Oh, how things have changed in only 5 years, back in 2014 I remember watching the Bucks go 15-67 and not winning two games in a row the entire year. Fast forward to today where Bucks fans are acting like the sky is falling over the Bucks finally losing 2 games in a row.
This west coast road trip had danger written all over it from the start. To start off their trip they had to play the run and gun Kings, where the Bucks just barely pulled off a Win on the road 141-140 in overtime. Then 2 days later they had to go into the burning and sinking ship that is the Los Angeles Lakers team, who played right with the Bucks up until the 4th quarter. If there was ever a game I had to bet would be a scheduled loss, it would be the game verse the Jazz on Saturday. It ticks every box for the Bucks being in trouble; West coast road trip, playing in altitude, second game of a back-to-back game and the Bucks having almost no front court due to injuries. As expected, the Bucks did lose 115-111.
Now we get to the game verse the Phoenix Suns, and just to clarify there is no way the Bucks should lose to a team like the Phoenix Suns. The Bucks are the better team plain and simple. The stars did align for the Suns with everything mentioned above for the road trip, as well as the Suns just making some big shots at the end of the game.
In an 82-game season something like this is bound to happen even to the best team in the NBA, which the Bucks are. This is the perfect time for the Bucks have this happen to them, and I think this will inherently benefit them. I have seen it on all levels and sports of teams that become too comfortable on top. Rarely playing close games during the regular season and losing that spark from night to night.
The reason why this is something that can benefit the Bucks instead of hinder the Bucks is because of the Coaching staff in place. If Jason Kidd was at the helm, there would always be a blame game going on whether that would be guys like Jabari blaming Kidd or vice-versa. With this year’s Bucks team there is a level of accountability on all levels and if the Bucks play poorly it is on all of them.
The Bucks are also still trying to figure themselves out with the additions of Nikola Mirotic and Pau Gasol; as well as trying to figure out who is best for their guard play. With guys like Pat Connaughton who has rode the bench for the last two months, getting an expanded role in the absence of guys like Malcolm Brogdon, Sterling Brown and George Hill.
When you are getting closer to the playoffs, around the 10 games left mark you want to be winning and winning big. This is a great ignite the fire type of situation that will motivated the Bucks, and even though they might not play their best brand of basketball through this next couple games due to the addition of new players, you know that they will be playing hard, and with the depth and talent this team has they can beat most teams any given night regardless of who is out there.
(Shout out to the Houston Rockets for beating the Raptors on Tuesday so the Bucks can remain 2.5 games ahead of Toronto in the standings)
(All stats via www.basketball-reference.com)