Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Magic Make Joke of Bucks

If I had a guess to what these guys were talking about my guess would be. "Hey Pietrus, Charlie Bell really plays in the NBA?" No clue if that was really said, but I could see it. Everyone knows that the Bucks are a joke right now. They just can't get things going what so ever.

The Bucks did their, lets-play-good-the-first-half, but-tank-in-the-second against the Magic Wednesday. Milwaukee held an 8 point lead at halftime. Only to get out scored by 13 in the third quarter. I really felt that the Magic might hang 150 points on the Bucks, and they could have if they would have played better in the first half.

Tonight is going to be a quick recap

* Charlie Bell, sorry for making fun of you, but 8 minutes 0-5 shooting 1 turnover and 2 fouls. WE PAY YOU TO DO THAT SHIT?!?

* Jennings led all Bucks with 20 points. He also had 4 assists and 4 three pointers. Lets give him the Bucks POTG. Just keep doing what your doing kid this team will get better once we get some cap room. Which by then, we will probably just have to give it all to Jennings.

* Bogut got a double double after being benched the second half of Monday nights game. He finished with 15 and 10 not a huge game, but he did what he could for a dubs/dubs piece.

* Bucks 7-9 from the free throw line. Magic 21-26 from the line. Need I say more.

* Jason Williams, wow, the guy is real old but still getting the job done. He finished the game with 16 pts, 7 asts, 5 threes and a +/- of +37. That will earn him the Hunter of the Night.

* Mr. Howard and Mr. Carter had a good nights for Orlando. They finished with a combined 42 pts, 13 rebs. That would be nice to get from a few Bucks maybe once a month if we could.

* Bucks did have 18 offensive rebounds Wednesday night. I have to say, that might be the highlight of the night.

Not a great way for the Bucks to end 2009, but maybe they will turn it around in 2010. Milwaukee starts off the new year with a home game against Oklahoma City Thunder on Saturday the 2nd day of 2010. I want to wish everyone a Happy New Year! Be safe and please for the sake of my life DON'T drink and drive.

For the rest of the stats from the game feel free to click the link below.

If Jesus payin Lebron, I'm paying Wade

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Rodgers Leads Packers into Pro Bowl

One of my favorite nights of the year is the annual playing of the Pro Bowl, even though it's a game that seemingly no one besides me likes to watch. There's just something I love about watching my favorite stars half-ass rush the quarterback and seeing guys generally just not try in a football game while wearing hideous jerseys, I don't know why. Usually I love to see at least three or four Packers in the Pro Bowl, but this year, I hope to see none.

Quite simply that reason is because the Pro Bowl has been moved up this year to a week before the Super Bowl, and I'd obviously rather see the Packers resting their guys that week then I would watching them in an exhibition game. But if my some misfortune the Packers season was indeed over by that time, then we know that at least three of them will have a ticket to Miami for the Pro Bowl.

Aaron Rodgers, Charles Woodson, and Nick Collins were all named to the initial roster, with Woodson getting the nod as a starter. The three Packers pale in comparison to the eight Vikings that were selected, but it's still a nice achievement nonetheless. If for some reason some of the starters are either in the Super Bowl or decide not to go, the Packers also got a few alternates names as well. Clay Matthews was named a first alternative, while Ryan Grant, Chad Clifton, and A.J. Hawk were all named as secondary alternates (yeah, I don't know why either).

Happy Birthday, Gweeds!

This is Gweeds (left) and I during one of our more successful nights when we spent about $40 on a stuffed animal machine. These are the kind of people I choose to associate with in my real life, and for that I have no regrets. Let's all wish Gweeds a happy birthday today, and thank him for his hard work as he suffers through Bucks games to provide us all with recaps. Thanks buddy, and happy birthday.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Skiles Puts His Foot Down

We have all had enough with how the Bucks are playing right now. I'm sure Scott Skiles must feel the same way, because he put his foot down to people who don't play hard. At halftime Monday night the Bucks were down 56-34. To start the third quarter Skiles went with Brandon Jennings, Ersan Ilyasova, Kurt Thomas, Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, and last but not least Jodie Meeks. For those who are saying whats wrong with that, well that leaves Bogut, Redd, and Delfino on the bench. And the bench is where they stayed.

In the third quarter the Bucks did make a little run to cut the lead to 10 at one point. They could have cut it to 7, but Jennings missed a three point shot. After the miss the Bobcats ran down the court to get a 3 point play of their own. That would bring an end to the Bucks run, but it was nice to see the guys that cared try hard to come back from being down 22 at half.

Skiles kept the Delfino, Bogut and Redd on the bench for the whole second half. One person who usually plays a lot of minutes finally got put in with 1:50 left in the game, only so Jennings could grab some rest. Who is this person you ask? Well, it's the one and only Charlie Bell. I am not sure if this means he is in the doghouse with Skiles, but when your only time in the second half is in the final 1:50 of the second half, that's like a kick to the nuts.

Lets check out a few highlights from the 94-84 defeat.

* Brandon Jennings only had 9 points in the first half, but really turned it around in the second. Jennings finished the game with 24 points and 7 assists. He really played hard in the first half, and you could see he wasn't happy about how the Bucks were playing. In the second half he really attacked the hoop, but just never got a call. Lets give him the Bucks POTG for his hard work for all four quarters.

* Luc Richard Mbah a Moute played hard all four quarters too. He really worked hard on both ends. Luc is not a stud of a player, but he will always work hard every play. If only a few of the other guys had the heart that he has.

* The Bucks were not hitting shots from downtown, but for some reason they kept taking them in the second quarter. They finished the game a dreadful 6-25 from beyond the arc. The Bucks could not just find their stroke, again.

* Gerald Wallace was huge again for the Bobcats like he usually is. Wallace finished the game with 21 points and 14 rebounds. This guy is just an animal for this team. He earned himself the Hunter of the Night.

* Flip Murray, a former Buck, had a nice night off the bench. He scored 16 points and had 6 rebounds, but his biggest stat was his +/- which was +22.

* The Bucks are just not playing as a team right now. It seems that people are looking to shoot first and pass second. The games are not going to get any easier from here as they travel to face Orlando Wednesday night at 6:00 central. The other thing the Bucks need to stop right now is only scoring 10-14 points in a quarter. If this do this against Orlando, then the Magic will just destroy the Bucks. If you would like to waste some time check out the rest of the the stats from Mondays game via the link below.

It's hard to say that I'd rather stay awake when I'm asleep...

I Don't Like When Northwestern Does Well

There a few things we won't change our mind about here at The Bucky Channel: Favre is a douche, Cutler sucks, A Christmas Story is a terrible movie, and Northwestern is a joke. The first three things I mentioned I will take to my grave, but the last one is slowly unraveling in front of my face. Somehow, someway, Northwestern is turning into a reputable athletic institution.

After a halfway decent season on the gridiron, one in which they even beat my beloved Badgers, the men's basketball team is proving me wrong as well. For the first time since the 60's, the Northwestern Wildcats are ranked in the Associated Press Poll, sliding in at number 25. Thankfully, the Badgers are also back in the poll at number 23, so all is right in the world as they are at least ahead of Northwestern.

But the question is, if I write a blog focused on primarily Wisconsin sports, then why do I worry so much about a team that has historically sucked and never really been a threat to the Badgers? The answer is simple, my friends. It's because when I hate something, I really hate something. I hate Favre because he's a traitor, I hate Cutler because Bears fans think he's God, I hate A Christmas Story because TBS plays it for 24 hours straight even though it's not a good movie, and I hate Northwestern because their athletic Hall of Fame includes a picture of Darnell Autry and that's about it.

Then again, Cutler looked awesome against the Vikings tonight, Northwestern has a ranked basketball team, and I came across five minutes of A Christmas Story the other day and didn't entirely hate.

Oh well, at least Favre is still a douche.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Bucky Five: See You in the Playoffs

1. Domination - Now that is the team that I expected to see after what we had grown accustomed to in the preseason. Just as some of us here in Cheese Country were starting to worry about the Packers playoff chances (read: me), Green Bay came out and dominated the Seahawks 48-10. Sure, it helped that Seattle played worse than any team I've seen play this season, but it was a good statement for a Packers team that needed to rebound after a tough loss to Pittsburgh last weekend.

