Bucks Diary

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Were those the Bucks Lambeau Leap games?


Normally I try, weakly, to emulate Bill James, the baseball writer. Tonight, I'm going to try to emulate Bill Simmons, the "sports guy". So this post is based on nothing but my "gut". And, sadly, it will probably be alot more popular and conversational than the Jamesian posts that I actually put alot of effort into. Oh well, (hey, I'm super wordy like Bill Simmons!) here it is:

16 years ago next Saturday, Christmas Day 1993 to be exact, I remember I believed the 8-6 Mike Holmgren Green Bay Packers were kind of the same old Green Bay Packers. Pretty good, yeah, improved from Lindy Infante, yeah, a little better coached, to be sure, but headed ultimately to a fate of at best 9-7 seasons, one after another, and then a series of one and dones in the playoffs. In other words, they were nothing special.

The next day, December 26th, the Packers played an okay, 8-5 Los Angeles Raiders team at Lambeau Field. The Raiders weren't great, but they were formidable. The Packers beat them down so thoroughly, so completely... LeRoy Butler invented the Lambeau Leap that day... I just remember thinking after the game... this shit is different. These aren't the same Packers. They're headed for a different plane. NFL Films says the Packers victory over the Lions in the play-offs two weeks later set them on their way... I say it was the win over the LA Raiders two weeks previous.

Of course the analogy with these Milwaukee Bucks is by no means pure. Its way too early in the Skiles era. And remember, even after the Raider beat down it took the Packers setback after setback to reach the pinnacle. And by the way, I'm not saying the Bucks can get close to the pinnacle... because basketball is different and harder.

But after 20 years of poor defensive teams, didn't those two victories just feel great? Weren't they sort of "paradigm shifts" in your mental impression of the Milwaukee Bucks? Didn't you walk away thinking "these aren't the same Milwaukee Bucks"?

I did.

That's all I'm saying.

16 Comments:

At December 21, 2008 at 9:53 PM, Anonymous paulpressey25 said...

Ty, I think the Lambeau leap games are these next four against Utah, Detroit, SA and Houston.

Up until now, we've crushed bad teams and had mixed (but generally always losing results with good teams)

Now the Bucks are 100% healthy and headed into a 10-day stretch against four good teams.

My own take is that the Bucks offense is not able to function well against good defenses (which generally the good teams all have). However, put guys like Bogut, CV, RJ, LRMAM, Redd, etc against crappy defenses that don't put bothersome pressure on them, and the team will have a good enough offense to look like a pretty good team.

We've got a boatload of defenders that have bugged our players in the past on tap. Rasheed, Rip, AK47, Ginobli, Artest, Battier, etc. The one saving grace is Chauncey Billups is gone.

I'll be ready to do the Lambeau leap if we enter the new year winning 3 of 4 here (or maybe going 2-2 with the two losses being close fought)

 
At December 22, 2008 at 3:10 AM, Blogger TCW said...

Wait, wait, wait... I know where you're going, but you I didn't make my point well enough... its kind of more subtle.

I didn't mean the Bucks were "upper tier" yet, because they're not they're... they just don't have the offensive talent (the defense, though, is a hair away I think... believe it or not).

What i was kind of saying was "Ok, now the Bucks mean business again".

You know what I mean?

But Pressey, here's a different point that I've been wanting to make to you. And this is the beauty of Offensive/Defensive Win Score. I'm beginning to believe that Offensive Win Score is fixed... it is based solely on talent. In other words, if you take the same roster from year to year and you figure for things like age and injury, you should get the same wins.

Whereas defense can be "organically grown" so to speak. In other words, as Skiles has done, you can take the same group of players, maybe add a couple extra and significantly increase defensive wins.

I've been kicking that in my brain for a while... don't smother it yet, its a totally untested baby, but I wanted your first impressions. I'll tell you what the implications are for the Bucks in another comment.

I gotta get to bed.

 
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