Everything from here is gravy

There is nothing quite as rewarding as a better than expected campaign turned in by your favorite sports team.  No matter what happens from here on out, 2009-10 will be remembered as one of the most satisfying Milwaukee Bucks seasons in the history of the franchise.

At the beginning of the season, many had the Bucks rated among the worst teams in professional basketball.  Those of us in Antlernation disagreed.  We were right.  But even our expectations were exceeded.  I had the team at 41 wins.  I was praying they would get there.  I never saw 46 wins, not in my wildest dreams.

And the team continues to surprise and impress in the postseason.  Without Bogut, I was hoping the team would win one game.  They’ve now won two.

So whatever happens from here cannot tarnish what has to be considered one of the Bucks finest seasons.  Whether they win or lose tonight, we are guaranteed a Game Six at the Bradley Center, and that should be an absolutely wild, wild affair.


11 Responses to “Everything from here is gravy”

  1. Blake Says:

    Yes, I agree. Even if we do lose I’m still extremely proud of this team, especially Brandon.

    Ah, it seems like just yesterday you were making your furious posts about the Bucks front office, I believe you were so mad about our team sucking for so long you were considering giving up on the Bucks!

  2. palamida Says:

    Don’t mean to rain on your antler parade:
    If I was a Bucks fan I would be pleased with the past season and the post season, thus far as well.
    But Honestly, those “furious” posts about the Bucks Front office were right on the money; Hammond as executive of the year? that’s a stretch.
    Let’s have a look at some of the Major moves Hammond was responsible for since taking over the reigns:

    * Hammond drafted Joe Alexander (which projected as a poor player) with the 8th overall pick. That’s just a wasted pick (and some Owner’s $).

    * In that same draft he wisely selected LRBM with the 37th pick, a wonderful get and use of that pick.

    *Signing Tyronn lou and Malik allen… Ugh, need I say more?

    * When we now give credit to Hammond for getting rid of RJ let’s not forget that he’s the one that traded for him in the first place! in his defense, he did get rid of Yi in the process, (a most desirable outcome) a terrible player the Bucks previous management wasted a 5th pick on. Yi however was on a rookie contract (albeit a high scale rookie contract), and taking all that salary back wasn’t the best of strategies, imho.
    One important aspect of that trade though, was getting Amir Johnson – a highly productive player in his own right who was nevertheless the essential piece in the Delfino Sign and trade. Another great get, but one has to wonder how his season (and the Bucks, in turn) would have turned if Redd’s knees would have held up.

    *Letting Sessions go. It was clear that the Bucks weren’t interested in resigning this incredibly talented young PG. It’s hard to imagine why the Bucks elected not the match the measly 16m over 4 Yrs the T-wolves committed to him. At that price it’s simply a bargain and passing it up is simply a terrible decision, which leads us to Hammond’s next move:

    *The Jennings pick…. this has been discussed from every possible angle.
    Some argued (I think Ty and I would have agreed on it, back then) that all the reports about the Bucks intending to use their 10th pick on a PG are perplexing seeing as they have a perfectly capable (and cheap) young PG on their roster already. If we get past that I think the bottom line here for me is that while I admit Jennings surpassed my expectations this was an ill-advised pick. If you’re going to use that pick on a PG, why not pick Lawson?. Their best move and the one I advocated at the time, personally, was keeping Sessions and drafting Blair. Either way I see no way the Bucks could have foreseen Jennings being this good defensively. The “experts” speak highly every year about certain players the “numbers” simply do not condone. Naturally someone will get “lucky” every year. This past year I believe it was the Bucks.
    Almost Every other pick that seemed contradictory to how a player projected as a pro seemed to have hit the nail on the head: Flynn, Hill, Derozan, Henderson, Earl Clark, Jeff Teague and B.J Mullens would probably be the most prominent names on that particular list. They all appear to be exactly whom “we” thought they were – in hindsight someone )the one that got away with it :P) always looks “smart”, but I doubt we can really attribute any real credit here to Hammond.

    *Drafting Jodie Meeks with the 41th pick. Meeks who was projected to be an average player at the most, turned out to be exactly who we thought he was as well (perhaps even a tad worse). In his defense, Much like in Alexander’s case, at least Hammond dispensed with him sooner rather than later.

    *Signing Erasn Ilyasova. His European numbers suggested he has improved as a player and considering the Bucks owned his rights all along it seems like a logical step to give him “another shot”. Kudos to Hammond, but again it’s a very low risk play. On a 3 yr deal worth around 6M it’s kind of a no-brainer to take a flyer on a young guy who plays like a stud overseas.
    Nevertheless – a good decision.

    *Brezec and Ivey for Elson and Meeks. Had to bring that one up, lol. Was there ever a 4 man trade consisted of so little NBA talent? not much to say about this one :p.

    * Signing old man Stackhouse – even at this cost i’m sure it shouldn’t have been too hard to find a young d-leaguer or perhaps a more productive veteran who would easily produce more wins for the Bucks.

