Sunday, February 28, 2010

Bucks Smoke Heat, Blow Game Against Hawks

The Bucks split the weekend dip, but really should have finished the weekend 2-0. Saturday afternoon the Bucks played in Miami. Not really sure why they played a Saturday afternoon game, but the way they played during that game leads me to believe they should play Saturday matinees more often. The game didn't look like it would be easy until the third quarter when the Bucks played awesome defense, also outscoring the Heat 25-12 in the quarter. They continued that momentum into the fourth, and because of the big lead they were able to sit their starters to rest up for Sunday's game.

Lets check out some highlights from the 94-71 win over the Heat.

* Brandon Jennings had a nice game finding guys cutting to the hoop. He finished the game with 11 points, 8 assists, 5 rebounds, and ZERO turnovers. The turnover stat is the one that really stood out. Always a plus if your point guard can play 30 minutes and not turn the ball over. Lets give him the Bucks POTG for Saturday.

* John Salmons was doing work again for the Bucks. He finished with a team high 18 points and he also had 5 assists. The guy just keeps doing work for the Bucks. The thing I really like about his game is that he can score both inside and out.

* Stackhouse was big off the bench scoring 16 points. I guess I really haven't been give him much love on here, but the Bucks are now 14-5 since they signed Stackhouse. A guy like Stack can help you on the court, but I really feel off the court he is doing a great job with the guys. He knows how to win, I mean he did go to UNC.

* The Bucks made 10 three pointers to the Heats three. That's a 30-9 point advantage just on three pointers. The Heat also looked lost without Wade on the court.

* Jermaine O'Neal I guess had the best game for the Heat. He finished with 14 points, and 5 rebounds. He is just not the player he used to be, but lets give him the Hunter of the Night award.

These are the games the Bucks need to win as they fight for a playoff spot. They are now 3-0 against the Heat this season, and will look for the four game sweep on March 26 at the BC. That will be my second Bucks game of the season. Lets hope I can push my record to 2-0 for the season. for the rest of the box scores click the link below.

They weekend wasn't over, as on Sunday the Bucks had a huge test as they faced the Hawks for the first time all season. This is a team that they matched up against well, but just got out to an awful start Sunday. They got down early 14-5 so Skiles decided to bring a few bench players in. That's when the Bucks started clicking. Stackhouse and Salmons were the two guys that worked well together, which shows you just how much they've been able to improve as of late. The Bucks fought back to have a two point lead at halftime.

The second half was just like the first, as the Bucks started off slow. The difference between the first and the second half was that the Hawks started the second half slow too. So the Bucks fell behind a little, but would fight back. They trailed by one after the third quarter. The tight score gave this game a real playoff feel, so I think it was good for the Bucks that way.

At the 4:15 mark in the fourth quarter, Stackhouse made a two point shot to put the Bucks up 89-82. I thought this was when we were maybe going to put the dagger in, but the Bucks only scored three more points the rest of the quarter. Joe Johnson made a jumper that tied the game at 92 with 32 seconds left. This gave the Bucks another possession to win the game. They worked down low to Bogut, and it really seemed that he was just weak at the end of the game. He tried a hook shot that was no where near the hoop. Lucky for the Bucks Joe Johnson missed a jumper at the buzzer so this game was going to overtime.

In overtime Ridnour started things off with a three. Salmons made a 17 foot jumper that put the Bucks up five early in the OT, and it seemed like maybe the Bucks had more energy then the Hawks did. Well, this is when Joe Johnson went to work. Josh Smith made a layup, but after that Johnson scored the next nine points for the Hawks. The Bucks on the other hand could not find their shot. Also Bogut just didn't seem to be himself Sunday when working down low. He seemed to be real soft when we needed him. For that reason, I think Horford proved why he was an All-Star and Bogut wasn't.

The Bucks didn't give up without a fight though. Salmons hit a huge three that cut the Hawks lead to one. Crawford made both free throws, so Milwaukee needed another three. Salmons got a look, but it really wasn't close.

Lets check out some highlights from the hard 106-102 OT defeat against Atlanta.

* John Salmons was on fire Sunday night. He finished with 32 points, 8 rebounds, and 4 assists. Good game for John "Will you ever smile?" Salmons. A game like that is a no brainer - Bucks POTG.

* Jerry Stackhouse had another good game for the Bucks. He had 20 points and 4 rebounds. He did miss a three late in regulation that would have given the Bucks the win. He has been a great sixth man since we have signed him 20 games ago.

* Not sure why but Jennings only played 26 minutes, while Ridnour played 27. Ridnour also played late in the fourth, and the whole overtime. Early in the game maybe the second quarter Jennings had back to back steals for the Bucks that lead to fast break points. He was not a factor in the third so maybe this is why he was not in late. Lets hope that he doesn't let this bother him down the stretch run.

* Bogut did get another block to add to his streak for 23 straight games. This ties my boy Ervin Johnson for the Bucks record for most games in a row with a block. Had to throw that stat out with my boy Ervin.

* Joe Johnson scored nine points in overtime. I know looking at the stats Josh Smith had the best game for the Hawks, but Johnson is going to get the Hunter of the Night. He finished with 24 points, 6 rebounds, and 4 assists.