This game actually started out a little uneasy, as the Packers had a quick three-and-out before the Seahawks started running all over them. That's when the Seahawks mistakes started though, as Matt Hasselbeck threw a Jay Cutler-esque interception to A.J. Hawk. From there, it was an absolute rout, something the Packers have been able to do quite a few times this season. It was glorious.

I don't know about you guys, but I am so tired of playing Seattle. Sure, they suck so it's actually great to play Seattle, but I'm just tired of seeing Matt Hasselbeck and that lime green color all over my screen and act as a giant waste of time. Maybe it's because we played them in the playoffs all those years, but I guess we never lost one of those games so I don't know. All I do know is that I hate the Seahawks, even if I don't really have a reason to.

2. Three-Headed Monster - One thing I do love about the Seahawks is that years ago they gave us a guy named Ahman Green. Green had a great stint with the Packers before he left to the Houston Texans, but has since returned and I am absolutely loving his second stint in Green Bay. You could almost feel his joy after scoring his first touchdown since coming back, and he's been a very nice addition to a backfield that is suddenly becoming very impressive. Brandon Jackson is one of the best at making something out of nothing, and he barreled his way to three total touchdowns on Sunday. Ryan Grant, the leader of the group, broke another home run touchdown and finished with two of his own, falling just short of 100 yards. This is a running game that has struggling at times, but I have no complaints about it if it meant hitting their stride in December.

3. Even a Blind Squirrel Finds an Interception - There were a lot of great plays in the Packers tenth victory of the season, but my favorite might have been the Jarrett Bush interception. The Packers defense had four picks total - two from Bigby, one from Hawk, and then the one from Jarrett Bush. On Bush's interception, he actually covered the receiver very well before he turned around and found his hands on the football. I don't need Bush to be Al Harris or anything, but if he can even play remotely decent then I'll feel much better about the secondary having more days like this one, and less like the ones were we allow 500 plus yards passing.

4. The Brett Conway Treatment - The year after the Packers won Super Bowl XXXI, they hosted the Patriots for a preseason game that I can remember attending. One of our new draft picks was on a display, a kicker from Penn State named Brett Conway. Conway struggled mightily during the game, missing three field goals before receiving a chorus of boos. When the Packers finally did score their first touchdown of a game they'd win 7-3, Conway received the loudest cheer of the day when he nailed the extra point. That sarcastic stadium-wide applause was heard again today when Mason Crosby drilled a 52-yarder, a kick which helped restore our confidence in him a little bit. It was a nice moment for Crosby, but we all know that the guy can kick. What he hasn't been able to do lately is come through when it matters. Don't ruin this for us, Mason, but nice job anyway.

5. The Road From Here On Out - It's always nice to control your own destiny so to speak, and the Packers were in that position coming into week sixteen. Even so, they little help that they could have used was given to us in the form of a 41-9 Carolina Panthers victory over the New York Giants. With that result, and our victory, the Packers have clinched a playoff spot and will likely be heading to Arizona for each of the next two weekends. First up, we gotta finish off the regular season and then the week after we'll likely face them in the Wild Card round. This, after we've already traveled their during the preseason, making it three trips to one stadium in a single season.

Ideally, I would love to see us rest our guys for a good portion of next week, and not show the Cardinals too much. A lot of people are assuming that if we do play Arizona in the playoffs it would be an automatic victory, but I think we have to be a little more cautious then that. The main thing I'm worried about is that a victory in Arizona could very well mean a playoff game in Minnesota, where another chapter of this whole Brett Favre saga would be written. All I know is that the road to the Super Bowl is going to be tough, but the Packers are definitely a team that could get there. If we can beat Favre along the way, that would just make this the greatest season in the history of the Packers. Excuse me for getting ahead of myself a little bit.

And before I go, how insane was it that Matt Flynn and Brian Brohm were both taking real snaps at the same time today in the NFL? (Brohm's Bills lost to Atlanta 31-3, by the way)


I've been kind of getting into some serious Bucks fever lately, even after the honeymoon of the arrival of Bucks Jesus Brandon Jennings has worn off a bit. One of the presents I received for Christmas was a 2009-2010 Bucks Media Guide, and because I spend a lot of time in the bathroom I guess you can say that I've been doing a lot of reading. Looking at all of the statistics and all of the history has got me a bit more excited for a possible playoff run this season. However, that's a feeling that usually dwindles a little bit once I, you know, actually watch a game.

Look, I'm excited about what's going on in Milwaukee right now as much as the next guy, but by reading that media guide I'm longing for the days of our annual playoff appearances that we had as recent as the beginning of the decade. The Bucks right now do have a lot of promise, but they have been struggling as of late and this week was no exception.

I checked out both Bucks games this weekend looking for a bit of holiday cheer, but instead was left to drown my sorrows in some spiked egg nog. The game on Wednesday was sort of a rough one as Milwaukee lost to the Wizards 109-97, and then the game on Saturday was a flat out embarrassment as the Spurs got the upper hand with a 112-97 win. Michael Redd and Hakim Warrick will get the Bucks POTGs, respectively.

So as we look at things now, the Bucks stand with a current record of 12-16. I always get offended when basketball fans talk about how bad the Eastern Conference is, but that looks to be the case again this year as that record would actually give the Bucks the seventh seed if the playoffs started today, so that's something to think about.

It's not like the teams behind them are very threatening either. You have the Bulls at the eight seed, and they are really just a mess right now. New York and Philly are irrelevant, Charlotte and Washington could put something together, Charlotte actually scares me the most out of those teams and then you have the Pistons sucking this year because half of their team is hurt. I'm not slotting the Bucks in for a playoff spot twenty-eight games into the season here, but it doesn't really look like the path to get there is too difficult.

We gotta start winning though. A) So that the Bucks can make the playoffs and B) so that Gweeds is in a good enough mood to do these recaps for me.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!

This is already shaping up to be the best Christmas ever I must say, mainly because it's three o'clock and I just woke up. But the time spent with the family has been great as well, and I had a few minutes here to just wish all of the The Bucky Channel readers a Merry Christmas. Hopefully you're having as good of a holiday season as I am, but I'm not sure how many of you got a gift as awesome as a UFL Florida Tuskers t-shirt!

Honestly though, as you get older the meaning of Christmas starts to change a little bit. Admittedly, I've never been that religious of a guy, and growing up I loved Christmas because of two things: the presents and time off from school. Now that I'm getting a little older though, you being to cherish the time with family and friends quite a bit more, and the presents really don't mean too much. Also, instead of being granted two weeks vacation from school, it's almost become a challenge to find a couple of days off of work around Christmas. So it becomes ever more important to enjoy the time you do have with loved ones.

So while we've been slow here on the blog this week as our real lives have been used to spend time with the family, we wanted to take a minute to wish you a very impersonal Season's Greetings. Now that we've done that, how about taking a few minutes and doing something for me? My Grandparents were entered in a holiday lights contest, so why not extend some holiday cheer to them and vote for their house (first one on the page). We'll resume normal Bucky Channel activity shortly, but until then, Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Worrying Out Loud For a Bit

Earlier this year, after a dreadful Packers loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, I wrote an article about how there was no way that Green Bay would find themselves in the playoffs this season. Then, just two days later, I changed my mind and said that the Packers could screw up and still finish 10-6. Well, now, two days ago I said that the Steelers loss wasn't that big of a deal, but now I'm starting to worry out loud about the Packers actually making this thing.

On one hand, they control their own destiny, and besides a spotty defensive performance in Pittsburgh I have no reason to worry that the Packers won't make the playoffs. On the other hand, the Giants and Cowboys both look very good right now, and one slip up by the Packers could cost us a postseason birth. Granted, our games are against the Seahawks and Cardinals, who will probably have clinched, but stranger things have happened.

This whole thing really may come down to week 17, because the Packers, Giants, and Cowboys should all be winners next week. The Giants have Carolina and the Cowboys have Washington, and if these two teams are truly playoff contenders then they'll pick up the wins. The Pack of course have Seattle, which if we don't win that game then there's no point in even doing this anymore. If it comes down to week 17, the Cowboys have the Eagles, we got the Cards, and the Giants have the Vikings. In a horrifying turn of events, there is a scenario in this world where we may have to root for Brett Favre as a Viking this season. Sigh.

