The Buck Doesn’t Stop Here

Give me the names of stand out Milwaukee Bucks players.  Look at this funny logo while you think about it.

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Stumped? Good.

Believe it or not, two of the greatest players in NBA history played for the Bucks : Kareem Abdul Jabar and Oscar Robertson. Yet outside those two guys, their history seems to be pretty barren, and they have had a lot of chances to make an impact on the continuity of the team’s success. The reason for the Bucks overall bland style of basketball is not that they are bad year in and year out. Over the past two decades ( or since Kareem left for the Lakers) the Bucks have found themselves a woefully average team with averaging a win percentage of 45% since the 1993-1994 season. That means out of 82 games, the Bucks have averaged 37 wins in a season, which drops them in the middle of the pack.

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The Buck’s win percentage this season was .187 with a record of 15 and 67. While that was pretty bad it has to be noted that it is worst the Buck’s have been. Ever. A reason behind  the mundane  flavor of basketball is that the Bucks have had such a hard time winning or losing games and as a result they can never draft effective players or impact players consistently. To be honest it is not because of their drafting choices because given the pick positions they have had, they have always made the right choice. Year in and year out the Bucks do not get favorable draft picks and since ’94 the bucks have only had the number one overall pick twice.

Their average pick number is the 9th pick. Unlike football or baseball the type of picks you get past the 5th pick usually are just role players or impact players. The Bucks have gone too long without a player they can build their team around. The closest the Bucks have been with a quality pick was with Andrew Bogut, but injuries have hindered his growth and the team’s growth until they decided to trade him. Today everything has changed, and here are some ways the Bucks can go from a perennial bottom feeding team to playoff contenders pretty quickly

 

1. The Draft

This draft is finally the Bucks getting the break they needed deserved. No longer do they have to be the team in the middle of the pact with no up or downside to the growth of their team. If the Cavaliers end up taking Joel Embiid, and I think they will, the Bucks have a great shot at picking up Jabri Parker over Andrew Wiggins.

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For those that read that with a raised eye brow wait a minute.

Parker is a better overall player than Wiggins. Wiggins has an unlimited potential compared to Parker, yet we can agree both players are going to be good. The Bucks know their history much more than I do. They have not had a chance like this before; hell they never even had the number 2 pick before. I believe that the Bucks would rather have a player that they know what to expect than a player that you need to wait and hope pans out to be the player he is expected to be.

2. Free Agency

Not to mention the position the Bucks are in now makes them more attractive for players looking for a new place to ball this off-season. Above all, the Bucks should look to sign Greg Monroe seeing as he would be a great fit for this team for their new look. He may be a liability on defense, but he plays offense well enough for him to be an effective player on a young and growing team like the Bucks while moving Larry Sanders to PF. It would be interesting if the Bucks could land a point guard like Kyle Lowry as well seeing that Lowry has increased his level of play over the last two season considerably would be a good fit on a young team like the Bucks.

If the Bucks did take Parker, then you would have a very good core of players along with Larry Sanders. But all these players and lack of trust in the coach makes Milwaukee a dead end team.

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3. Coaching

I like Larry Drew. He is an extremely underrated coach and I felt that when he was let go from Atlanta he was a scapegoat. The reality he didn’t have a very deep team and his star player was always injured. Also Josh Smith is a coach killer, but that is another topic for another day. I have faith that Larry Drew can do some great things given better players. The Bucks need to be patient and give him time to dish out his plan, and it would appear that they are going to allow him to coach this team even though they only won 15 games.

Too often in the NBA front offices fire a head coach not because he did a bad job or he is a bad coach, but somebody needs to take the blame and the coach is the easiest (and most cost-effective) to remove in order to appease your fan base or investors. It grinds my gears because a lot of times the coaches need time to grow and develop with the players to figure out the system in place and by replacing that system every two years, your team can never grow because there is no set development system in place. The Bucks need to sit still and allow their team to develop in one direction before they hit the panic button. With a young player like Parker/Wiggins you need them to get acclimated to the NBA and that  only gets harder with a new coach in  year 2  or 3 of  their career.

 

The Bucks have hit rock bottom, yet the beautiful thing about hitting rock bottom is that there is so much room to climb for success. The Bucks have a real opportunity to change their franchise’s course for the next 5-10 years depending on how their first round draft pick pans out. For all 27 of the Milwaukee Buck fans that still watch Bucks basketball, hope is in the form of the 2014 second overall draft pick so keep your collective chins up and buck up. (Pun intended)

 

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