Bucks Diary

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Bucks administer a Holiday Heatdown

"Makes me sick, motherfucker, how far we done fell" -- Detective William "Bunk" Moreland, The Wire
Those famous words from Season 3 of HBO's The Wire might well have been repeated last night in the visiting locker room at The Bradley Center by Miami Heat Coach Pat Riley, or by their superstar guard Dwayne Wade, or by anyone else on that team for whom pride might still matter. Because, somehow, someway, that team has gone -- in less than half a year, mind you -- from a championship outfit to a truly putrid team.
How could they have fallen so far, so fast? Age, mostly. Besides Wade, who is nearing his transcendent prime, they are a team of has beens and never weres. The glory once attached to some of the names on the back of their black traveling jerseys exists no more. Mourning, Payton, Walker... they are a like a stable of once great thoroughbreds who need to be put down.
And the Bucks, to their credit, recognized this and showed no mercy. They grabbed the aging Heat by their collective ears, marched them right down Kilbourn, and tossed them into Lake Michigan. It was a beatdown with a cane, Singapore style. And I didn't think there was a team bad enough to endure a humiliation like that from this Bucks squad. Certainly not the defending world champion Miami Heat. How far they done fell.
Playoffs? Were talkin' playoffs?
Now, if you look at it, and as shocking as it sounds, the Bucks appear to have the inside track for a spot in the NBA's post season tournament. Not because of their play, of course. Its because of the stiffs lined up behind them. Take a look for yourself and tell me, who looks capable of putting up any resistance? There are certainly teams who could fight, but none of them seem to have the will to actually do so.
Which says something for the Bucks. They have fought on when there didn't seem to be a reason to fight on. After they lost Simmons, and then Villanueva, their already thin lineup looked close to collapse. But they've kept it from breaking up, and that's to their credit.
One last note: The newspapers and online sources will heap most of the credit for last night's victory on Mo Williams because he recorded double figures in three seperate statistical categories. But the real shining star for the Bucks was Bogut. Against the once mighty Alonzo Mourning, he played a near perfect game, one of his best in a Bucks uniform. He filled up his entire stat sheet with positive numbers, even mixing in 3 blocked shots. He was spectacular. And if statistics were viewed in terms of substance rather than flash, it would be more than obvious that he was the best player in last night's game.


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