    * The Salmons trade. Again, This looks brilliant in hindsight and that is probably the move that earned Hammond his award most of all.
    Considering the Bucks gave up almost nothing here (Meeks and Warrick’s expiring contract) – it’s a great move. The Bulls were terrified Salmons would opt-in and jeopardize their summer and long term plans, so they were desperate to unload him. Following Redd’s injury (and truth be told even before it) the Bucks were desperate for some help on the wings. With that in mind getting a reasonably priced, career average performer on a contract year is definitely a plausible move. I am highly skeptical that Hammond envisioned the domino effect that this trade will cause. As Ty analyzed in great detail this move basically forced LRBM back to a position he’s much more productive in – the PF position. It eliminated Meeks’s considerably harmful (per min) “contribution” and allowed Delfino to be deployed in a more suitable fashion. It didn’t hurt that Salmons had a career couple of months himself 🙂 So yeah, a great move but did Hammond truly believe or even Hope that this move would lead the Bucks to a 46 wins season (which probably would have been more like 48 if it hadn’t been for Bogut’s injury)?
    Personally, I doubt that.
    I think I covered all of his Major moves (just recalled he also got Old man Thomas), probably left something out, but you get the picture…
    All in all and considering what’s being done in other franchises I think Hammond did a decent job so far. Let’s no let a little success blind us: I think Ty was 100% correct in many of those “furious” posts and even now, in hindsight It is my opinion that the “fury” was well directed.

    *The 3 way trade that in essence from the Bucks prespective was basically Williams for Ridnour. Considering Ridnour actually turned out to be an upgrade (and a cheaper one, at that) it seems like a great move. However this move was basically forced on the the Bucks as Williams was out the door anyways, hard to give Hammond real credit here.


  3. palamida Says:

    Blake, I clearly said that I’ll recap both seasons. If u look at this season alone you’re still left with not retaining Sessions followed by the subsequent Jennings and Meeks picks. Signing Stackhouse. That’s this season’s negatives.
    The positives would be Ilyasova, Delfino and the Salmons trade.
    Doesn’t really shout “great!”… In my mind at least.
    We’re all entitled to our opinions :p
    Hope you guys are enjoying game 5. (i’m watching it as well)
    Half-time. How about that Brezec sighting? that’s gotta be the slowest release i’ve even seen, did u see that?

  4. palamida Says:

    Ugh, that paragraph in the end somehow found it’s way to the end… it obviously belongs somewhere in the middle, sorry bout that mess.

  5. palamida Says:

    is 91-87 enough gravy? yumm!

  6. Blake Says:

    WE WON!!!!!! I DON’T KNOW HOW WE DID IT!!!!!!

  7. palamida Says:

    Skiles knows :p
    I don’t know what is it about defense it the playoffs (especially on the road), maybe it’s the refs allowing a more “free flowing” game, or perhaps it’s the fact that nerves affect the jump shot more than it affects your ability to stay with your man, I really have no idea ; the fact remains that Defensive oriented teams meaning teams (generally speaking) whose defense is relatively superior to their offense tend to “overpreform” in the postseason while teams who are constructed the other way around appear (by in large) to do the opposite.
    This series is really a clash of opposites in that respect: Atlanta features the 2nd best offense in the league while only having the 13th best defense ; The Bucks on the other hand possess the 2nd best defense (I’m doing this from memory, but i’m quite sure that’s correct) while their offense is somewhere around 20th… (again don’t have it in front of me right now…).
    ATL had the Clear eff. Diff adv. (with Bogut out) and HC adv. and yet…
    we are where we are after tonight. Average defense isn’t usually the mark of teams that make deep playoff runs.
    Naturally, most teams who make those kind of deep runs are Elite teams that almost by definition are usually in top 5-8 in both categories. Every now and again we get to see a Playoff team whose really unbalanced, and examining those teams performances across the years gives us some valuable insight into what it takes to be a good team in the postseason. The Suns teams over the last few years, for example, were constructed in a similar manner (top flight Offense with weak defensive numbers). Despite their Regular season records (and the expectations that came with them) we all know how things turned out for them…
    Even with that said, I have to admit that even though I identified this “favorable” clash prior to the playoffs, I never imagined the Bucks might actually get to 6 or 7 games let alone win it… I mean, that defense was supposed to Collapse with the likes of Danny G, Thomas and Ilyasova at Center, wouldn’t u think?
    I sure did, I think Skiles deserves a lot of credit. A lot!

  8. TC from Racine Says:

    strange days in Buckland. I can’t remember the last time the Bucks took most of the fourth quarter free throws, never mind all of em. Usually it’s the other way around, it’s nice to be on the winning end of that for a change.

  9. chappy Says:

    i actually stumbled onto bucks diary when i wanted to see what someone with bucks insight thought how charlie v would fit with the squad. ive enjoyed reading here ever since, and then read a bunch when the bucks drafted jennings, a player who i dig.

    i came into this series lightly rooting for the hawks, but the bucks team play has made me root for the deer. im a clipper fan at heart, but im stoked for all you buck fans that stuck with this team. the future looks bright, and hopefully you can take the series in milwaukee. ill be rooting for the deer.

  10. Vlietinho Says:

    I’m getting fat from al that gravy :-))

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