, when he signed with the Milwaukee Bucks and joined his new teammates for scrimmages ahead of training camp.

“You’d see him do something ridiculous, and I’d be looking around and nobody would be reacting,” Connaughton recalled. “Like, ‘Did you guys not just see that?’”

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For the players who have been around Antetokounmpo the longest, there may be an element of genius fatigue at work — not that they take him for granted. Malcolm Brogdon, cheap nba jerseys
a third-year guard, tried to provide some context for Connaughton at one of those early scrimmages.
“You’ll get used to it after a while,” Brogdon told him. “It happens all the time.”

Antetokounmpo, 24, has turned the sublime into the routine. But the novelty has not worn off for N.B.A. fans, who have made him appointment viewing this season, and the Bucks have shaped themselves into contenders by following his lead. On top of that, nearly two years after Kobe Bryant, the retired Los Angeles Lakers guard, challenged Antetokounmpo to win the league’s Most Valuable Player Award, he may be on the verge of upending the Eastern Conference to do so.

“Everything you see about him or hear about him is how hard he works,” Lakers Coach Luke Walton said, “and how great he wants to be.”

The Bucks improved their league-best record to 48-14 after coming from behind to defeat the Lakers on Friday night at Staples Center. Antetokounmpo, who has been dealing with right knee soreness, finished with 16 points and 15 rebounds in the Bucks’ 131-120 win, which qualified as a quiet effort for him. But he had his moments.

Early in the fourth quarter, he sized up Mike Muscala, his 6-foot-11 defender, at the top of the perimeter. He took a couple of hard dribbles into the paint, threw his right shoulder into Muscala to knock him off balance, then dunked over him with his left hand.

Clippers’ Doc Rivers has LeBron James, Kevin Durant comparison for Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo

Lakers Fans Need to Get Used to LeBron
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Milwaukee Bucks superstar small forward Giannis Antetokounmpo is one of the best players in the game, which makes him almost impossible to gameplan for. Just ask L.A. Clippers head coach Doc Rivers, cheap nba jerseys china
who says Antetokounmpo is in the same class as Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant and Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James.

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Appearing on FS1’s Undisputed Tuesday morning, Rivers said preparing for The Greek Freak is just as hard as game planning for KD and LeBron.
Through 19 games this season, Giannis Antetokounmpo has been a man among boys. The Bucks’ two-time All-Star is averaging 26.8 points, 13.0 rebounds, and 5.9 assists per game while shooting 57.2 percent from the field.

Antetokounmpo doesn’t have the shooting prowess that Durant does, but he doesn’t even need it since he can get to the rim whenever he wants with his long strides. No one in the league has the strength which LeBron does when he’s going downhill, but Giannis Antetokounmpo is a nightmare on the fastbreak as well. He can take two steps from half court and he’ll be dunking the ball.

The Bucks are 14-6 on the season, second place in the Eastern Conference. New head coach Mike Budenholzer has implemented a more fluid offense which is predicated on ball movement and off-ball cuts. As a result, Antetokounmpo is scoring with ease this season.

Milwaukee Bucks vs. Chicago Bulls Preview: Quick Rematch Awaits

Milwaukee’s season is off to a promising start and after a tough beginning, the schedule has eased up on them a bit. Next up is a game against division rival Chicago Bulls tonight. The teams just played 11 days ago, which saw Chicago storm out to a first half lead before Milwaukee blitzed the Bulls in the second half and won by 19.

Bucks Update
Since that Chicago game, the Bucks had an interesting week. Milwaukee held off the Denver Nuggets, crushed the Portland Trail Blazers by 43 points and cheap nba jerseys from china
came back from a 12-point deficit to defeat the San Antonio Spurs. The Bucks had a hiccup against the Charlotte Hornets on Monday night losing 107-110 and definitely didn’t lose at home to the Phoenix Suns. Milwaukee still sports a 14-6 record, which is second in the whole league.

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Player to Watch: Malcolm Brogdon
It’s been an interesting season for Brogdon. On the one hand, he has statistically been posting highs for points per game, and has been the key for a few of Milwaukee’s best wins (i.e. the Denver games). However, Brodgon has very much been a frustrating player for fans, often deciding to dribble instead of shooting and showing blinders on in transition. Brogdon might be the toughest person to peg among the Bucks impending free agents on if they will be re-signed and for how much. Let’s hope we see more from him.

Bulls Update
Things have not been going well in Chicago. Since losing to the Bucks, Chicago has lost four of their last five with their only win coming against Phoenix. The Bulls defense has continued being a sieve, as they’re currently in the bottom half in most defensive categories. The injury bug has still stricken Kris Dunn and their best player Lauri Marakkanen.

Bulls player to watch: Zach Lavine
With Marakkanen out injured, Lavine takes the mantle as the Bulls best player. He currently averages 25.7 and is letting you know he will take the shot even if it’s ill advised. While defensively he is not a player the Bucks need to fear, his shot making and ability to get to the line will be something to watch.

How Brook Lopez turbocharges the Bucks’ offense by just standing at the 3-point line

Here’s a tip for making one of the NBA’s most exciting teams incredibly boring: spend the entire time watching Brook Lopez. Ignore Giannis Antetokounmpo, Khris Middleton, Eric Bledose, and the beautiful Moreyball offense that Mike Budenholzer has built in Milwaukee, and instead focus your eyes entirely on their plodding center.
This is an oversimplification, cheap milwaukee bucks jersey
but not that much of one. According to NBA.com player-tracking data, Lopez runs at an average speed of 3.96 miles per hour, more than two-tenths of a mile slower than the second-slowest Buck who plays rotation minutes. The effect is even more pronounced on offense: Lopez’s average speed is 0.37 miles per hour slower than second-place Malcolm Brogdon, a margin greater than the difference between Brogdon and the fastest in-game player on the team (Thon Maker).

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Lopez thus has the dream job of any washed pickup player. He gets to run three-point line to three-point line, launch super-long shots if he does get the ball at a solid 37-percent clip, and doesn’t owe his team much more than his mere presence when he doesn’t.

Milwaukee vs. Orlando: Steady As She Goes

The stats don’t lie. The Milwaukee Bucks are officially the best team in the NBA, after trouncing the Orlando Magic to the tune of a 113-91 victory.

It was Halloween Night at the arena, and Bucks fans were served up quite a scare. In the first quarter, Bucks everything-man Giannis Antetokounmpo took an Aaron Gordon elbow to the head, cheap milwaukee bucks jersey
and Giannis was extremely slow to get up. Usually, the combination of “Giannis” and “elbow” results in this image, but the sight at Fiserv Forum on Saturday night was far more jarring.

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Thankfully, the night did not include any more bad news about Giannis’ well-being, though it wasn’t without further ups and downs. Giannis was able to return to the court in the second quarter, but at halftime Mike Budenholzer let him know that the medical staff needed further evaluation…and Giannis was not pleased.
No further reports about Giannis’ status came through until Katie George confirmed that he had returned to the bench and was available to play again. By that time, the Bucks’ lead had ballooned beyond 20 points, and Giannis’ return would not be necessary.