Still, I stand by what I said when I proclaimed that the Pittsburgh loss wouldn't kill our season. We've put ourselves in a good position, and all we gotta do is take care of bid'ness (not sure why I wrote it like that) and we're in. Plus, as my brother Brock pointed out to me, the last time we lost we won five straight games. If we do that again, well then we've a ticket punched to Miami for the Super Bowl.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Bogut Outpaces Rest of Bucks in Victory

Good thing T.J. Ford still can't shoot well. With the game on the line, the former Bucks guard missed two chances to tie the game with under 15 seconds on Monday night, paving the way for a 84-81 Milwaukee victory over the Pacers. The Bucks tried all they could to piss away this game on their own, but they got the win. But it wasn't easy.

Michael Redd had a chance to extend the lead late in the game, but he missed and the Pacers got a few good looks at some threes. Indiana would miss both shots and Bogut got the rebound. The Aussie got fouled, and had two free throws to put the game away. Now, the Bucks haven't been shooting well from the line lately, so the pressure was on Andrew to come up clutch. His first shot just caught the front of the rim, but you had to figure that he would cowboy up to make the second. He had a nice stroke but predictably, it rattled out.

The Pacers then had a one last chance to tie it as Ford released it, and had that shot gone in I may have not watched another Bucks game this year. Ford hit back iron to give the Bucks the 84-81 victory.

Even though he couldn't hit the clutch shots, Andrew Bogut was a one man show Monday night. He seemed to be the only one that had his stroke all night. He carried Milwaukee in the first half as they only put up 36 points in the first two quarters. The biggest thing this team does is hit shots from downtown, but they shot 0-8 in the first half. That will hurt this team any game if they can't hit shots from deep, because it's unlikely Bogut will be putting up 31 every night.

It was the Andrew Bogut show not only because he was dominant, but like I said it was also because the rest of the Bucks were not. Things stayed close throughout the third quarter, which ended up being the turning point of the game. Only five Bucks scored in the quarter, but those five were still able to get 29 points in the quarter. Bogut, Bell, Jennings, Mbah a Moute, and Redd helped the Bucks gain a two point lead heading into the final frame. I am going to guess that only five guys scoring in a quarter is not going to be a good thing, but Monday night it worked for the Bucks.

As the fourth quarter started all I was doing was wishing for the Bucks to make a run and build a lead. When that didn't happen, all I could think about was the Bucks recent string of getting beat late. When neither team really caught fire in the fourth, it appeared as if that stage was being set again.

I felt a little better when Jennings made a jumper with 28 seconds left to give the Bucks the 84-79 lead. When he made that, I figured there was no way they can blow this one. Well they tried, as my boy Tyler Hansbrough got an offensive rebound and a dunk to make it 84-81 with 20 seconds left. You already know what happens after this from above, so if you forgot go back and read it. We missed four free throws and Ford missed two three pointers, and the Bucks won the game. Thank God.

Lets look at the some highlights from the Bucks win.

* Congrats to Andrew for his career high of 31 points. He played an awesome game as the Bucks finally went through Bogut to score, which I hope they start to do more soon. Bogut finished the game with 31 points, 18 rebounds, and 3 blocks. Huge game for Bogut as he will earn the Bucks POTG.

* Brandon Jennings started rough but had a nice second half. He finished with 16 points, 6 assists, and 4 rebounds. Still didn't really have a hot shooting night as he was 7-19, but he looked to make the extra pass a few more times than he has been.

* Free throws, Free throws, FREE THROWS. Why do we have such a hard time making these things? The Bucks finished the game 9-20 from the free throw line. This just can't happen if you want to be a good team. I still don't understand how shooting free throws is so hard. Bogut, you used to hit three pointers in college like crazy, you should have a good shot. Redd you make threes in the NBA, Come on Man! Charlie Bell, you can make crazy baseline jump shots, but you can't make a shot when no one is defending you? Okay, I hope you get the point.

* The Pacers suck, but since I have to pick a Hunter of the Night, I guess I will go with Roy Hibbert, because he had 16 points and 7 rebounds. That's all the love the Pacers will get.

* Not so fun stat of the night this is that this was the Bucks first road win since Nov. 21st. That's one full month ago.

Overall a win is a win, so the Bucks will take it. This will improve their record to 12-14 on the season. Next up for the Bucks are the Wizards on Wednesday. Go figure, the last time these two teams met the Bucks lost a tight one 104-102. Lets hope the Bucks can change things Wednesday and get back to back wins. Click the link below to check out the rest of the stats for the game.

If you're not down with that I got two words for ya....

Sunday, December 20, 2009

The Bucky Five: Some Games Just Aren't Meant to Be

1. Wow - It's what Ben Roethlisberger said after "The Claymaker's" (kudos to TBC reader Michael on the nickname) sack and fumble recovery on him was reversed, and it's the perfect word to describe what was a wild 37-36 Steelers victory over Green Bay. Coming into this game, the Packers had won five straight while the Steelers have lost five straight, something not typical of a depending Super Bowl championship. That fact alone would make anyone nervous about this game, and because of how much the Steelers had to prove you knew this was going to be a good litmus test for how good this Packers team is. And if we didn't know it already, this is a very good team. It's just that not every game is meant to be won, and that fact wasn't more true than it was on Sunday.

You take a look at all of the things that went down in this one, and there wasn't really much else the Packers could have done to win this one (except for not have Mason Crosby and Jarrett Bush on the roster, but we'll save that for a little later). There were some questionable calls by the officials, not enough to claim conspiracy but enough to hold a grudge. The Matthews sack and fumble recovery was another solid play by a rookie defender who is rapidly becoming a star in this league, but it was reversed due to the dumbest rule in the history of sports. That, and the multitude of pass interference and holding penalties made it almost certain that Pittsburgh would draw a flag on every pass attempt. And there's the little fact that Motorcycle Ben has a knack for last second victories. This one just wasn't ours to win, but that's okay.

Sure, losing sucks, especially in this fashion, but the Packers are sitting at 9-5 and still in a very comfortable position for the playoffs. All they really have to do is beat either Seattle or a nothing-to-play-for Arizona team, so no worries there. Plus, if you would have told me after the Tampa Bay loss that we'd win five of our next six, well I would have given up my first born to make that a reality. Let's not fret too much about this one. It was an entertaining game that we fell on the losing end of, but this game will give us some good experience going forward.

2. Bushwhacked - We've been harsh on Jarrett Bush here in the past, and he earned our criticism again today with a not so strong showing. That was never more evident than right away on the Steelers first drive, when Big Ben hit Mike Wallace on a 60-yard strike to open things up. From there, it all went downhill, as Bush was a big reason why Roethlisberger threw for a Steelers franchise record 503 records. My favorite part about this game though was that for as bad as Bush played, he must have a really good friend in the newly signed Josh Bell. On that last drive especially, it was almost as if Bell said, "Forget Jarett, I want to be known as the shittiest cornerback on the Packers". I'm going to give you guys both that honor, work it out in practice this week.

3. Chasin' Mason (Out the Door?) - Every team needs a scapegoat, and ours has become Mason Crosby. Crosby has missed a field goal in the last four games, and at some point it's going to cost us a victory - if it didn't already on Sunday. Mason has been saying all the right things about how he's still confident in his abilities, but it's obvious that he's not. Problem for him, I don't think Mike McCarthy is either. I still don't think you cut Mason Crosby yet, but we need to bring in some competition for him or something. Either he gets right, or we get someone else. And that's a decision we don't have a lot of time to make.

4. Don't Blame it on Rodgers - Remember last year when Aaron Rodgers was getting criticized for not being able to lead the Packers on the big drive to win the game, even though game in and game out he was doing so only to have the defense blow it? Well, that's what happened again against Pittsburgh, as Rodgers drove the offense to 22 4th quarter points including what seemed to be the game winning touchdown drive with a strike to James Jones. But the Packers ultimately left too much time on the clock, and the defense's strategy of rushing just three guys on the final drive didn't pan out too well. Rodgers did start a little rough in the beginning, but there's nothing wrong with a 383 yard performance with three touchdowns, including one on a should be game winning drive.

5. Two Games to Go - So after fourteen games, the Packers are 9-5. Barring a massive disaster, we're either headed to Philadelphia or Arizona in the Wild Card Round of the playoffs. Not too shabby considering how bleak things looked earlier this season. Yeah, this would have been a nice victory, and we could have possibly clinched a playoff spot with a Giants loss tomorrow night, but things are looking just fine in Titletown. Let's move on from this, and go kick some Seahawks ass nice weekend.

...And Again

Another game, another last second loss for the Bucks. Between the two Bucks games this weekend and the Packers loss to the Steelers on Sunday, losing at the last second has been something we've grown accustomed to. In this particular case, it was a Tyreke Evans layup at the buzzer that sealed the deal to give Sacramento the 96-95 victory. Despite the loss and their 11-14 record, the Bucks still have the sixth seed in the east, for whatever that's worth. Anyway, lets give the POTG to Bogut and here's the box score. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to write a depressing Bucky Five.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

They Did it Again...

They played with our hearts, they made us believe, and got us lost in the game. Alright enough with the Britney Spears act Milwaukee either get killed in games or smoke other team. I've had enough of these last minute meltdowns and failed comebacks. The Bucks played the first half of the game like a playoff team. Only to come out in the second half and play like a lottery team. Its clear that Milwaukee needs to find out what kind of team they really are.

The Bucks came out on fire again Friday night as they set the pace of the game early. Jennings had 6 assists half way through the first quarter and things were looking good. Buck were up 18-9 when the Cavs called timeout to get re-organized. They must have figured out something because they finished the quarter down 26-24.

The second quarter was much of the same. Milwaukee started the quarter off with an 8-0 run, in which Bell and Redd made three's. The Cavs again found their defense, which creates a lot for this team, to take the lead 35-34. The Bucks kept fighting for the rest of the quarter and finished the half with a 49-47 lead.

The third quarter is when the game fell apart for the Bucks. Milwaukee put up a monster 12 point quarter, and were down 71-61 at the end of three. Not much to talk about when your team puts up 12 points in a quarter.

The Fourth quarter was down, up, down for the Bucks. However, the Cavs decided to go ice cold and let the Bucks back in it. The Cavs played a little like the Bucks and decided not to score the final 4:35 of the game. The Bucks on the other hand were not shooting lights out, but kept trimming the lead. The Cavs had the ball up three, with 29 seconds to go all I could think of was James hitting a basket that would put the game out of reach. Well James started to drive with about 11 seconds left, only to lose the ball for a turnover. THE BUCKS STILL HAD HOPE.

But deep down we all knew the game was over, but hey anything is possible right? With enough hope the Bucks could have tied it with a three. Who would take that shot? Brandon Jennings. Would he emulate Kobe's magic from a few nights ago? Nope Jennings got off an awful shot and the play they ran sucked. Why wasn't Redd on the court? Why didn't Ilyasova take the final shot? Unfortunately, I was not in the huddle at the end of the game so we will never know.

Lets take a look at a few highlights from the game Friday night.

* Andrew Bogut, who we really needed to play well Friday, spent most the his night on the bench. He couldn't keep from hitting Shaq on some dumb fouls and he didn't move his feet. He finished the game with 4 points and 8 rebounds. He needs to show up for big games likes this against other dominating centers in the league.

* Brandon Jennings, as I said above, got off to a nice start finding open people. As the game went on he kind of got away from that and started looking for his shot. Usually he seems to have a feeling when he knows he is on. Tonight was not one of those nights and he should have been looking to pass more. He did however finish the game with 18 points and 8 assists.

* Ersan Ilyasova scored 9 of his points in the fourth quarter. This is why he should have been taking the shot to send the game in to overtime. Also what I like about him taking the shot is he is a bigger guy that even with a person in his face he can still get a good shot off. Either way he finished the game with 18 points and 7 rebounds. For his fourth quarter scoring we will give him Bucks POTG.

* Lebron James, why did you have to be the only to show up for your team? Without him Friday this team would have been hurting. He finished 2 assists short of a triple-double. He ended up with 26 points, 10 rebounds, and 8 assists. That will earn him the Hunter of the Night award.

* For a look at the leader board lets go to Mo, Mo. Mo Williams, the former Buck, finished the game with 17 points and hit 2 three pointers. Not a huge game for Mo, but just another solid 17 point game.

* Last thing, Milwaukee was 7-26 from downtown. This teams lives and dies by the three. We will die a lot if they only shot 26.9% from deep.

Overall another close game for the Bucks, but in the end another L was put on the board. They fall to two games below .500 with a 11-13 record. They will look to bounce back Saturday night as they take on the Sacramento Kings at home. This will be a huge match up for young Jennings. The other front runner for rookie of the year Tyreke Evans will be in the Bradley Center. Lets hope Jennings can get the best of him. For the rest of the box score click the link below.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Winks Thinks: The Worst Decade Ever Edition

The unofficial end of the decade is just a few short weeks away, and with that comes the usual string of best/worst of the decade articles, and this column is no exception. If you look at things from an outsider prospective, it's been a pretty rough decade. The economy, 9/11, Favre - things have been tough. But there is one thing that clinches this as the worst decade of all time, and it's revealed in the latest edition of Winks Thinks.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Kobe Bryant is a Douche

Since I'm still bitter about what happened in the Bucks game on Wednesday I will be just doing bullet points for the game. Oh yeah and by the way Kobe made this shot with no time left to give the Lakers a 107-106 win in overtime. Lame.

* The Bucks won this game in my head. Kobe should have never got that 3 point play on the second to last possession of the game. There's no way what he did to get that wasn't a travel, and then he laid out Bogut. Plus, Kobe called his one "And 1". Let the officials ref the game Kobe, not your stupid ass.

* Why can't the Bucks ever close out games when they have the chance? The Bucks scored 2 points in the final 3:56 of regulation when they had a 5 point lead at the time. Then in overtime the Bucks were up 106-100 with 1:24 left and they don't score the rest of the game, while Kobe scored the final 7 points of the game.

* Ersan had a career high 24 points so congrats to him for that. But he also missed two free throws late in overtime that would have put the Bucks up three. So no player of the game for you. If you can't make your free throws then you shouldn't be playing late in the game.

* Redd is definitely back and he made some big shots. I have been rough on him because I feel that he just doesn't fit well with this team. He showed me tonight though that he still has some gas left in the tank. He finished with a team high 25 off the bench. Lets give him the Bucks POTG award.

* Why are you so good Pau Gasol, and how did you ever get traded to the Lakers? He just did work tonight we have no one to match up against him. Everyone we put on him would just foul him. I really don't know why they even let other people take shots. Gasol ended the game with 26 points and 22 rebounds. Yeah that will get you the Hunter of the Night.

* Last but not least Kobe. I can't stand him making these lucky fade aways at the end of games and then watching people just love this guy. He is a great player don't get me wrong but that final shot at the end of regulation was just awful. Bell was all in his grill and it wasn't even close. He didn't look to pass at all or give it low to Gasol.

* The Lakers took 33 free throws, but those loser Laker fans still felt that Skiles was paying the refs. Bear, a once-per-year TBC contributor, was on the ESPN Message Boards and all the Lakers fans felt that the game was called uneven. Wow if I haven't heard that from a fan of any team in L.A. Worst fans in the games are the ones that buy the expensive seats and don't know how to face the fact of team playing better than yours for one night. Every time the Lakers get beat its not how the other team played well, it's instead how bad the refs were. Real cheese comes from real cows and real cows come from Wisconsin. Fake fans are rich and don't know anything about the game and fake fans come from California. (Winks Note: I have no idea what he fucking means by this.)

I can't do this anymore, the Bucks play the Cavs on Friday in Cleveland. Good luck Bucks, because you are going to need it as the Cavs are tough at home. See you all for my rant about how much Lebron James making game winners blows and Cleveland fans suck. The Bucks fall to one game under .500 going to 11-12. Check out other stats below.

Winks Thinks Coming Friday

Just wanted to give you all a heads up that Winks Thinks is being delayed until Friday this week. Half because I have a prior engagement, but the other half because I'm still not sure what I'm writing about. See you then!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

NFL Coverage Maps: Week Fifteen

Lots of exciting things going on in the world of NFL Coverage Maps this week. With the Packers game getting bumped up to 3:15 this weekend, that means that more than 90% of the country will be tuned in to Da Pack as they go for their sixth straight victory. Also, we have a split state market for the Fox Early Game, something that excites me way more than it should. Of course, this maps are all irrelevant if you have DirecTV and the NFL RedZone channel, but whatever. They're colorful.

CBS Single Game Coverage Map - Miami Dolphins @ Tennessee Titans

Fox Early Game Coverage Map - Chicago Bears @ Baltimore Ravens (Milwaukee and Madison markets); San Francisco 49ers @ Philadelphia Eagles (Wausau, Green Bay, Rhinelander, and La Crosse/Eau Claire markets)

Fox Late Game Coverage Map - Green Bay Packers @ Pittsburgh Steelers

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

It's Not Easy Being Right

From Sunday, December 13th, in an article I wrote entitled "The Bucky Five: That Makes Five in a Row": "Bear"ly Enough - I thought about going with that catchy little phrase as the title for this post, but I figured that most of the news outlets would have already swooped it up. Plus, I'm pretty sure my hometown paper, the Fond du Lac Reporter, will use that headline for like the 30th straight year.

Remarkably enough, the picture above is from the December 14th edition of the Fond du Lac Reporter, the worst newspaper in the history of man. I'd say it's pretty embarrassing that I was able to call the headline, which is just another sign of how predictable and brutal this publication is. If the newspaper industry truly is dying, than the Fond du Lac Reporter was the first domino to fall, as it's been putting out editions smaller than your weekly work newsletter for years now. It's so bad that it's more commonly known as "The Repeater", and people that subscribe to it are actually looked down upon in the community.

Sadly, I am one of those people. About three months ago I was heading over to my buddy's house and on the way I stopped for some soda and snacks, fuel for our planned day of doing nothing but watching football. As I was at the grocery store - a run-down Piggly Wiggly of course - I was asked if I wanted a free newspaper. By saying yes to that very fateful question, I did receive $15 in gift cards to the Pig, but I've also been getting the Reporter at my doorstep for three months as well. That is, when the newspaper carrier remembers to drop one off at my house.

Actually, I shouldn't be so hard on my local paper. I guess I did write the word "Bear" in quotation marks, whereas they just choose to hyphenate the word. My bad, Reporter.

Jeronne Maymon Quits Marquette

Sorry, never heard of him. Go Badgers.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Packers Mistakenly Give Collins' Extension to Chillar

The chatter has been growing louder all season, and it got even more recognizable after Sunday's Packers win in Chicago. With the Bears driving, one of the Packers best defenders made a key interception to help the Packers get the go ahead touchdown. Was it Brandon Chillar? No, that dude hardly ever plays. Actually it was Nick Collins, the Packers superb safety who is still looking for a contract extension.

Okay, so Chillar does actually play quite a bit on some of our sub defensive packages, and he's actually been a very good player. It's just that when the news broke of Chillar being signed to a 4-year, $21 million dollar extension, Packers fans collectively went "Um, ok."

For all the crap Ted Thompson gets about not signing free agents, Chillar has actually turned out to be a quality signing. Sure, he's not a starter, but he provides great depth for a linebacking core that is getting better with each passing week, and I welcome the signing. The Packers have a ton of money anyways, so why not lock up some of these types of players.

The argument of how much money we have though is one of the main reasons we're still wondering why Nick Collins hasn't been signed. Collins is set to be a restricted free agent at the end of the season, but we all know that he deserves a contract as much as anybody, especially much more than Chillar does.

Either way, the Chillar signing is big because nobody knows where A.J. Hawk or Desmond Bishop will be after next season, so it's good to keep whatever part of that core that you can in tact. So while I'm pro on the Chillar signing, I better be writing a Collins extension article real soon too.

Brewers Staying Moderately Busy

It may not be the haul that the Red Sox are likely to bring in with John Lackey and possibly Mike Cameron, and it's certainly not as newsworthy as the trade that's looking to go down involving Cliff Lee and Roy Halladay, but it's still something, as the Brewers continue to make a couple of moves in this still very young offseason.

One of those moves was the resigning of Craig Counsell, who will get about $2 million to be our utilityman extraordinaire this season. Signings like Counsell aren't really sexy so to speak, but they are crucial when trying to make a smaller market team a contender. Craiggers did very well in spot starting duty last season, and I'm glad to had him back in a Crew uniform. It also appears that Claudio Vargas is coming back as well. Vargas came back to Milwaukee last season in a relief role, and filled that job very nicely. Expect more of the same next summer from Vargas.

Obviously, these are two moves that are overshadowed quite a bit by some of the bigger moves happening in baseball lately, but that's alright with me. The Brewers have already made their "splash", and from here on out it looks like we're just going to be filling out the roster. You'd think there might be a second starting pitcher signed sometime, but that remains to be seen.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

The Bucky Five: That Makes Five in a Row

1. "Bear"ly Enough - I thought about going with that catchy little phrase as the title for this post, but I figured that most of the news outlets would have already swooped it up. Plus, I'm pretty sure my hometown paper, the Fond du Lac Reporter, will use that headline for like the 30th straight year. Admittedly, things did get a little dicey for the Packers as their struggles in the red zone allowed the Bears to stay in this game longer than they should have. Chicago did actually grab the lead and hang on to it throughout the fourth quarter, but a late Ryan Grant touchdown gave the Packers the lead and the victory. The Bears did have a chance to come back and tie it up towards the end of the game, but Jay Cutler is their quarterback so there was absolutely no chance of that happening. He sucks.

So the Packers play a little sloppy, but they get the 21-14 victory in Chicago and improve to 9-4 on the season. This makes five straight victories for a team that looked to be lost after that embarrassing loss to Tampa Bay. You know, after that loss I tried to look at the schedule and see if the Packers still had a chance to make the playoffs, and I made the assertion that the Packers could play mediocre and still back into a 10-6 record. We've been blessed this season with a favorable schedule, and the teams that were supposed to be halfway decent - Dallas, Pittsburgh, etc... - have been struggling mightily. With three weeks to go, Green Bay is holding down the five seed and their odds at making the playoffs are very, very good. Not bad for a season I may or may not have declared to be over after that Tampa loss.

2. Damn You Ryan Grant - This is more of a personal thing, and as much as I hate when people bring up their fantasy teams in settings like this, Ryan Grant really knows how to play with my heartstrings. All season long I've been complaining (for fantasy reasons) that there's two things that Grant doesn't do. The first is that he doesn't catch a lot of passes, but that's a duty more reserved for Brandon Jackson and Ahman Green, so whatever. The other thing he doesn't do though is bust loose for that long run, as he's not really a home run hitter. Grant is more of a "run straight into the offensive line" kind of runner, for whatever reason. But on the Packers first play of scrimmage, Grant broke open a 62 yard touchdown run, and he went on to finish with 137 yards on two touchdowns. Personally, my fantasy team missed the playoffs so his big day did nothing for me. But from a Packers fan standpoint, it's good to see Grant running like he should be, and if he keeps that up it can only be a good thing.

3. Discipline - Week in and week out, one thing that always makes the Bucky Five is how brutal the Packers are with penalties. Especially after that Ravens game last Monday. But it seems that McCarthy has been able to instill a little more discipline into this team, as they only had four penalties for 30 yards. Granted, I think the refs did let the Packers get away with a few things in the secondary, but what goes around comes around I guess. But hey, this has been a major problem for us this season, it's good to see things getting taken care of in this regard.

4. Just Give Woodson the Defensive MVP Already - Of all the things that Charles Woodson does, I think it's his shoestring tackles in the backfield that impress me the most. In Sunday's contest, Woodson added another interception and three deflected passes to his stat total, confirming that not only should he be a front runner for the Defensive Player of the Year award, but the league MVP award as well. There was one drive where he was beat a few times, but let's just forget about that for the time being. It was another great day by the Packers defense, and Woodson is definitely the leader of this unit that continues to redefine this football team.

5. Kicking Woes - It wasn't the best game that the Packers ever played, and certainly not the highlight of their season, but it was a victory nonetheless. Still, there was one major problem in the Packers victory against Chicago, and it was that of the kicking game. Mason Crosby missed a fourth quarter field that would have sealed the victory instead of giving the Bears a second life, and Jeremy Kapinos was subpar at best in the punting department. Both Crosby and Kapinos are two guys I've given props to in this space before, but right now they are doing more harm than good. This team is playing too well right now to have special teams be the downfall, so hopefully the feet specialists can improve over the coming weeks. All in all though, a victory is a victory, and next up is

Milwaukee 108, Portland 101

Back and forth action, last second shots, and multiple overtimes. To put how amazing this Bucks game was into words would be a difficult, and in this case it's one neither Gweeds or I will be attempting. Both of us had our respective work holiday parties this weekend, and unfortunately on this night watching the Bucks wasn't on the top of our priorities (whereas being drunk enough to socialize with our coworkers was). So no recap on this one, but will we give the POTG to Luke Ridnour for carrying the Bucks in overtime. In lieu of a full recap, here's a link to the box score and some video highlights. Thanks for reading.

Badgers Top Marquette

Before they would meet on the floor of the Kohl Center for their yearly showdown, the Wisconsin Badgers and the Marquette Golden Eagles had a couple of in-state tune-ups. Marquette took on UW-Milwaukee, and easily won the game. Wisconsin took on UW-Green Bay, and, well actually they lost. So, yeah.

As bad as the loss to the Phoenix looked, it may have actually helped Wisconsin beat Marquette on Saturday, by a score of 72-63. After beating Duke last week, Wisconsin may have easily overlooked Green Bay. But a Bo Ryan team rarely loses back to back games, and he had the Badgers ready to play early against Marquette. In all honestly, Marquette actually controlled most of this game, but Wisconsin had put up a large lead so quickly that it was a deficit MU just couldn't come back from, no matter how well they played.

For the Badgers, Jon Leuer lead the team with 24 points, while Lazar Hayward had 21 for Marquette. My boy Youssoupha Mbao even got to see the floor in this one, playing five minutes and collecting one block.

This game kind of lacked the intensity that previous matchups between these two teams have had, at least in my opinion, but it was still a good game overall. Marquette doesn't lose much here as they lose to a rival on the road, but Wisconsin gets a much needed victory after a disappointing loss.

Big Ten Looking to Expand

Okay, we all know that I'm not very good with photoshop, but this wasn't too bad of an effort, was it? Yeah, alright, it's pretty poor. But you get the point, as the conference with eleven members is looking to expand to twelve, all while keeping the Big Ten moniker in tact of course.

These plans are coming to light in response to some recent comments made by Badgers Athletic Director Barry Alvarez, as the former Badgers coach has said that the conference has already gone through a very intense and thorough investigation of a number of schools. Many of the comments he made were regarding how adding a 12th school would be good for all sports, and how it would cut down the costs of travel throughout the conference, but we all know what the real reason for the expansion would be: The creation of a Big Ten Championship game for football.

So the question now becomes what school, if any, would be willing to join the Big Ten? Penn State was the last school to do it back in 1993, and there's no doubt that was a move that worked out for them. Notre Dame had the chance to follow their lead, but ultimately their ties to the Big East and their lucrative TV contract with NBC for football kept them as an independent in the sport. With them, Army, and Navy as the only independents left in college football, it's much more likely that any 12th team would have to come from another conference.

Looking regionally, you'd think that perhaps the 12th member might come from the Mid-American Conference, a conference that has thirteen schools right now for football. These are schools like Northern Illinois, Buffalo, Kent State, and Ball State. But apparently Alvarez has hinted that the search has been nationwide, and it seems the conference doesn't really care who it is, they just want that 12th school.

My prediction is that they'll expand to twelve eventually, but not anytime in the near future. Next five years, maybe, but I guess you never know.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Winks Thinks: The Never-Ending Cycle Edition

Hopefully by now you've all realized just how sorry I am for last week's Winks Thinks, the one where I tried to talk about Christmas movie remakes. I was rushed, had a lack of ideas, and when I finally did think of something worthwhile I executed it poorly. But, each passing week brings another shot at redemption, and hopefully I succeed this week. Lots to talk about this week, specifically regarding the BCS mess, as it's so often referred to. Not only do I complain about the bowl matchups, but I complain about complaining about them, so that should be fun to read. Also, thoughts on the Badgers horrible loss to UW-Green Bay, WWE PPV predictions, and a reference to a 1987 movie that only Bear will enjoy. Is the suspense killing you yet? Well, no need to wait, go check out this week's edition of Winks Thinks.

Morry Gash is Taking Names

One of the first running jokes we had on this site was our appreciation for Morry Gash, the Associated Press photographer who we soon realized was the go-to guy for Wisconsin sports. Whenever we were looking for pictures for recaps be it the Bucks, Brewers, Badgers, or Packers, it seemed as if Morry Gash was always there, and we appreciated his work. Sometimes though, we'd go for a week or two without a Morry Gash sighting, and we'd start to wonder where he was. There are other good photographers in Wisconsin, but few as good as Morry Gash.

So far, I believe I've typed Morry Gash more in one paragraph than it's ever been typed before in any sort of writing, but deservedly so. Morry Gash is the latest photojournalist to have his picture on the cover of Sports Illustrated, an honor that many cameramen have lucked into. But with Gash, it's a little different, as his photo of Wisconsin Badgers running back John Clay graces the cover of the issue featuring the best sports photos of 2009. So, basically, Gash took the best picture of the year.

Maybe that's debatable, but it is an awesome picture, and much congratulations to Morry Gash. I don't know much about the man other than that he likes to take pictures of sporting events in Wisconsin, and I think that's enough for me. I have an image in my head of Gash being this bad-ass, almost biker looking dude that just shows up and snaps excellence, and I don't want to change that. So good work, Morry Gash, and may you continue kicking ass behind the lens.

NFL Coverage Maps: Week Fourteen

This Sunday is going to feel a little different this weekend, as the Packers are back on the weekend shift after playing their last two on Thanksgiving and then Monday Night. Should be a good weekend though for football watching, as most of us will be getting the Packers/Bears showdown as well as a couple of strong interconference matchups. Here's what we're getting in the state that is always thinking "Forward", and thanks as always to The506.

Fox Single Game Coverage Map - Green Bay Packers @ Chicago Bears (residents in the overlapping Twin Cities market will get St Louis Rams @ Tennessee Titans at 3pm)

CBS Early Game Coverage Map - Cincinnati Bengals @ Minnesota Vikings

CBS Late Game Coverage Map - San Diego Chargers @ Dallas Cowboys

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Bucks Plow Through Raptors

The temperature outside might have been cold, but inside the Bradley Center the Bucks were hot. The Bucks put up a whopping 117 points Wednesday night, while shooting 52.5%. Seven guys scored in double figures for the Bucks, and everyone that played had a positive plus/minus. Nothing really went wrong for the Bucks on Wednesday, which was evident as they got to the free throw line 28 times making 24 of them.

While the Bucks did finish with a large victory, the game was back and fourth for most of the first quarter. The Raptors made a three with just under two minutes to go to put Toronto up 20-18. That's when Jennings decided to take the final over the final 1:45 of the quarter. He scored the Bucks final 11 points to give them a 29-22 lead after one. The Bucks never really looked back as they just continued to go to work on the Raptors.

The crowd was thin at the Bradley Center because of the weather but Squad 6 was out in full force to give the Bucks a hand. They really needed this game bad, as they had lost eight of the ten. They ended their four game slide with this win, scoring 100 points in a game for only the second time in the last ten games. I am not going to say that this is a turning point in the Bucks season, but it was a nice win to get. They played as a team with everyone throwing in some scoring. This team has no one that can just take over a game at any point in time but if they can put up stats like this they will at least be in the game till the end like they were Tuesday night in Boston.

Lets check out some individual highlights from 117-95 victory.

* BJ3 set the tone early for the Bucks with his 11-2 run to end the first quarter. He finished the game with 22 points, 6 asts, 2 rebs, 2 stls, 2 blks, and only 1 turnover. That is an awesome stat line. He doesn't need to do the 30, 40, or 50 point games for us to win. He just needs to take care of the ball and maybe throw in a little scoring run if the team looks lost. Jennings earned the Bucks POTG for his great stat line.

* This was a big game for Roko Ukic as he played against his former team. Boy do the Raptors wish they could have him back. Ukic got to the rack, and also made shots from the outside. He finished the game with 17 points, 4 asts, and a plus/minus of +20. If anyone noticed Charlie Bell didn't play tonight and thats why Ukic got to play. Hey Bell, take your time lets give this guy a chance.

* Bucks won all the categories including rebounds (38-34), assists (24-17), steals (6-5), blocks (5-2), and turnovers (9-13). Keep up the good work guys.

* As I said before seven guys scored in double figures for the Bucks. We had Jennings with 22, Ersan had 17, Ukic scored 17, Mbah a Moute chipped in 16, Ridnour added 15, Delfino knocked down 14, and Bogut rounded them out with 12. Wouldn't mind seeing this a few more times this year.

* Chris Bosh did what he does every night again Wednesday. He finished with 26 pts, and 10 rebs, which is a standard stat line for Bosh. He usually has a bigger game against the Bucks, but we decided to hold him to a normal Bosh game for once. Still, even a normal Bosh game earns him the Hunter of the Night as he really was the only bright spot for the Raptors tonight.

After playing two games in two days the Bucks will happily get a few days off. They don't play again till Saturday when they will welcome the Blazers in to the BC. The Blazers will be without Greg Oden who fractured his left patella which will be a plus for the Bucks. Portland still has Roy, Blake, Miller, Aldridge, and Webster though, so this will be no easy task for Milwaukee, but it should be a good game. Lets see if the Bucks can maybe get hot again to start a winning streak.

You Shall Not Pass!

I don't know what about this video makes me laugh so much. Maybe it's the insaneness of Madison college students, maybe it's the random Lord of the Rings references, maybe it's the fact that the video just contains a hell of a lot of snowmen. Either way, enjoy what can only be the first of many rounds between these snowmen and the good snowplow crew of Madison, Wisconsin.

Brewers Lock Up Wolf, Hawkins

It's easy to realize that the biggest difference between the Brewers of 2008 and the Brewers of 2009 was their pitching staff, and it looks like that may true for the 2010 Brewers as well. Only this time, in a good way. The Brewers made two major additions to their pitching staff on Wednesday, one to their starting rotation and one to their bullpen.

The first move came after two days of waiting, as Randy Wolf finally signed a three-year deal for $29.75 million. News of a possible Wolf signing came down on Monday, but the Brewers offer was reportedly shopped around for awhile before he eventually agreed to come to Milwaukee. He's not the greatest free agent catch ever, but anytime you can sign a guy who automatically becomes your number two starter, it's a good day.

Now for whatever reason, a lot of comparisons are already being made between this signing and the signing of Jeff Suppan years ago. The main comparisons in that are because he was signed in December and he's getting about ten million per year. That's pretty much the extent of it though. Wolf is going to be a great addition to this staff, with stats of a sub-3.00 ERA on the road last season and six years of 150+ strikeouts as evidence to support my theory. Plus, anyone that wears a shirt that says, "Could You Come Back in a Few Beers?" is good in my book.

Brewers fans didn't have much time to come down from their Randy Wolf high as the Doug Mustache went out and got some more pitching help just a few hours later. It appears in addition to a front line starter, the Brewers now have a setup man for Trevor Hoffman. Milwaukee has also signed former Astros reliever LaTroy Hawkins, a 37-year old former closer who posted a 2.17 ERA last season. Again, not the flashiest signing in the world, but the Brewers already have a much better pitching staff than they did a season ago.

These two additions are just the latest in the many changes that are happening to a Brewers squad that disappointingly missed the playoffs a year ago. Add these moves to the Hardy trade, Zaun signing, and all the rest of the moves that are bound to happen, and this is going to be a different Brewers ballclub next season.

Hopefully for the better.

Robot Voice, Robot Voice...

In honor of the wonderful conditions outside this morning, here's some Blizzard Man for you all to enjoy. Happy snowing.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Bucks Continue Slide, Fall to Celtics

There's a reason why Gweeds writes the majority of the Bucks recaps around here. Simply put, he's just more of a basketball guy than I am. But even I, or anyone else for that matter, can see that the Bucks are struggling right now, and struggling bad. In their latest disaster, Milwaukee did show enough to stay competitive with Boston, but ultimately fell to the Celtics 98-89. It was their 7th straight loss in their last eight games. Not good.

Boston is a team that has been quite the opposite of the Bucks lately, as they've been perhaps the hottest team in the league. I'm not sure if they were toying around with Milwaukee throughout this one or what, because for the most part this was a competitive game. It wasn't really until the last five minutes or so until the Celtics pulled away and make the Bucks start looking stupid.

The Bucks aren't a bad team, especially not as bad as we thought they might be before the season. But they're not that good either, and that was quite apparent especially in the last five minutes. Stupid turnovers, ugly shots, desperation three pointers - all signs of a team not quite ready to succeed. They'll get there, eventually, but it might take some time.

Milwaukee did get some good play out of their starters though, specifically Andrew Bogut. The Aussie had 25 points and 14 rebounds, good enough for a Bucks POTG. Jennings also put up his with 17 points, but he only had four assists. Illysova added 19 points as well.

For the Celtics, let's give Garnett the Hunter of the Night as he matched Bogut's 25 points, and played great defense throughout the game. There was one part of the 4th quarter where I found it odd that he was somehow guarding Brandon Jennings, but lo and behold he forced Jennings to double dribble and give the ball back to Boston. I could also give it to Rajon Rondo I guess. One, because he was a rebound away from a triple double. Two, because he's my boy and Gweeds hates his guts.

Good news for Milwaukee is that they'll be able to quickly shake this one off as they take on the Raptors Wednesday night. Assuming the game starts anyway, what with the nasty weather that is invading the great state of Wisconsin as I write this.

Monday, December 7, 2009

The Bucky Five: And Another Flag Was Just Thrown

1. Penalties, and What Do Mean Your In-Laws? - The score was 27-14 in favor of the Packers, but the numbers that will be most looked at after their game with the Baltimore Ravens is the 310 total yards in penalties. Every week I feel I mention at least something about how bad the Packers were committing fouls, and they were again Monday night committing 11 penalties for 175 yards, with two of those being massive pass interference flags on Tramon Williams. The Ravens though were equal to the task, racking up twelve flags for 135 yards. All in all, a sloppy and likely unenjoyable game if you were anyone but a Packers fan. But for us Cheeseheads, it was a pretty enjoyable night as the Packers won their fourth straight game to improve to 8-4. I admit I thought we were done after the loss in Tampa, but we are finally looking like the team I thought we could be. Stay the course Pack, stay the course.

2. Just Stick to Blocking Please - Let it not be overlooked that in this game, Mark Tauscher caught a pass and Evan Dietrich-Smith returned a kickoff only to fumble. I know that the offensive line has had their problems this season, but let's keep those problems to the offensive line and not in the passing and kick return game.

3. I Think The 3-4 is Working - All week long the Packers were starting a get a little more attention for their defense, and they showed why on Monday night. Even with Kampman and Harris out, the defense is playing at the top of their game. Well, minus all the pass interference penalties of course. Nick Collins had an interception and a fumble recovery, A.J. Hawk had a game sealing interception, Clay Matthews had a couple of sacks and keeps getting better, and Charles Woodson made a great tackle on Ray Rice in the red zone late in the game that set up a Tramon Williams interception. The whole reason the Packers changed to this 3-4 scheme this season was so that the Packers didn't blow games late like they constantly did last season. I think that the switch worked.

4. More Love For Rodgers - Aaron Rodgers threw two interceptions. Um, oh well. Fine by me when you also throw for 263 yards with three touchdowns, rush for thirty yards, and continue to be the best player ever on third downs. Seriously, what is it with Rodgers on third downs? It's like he can't not convert them. He's struggled at times this season, sure, but he's had one of the best seasons as far as quarterbacks go. I'd put him right below Peyton and Brees, and ahead of Favre as where he is on the season. A terrific campaign by Rodgers so far this season, and a huge reason why we're in the driver's seat right now for the Wild Card. By the way, OMG Jermichael Finley.

5. Green > Grant? - I'm only half-joking about this one, but that also means I'm half-serious. Take it from someone who needed just nine points from Ryan Grant to make his fantasy playoffs for the first time since 2002 (that's another story), there is just something not right with this back. You look around the league and you see guys gain three yards per carry by accident. For Grant, it seems like every yard is a war that he just can't win. Then you throw old balls Ahman Green in there, and he's ripping off five yard runs with ease. Also, Grant is non-existent in the passing game, something that is fine as long as Brandon Jackson stays healthy. I'm not saying we need to make a change immediately, but we should definitely keep our eyes open during the offseason on putting someone else in that backfield.

Hungry Like the Wolf?

The Winter Meetings got underway on Monday, and there's a lot of rumors about some major moves that may or may not go down this offseason. First off, thank God the Cubs didn't somehow get Curtis Granderson. Second, who's ready for some Randy Wolf love? The lefty looks primed to come to Milwaukee, as it appears we're set to throw three years and roughly $26 million at him. Fine with me. Randy Wolf isn't the cream of the free agent crop, but he doesn't suck, and that's all I'm really looking for out of a Brewers pitcher. Plus, it gives me the chance to play this:

(Extremely) Early World Cup Predictions

With the World Cup groups now finally being set, many of the experts are coming out with their predictions and analysis about which teams will advance and move on to the later rounds. And since I consider myself an expert because I've watched a handful of CONCACAF games and nothing else, here are my initial predictions for who will advance out of their respective World Cup groups.

Group A - South Africa, Mexico, Uruguay, France

South Africa earned the top seed as the host country, but you could argue that France is actually one of the top eight teams in this tournament and the de facto one seed in this group. This group actually isn't half bad, although South Africa is said to be one of the worst host country squads of all-time. No host has failed to make it out of group play, but I think that will be the case this year. I'm taking France to win the group and Mexico to advance as well.

Group B - Argentina, Nigeria, Korea Republic, Greece

Nothing really sexy about this group, but it's pretty loaded with talent. I want to take Argentina to advance for sure, but after that it could be anyones guess. Greece is still riding the momentum after they won the Euro Championship in 2004, and Korea is nothing to laugh about. I'm going to predict Nigeria to come out of this one, just because there are always a handful of surprises in these things, and I really do think the African squads will perform well as their continent hosts the tournament for the first time ever. Again though, could be anyones game.

Group C - England, USA, Algeria, Slovenia

After the World Cup Draw on ESPN2, all of their analysts were buzzing about how good things looked for America, and that they would advance for sure. I did see one guy from their network predict that the States wouldn't advance, but I'd be willing to bet a lot of money that they do. I know that sometimes when things seem so certain to happen they usually don't, but England and USA are advancing from this group, and there's no way around it. The winner of their game wins the group. Sometimes folks, it really is that simple.

Group D - Germany, Australia, Serbia, Ghana

This group is a lot like Group B, in that the top seed (Germany) will most likely advance for sure, and then the other three teams will battle it out for the second spot. You know what, I've just realized that I barely write sentences with using a comma in them. Look at that, I just did it again. And again! Is that distracting for people? I'm not sure, but I just realized it and now I'm self-conscious. Let's go with Ghana.

Group E - Netherlands, Denmark, Japan, Cameroon

Looking over these groups I'm realizing also that this could be one of the most competitive World Cups we've ever seen. For the most part though, I think it's going to be your typical powerhouses advancing, as well as the teams from Europe. In the World Cup, there are definitely upsets, but nobody has really shocked the world and won the whole thing after not being expected to compete. A powerhouse will win the cup, and I think we can through the Dutch into that mix. I'm not high on any of the Asian or Oceania teams at all, so let's send Denmark through as well.

Group F - Italy, Paraguay, New Zealand, Slovakia

This should be a pretty easy path for the defending champions Italy, and I'd actually expect them to sweep the group. Paraguay gets in too basically by default, because like I said I'm not impressed by the teams from the Oceania reason. I feel like New Zealand and Slovakia are kind of just happy to be there, so thanks for playing guys.

Group G - Brazil, North Korea, Cote d'Ivoire, Portugal

As soon as the draw is finalized the first thing people like to do is pinpoint which group will be the "Group of Death", and it looks like this group receives that honor. It might be difficult, but I think you can definitely pencil in Brazil to advance, and I'm going to take the somewhat struggling side from Portugal as well. Cote d'Ivoire (or Ivory Coast, whatever) might be a sexy upset pick, and North Korea has a good squad as well, but I'm thinking the experience and skill of Brazil and Portugal are going to be too much to overcome.

Group H - Spain, Switzerland, Honduras, Chile

One of the biggest highlights for the U.S. squad since the last World Cup was their victory over Spain in the Confederations Cup, but don't expect Spain to be a slouch next summer. They should cruise in this one without a problem. I'd like to see Honduras make it as well to give our hometown CONCACAF region some love, so let's go with them.

Now obviously, very little analysis here and more of a gut feeling kind of thing, but when it comes to the World Cup you're usually pretty safe saying that the top seeds will advance and then there will be a few surprises. All I know is that I'm glad they came out with the groups, as it's already got me fired up for next summer.

More: 2010 World Cup Analysis (Big Dunc)

This Will Brighten Up Your Monday

Even if the Packers do play tonight, today is still a Monday and Mondays are never fun. But as you are struggling to get back into your job after a fun-filled weekend, just remember: You have a job and Jason Kendall does not. I'm sure Kendall is a good guy and all, but I hated him as a player and I hated him with the Brewers. I hated when he'd bat 9th, I hated how every at-bat was a chopper to third, and I hated how Minute Maid Park was the only ballpark where Kendall could even physically hit a home run. Good bye shithead, and welcome Gregg Zaun!

Now get back to work.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Bucks Start Hot, Finish Ugly

In the early moments of the Bucks game against the visiting Cavaliers, things were looking too good to be true. The Bucks started the game hot with high intensity as they got to an early 11-0 lead, and forced Cleveland to call an early timeout. Again, things were looking like this might be a good game. But then the Cavs decided to play some ball too, and things were definitely too good to be true.

Late in the first quarter and early in the second quarter is when this game got out of hand. The Bucks decided to miss every shot and Cleveland went on an unprecedented 29-0 run. During this run Milwaukee took some awful shots and just looked lost. What went from a game that was suppose to be Jennings vs James actually turned into the Bucks announcers vs James.

The game got so out of hand early that all Paschke and McGlocklin talked about was how James is a poor sport, how he shouldn't dance around the court, and how Kobe is the true face of the NBA. I think that some of the stuff James does does maybe get a little out of hand, but overall he is trying to have fun. I also thinks it makes the people around him better when he makes them feel loose and he doesn't take the game so seriously. I think people need to start looking at what LeBron does and say at least he is out there having fun. Chad Ochocinco does the same stuff in the NFL, but it shows that he really wants to win. He also likes it when the people around him do well. If you ask me that is the definition of a team player.

(Winks Note: While I do agree with most of what Gweeds is saying, James antics did make it look like he wasn't taking the Bucks seriously at all. I guess I wouldn't either when my team scores 30 straight points, but it was definitely embarrassing. Sure, it might have been a little out of hand, but maybe James does do all the dancing, the taunting, the jumping up and down on the floor even when the GAME IS GOING ON RIGHT IN FROM OFF HIM, maybe he doesn't do all that if the Bucks would have actually been, you know, competitive. Back to Gweeds.)

With that rant out of the way, James didn't really have that huge of a day statistically. They didn't really need him to do anything, which was evident because he was on the bench for most of that big run in the first half. LeBron could have been inactive and this Cavs team still would have scored 29 unanswered, especially with how bad the Bucks shot in the early going.

One of the guys that did step up was Delonte West. The Cavs reserve had a season high of 21 points, which is not bad for someone coming off of the bench. There's been talk that West isn't the most cheery guy, and that some days he just doesn't feel like playing. It's too bad one of those days wasn't Sunday. The Bucks would play better in the second half, but it was too little too late. Lets look at a few of the highlights from Sunday's game.

* Brandon Jennings had a nice second half, something that finally gave the crowd something to cheer about. He started driving to the hole, and he looked good doing it. Jennings finished the game with 24 points, 4 rebs, and 4 asts. This will earn him the Bucks POTG. Brandon also had a sweet behind the back dribble that schooled Mo Williams, but LeBron blocked the layup. Would have been a top play for sure if he makes it.

* Charlie Bell came off the bench because Skiles wanted Mbah a Moute to match up with LeBron. Didn't really work, as Bell didn't do a thing from the bench. Charlie played nine minutes with zero points and a +/- of -22. Good showing for Bell Sunday, I said with a heavy sarcastic tone.

* The Bucks took 93 shots, but only made 35. Think what you want about that, because I really don't even know what to say.

* Fun fact time: Andrew Bogut has never beat Shaq.

* Mo Williams was back in the BC Sunday. Like most of the other starters he didn't really have a career game, but he was a good sport to Squad 6. Late in the game when it was out of control Mo was shooting some free throws, and Squad 6 started a "shave your shoulders" chant. Mo after making the free throws gave Squad 6 a thumbs up.

* Greg Jennings was at the game. He threw signed footballs into the crowd during a time out. Good thing he did this for the fans because that was all they got out of their money in this game.

* King James did end the game with a double double, but only scored 14 points, 10 asts. That was his second lowest total of the season.

* As previously mentioned, Delonte West scored 21 points. He was also 9-9 from the free throw line. That will earn him the Hunter of the Day award.

Not going to get much easier for the Bucks as they play the Celtics in Boston on Tuesday. They will take their 9-10 record on the road for one game before coming back home Wednesday. Just was not a good day for the Bucks Sunday, and I kind of wish the Packers would have played a 3:00 game so that I didn't have to suffer through this shit.

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