This was a tough one that I feel the Bucks let slip away. This is a game that we had in control, but just could not finish it. These are games that they need to learn how to win, because if this team is to make the playoffs these are going to be the type of teams they play. Conversely, it was good see them go on the road against a one of the top teams in the East and not get blown out. They still play the Hawks two more times, so lets hope they can figure our how to seal the deal next time they play Atlanta. Next up are the Wizards Wednesday for the Bucks. For the rest of the box scores click the link below.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Brewers Getting Some HD Love

Besides my Japanese anime body pillow (don't ask), there are few possessions of mine that I love more than my 46-inch flat screen television. And there are few things I love doing more with that flat screen than watching my favorite sports teams. But, since FSWisconsin is a rinky dink network, they are hard pressed to show too many games in High Definition. Honestly, when I turn on a Bucks game I expect it to be in the squished up format rather than in HD at this point.

I won't have to worry about that during the Brewers season this year, as all the 136 games that will be on Fox Sports Wisconsin this season will be in HD. That's up from the 96 High Definition games they broadcast last season, when I wasn't too concerned about the subject as I was watching Brewers games on my parents old television in the basement.

WMLW has the rights to 15 more Brewers games, but those will all be in standard definition. Six other games will be broadcast nationally at this point, be it FOX, ESPN, or TBS. Outside of that you'll have to buy a ticket to see the remaining handful of games or just pull up a lawn chair and listen to Uecker.

That's all I got for now, time to go get creepy with my pillow.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Bucks Hold off Pacers

The Bucks escaped their game in Indiana with a 112-110 victory, even though they tried to blow this one in the fourth quarter. Thank God they didn't because these are the must win games for them. The Bucks didn't play much defense in the first or fourth quarter, which didn't help because the Pacers came out on fire early in the game. Milwaukee made two late tray balls to cut the lead down to one after one. The Pacers are not a scoring team and they don't really shoot well so trailing in the first quarter was a little bit of a surprise.

However, the second and third quarter belonged to the Bucks. That is when they took control of the game, until they almost collapsed in the late fourth quarter. Good balanced scoring, and some strong defense of play kept the Bucks in this game. Seven players scored in double figures for Milwaukee. This is really what this team needs to do. They cant put the load on one player's shoulders. The only thing that kept the Pacers in the game was they made 35 free throws. It also might have cost them the game, because they missed nine free throws.

For the Bucks on the other hand, both Salmons and Jennings made their free throws at the end of the game to secure the win. This game now makes the Bucks 5-0 with John Salmons on the team. And speaking of streaks, Andrew Bogut had two more blocks Thursday night which extends his block streak to 22 games. He is looking like an all star more and more everyday.

Lets check out some highlights from the 112-110 win over the Pacers.

* Andrew Bogut just keeps doing his thing. He finished with 15 points, 10 rebounds, and 2 blocks. He was 7-9 from the field and made his only free throw. He will earn the Bucks POTG for Thursday.

* Like I said above seven players scored in double figures. Salmons (20), Jennings (18), Ilyasova (17), Bogut (15), Ridnour (12), Stackhouse (11), Delfino (10). Wouldn't mind seeing those type of numbers put up every night. I think this team could win a lot of games with this balance of scoring.

* Jennings and Ridnour dishing out passes, good stuff. Ridnour lead the way with 8 assists, while Jennings was right behind him with 7. Jennings did have one pass that was awesome. He drove the lane and two defenders collapsed down on him, so he fired a pass to Bogut for the layup. I really like when Jennings has his pass first hat on.

* The Bucks are 8-2 in their last ten. As of right now they are the 7th seed in the East. That would be the best seed because we shouldn't have to play the Cavs in the first round.

* Danny Granger I feel sorry for you. He is such a great player, but is stuck on this god awful team. They need a new coach, and they need to get a big guy to battle down low. Granger finished with 21 points, and 5 rebounds. He will earn the Hunter of the Night.

This was a must win game at this point in the season. The Bucks got the job done, but will need to bring a little better game to the table as they play the Heat. Thing do not get easier from there as they play at Atlanta Sunday to cap off the 5 game week. I would take a split out of these games. If they sweep we could be looking at a team that might fight its way into the sixth seed. Only time will tell what will happen, but lets hope that they finish this season strong. For the rest of the box scores click the link below.

Bucks Get Back to .500

Realistically, it's going to be more than a couple of years before the Bucks will start legitimately contending for any sort of championship, if at all. But throughout this rebuilding process, John Hammond appears to be doing his best to at least make this team competitive in the short team. It seems to be working. Since December 12th, the Bucks have gone on a 10-3 stretch and they're finally back at the .500 mark, currently seeded seventh if the playoffs were to start today.

They got to that standing on Wednesday night with a solid 115-95 victory over the New Orleans Hornets at the Bradley Center. This game was close early, but by the middle of the third quarter it became apparent that only a monumental collapse would cost the Bucks a victory. Milwaukee had a season high 72 points in the paint which was the signature stat in a pretty much dominating performance, especially in the second half when the Bucks outscored NOLA 54-40.

Player of the Game honors will definitely be going once again towards Andrew Bogut, who had his fourth straight double double, this time socring 26 points and bringing in 13 rebounds. Luc Richard Mbah a Moute also had a nice performance, scoring 10 and rebounding 10, while the newly acquired Primoz Brezec also performed well in his first Bucks appearance, grabbing down one monster board in three minutes of play. Man, is that guy a beast or what! (yes, sarcasm)

The Bucks have no time to rest though, as they are back in action again tonight against the Pacers at 6pm. After that, it's a Saturday day game in Miami and then an evening contest in Atlanta on Sunday. It's a pretty busy stretch for Milwaukee, but also a great opportunity for them to start to distance themselves from those in the playoff race.

Packers Franchise Pickett

Do you think there will ever be a time in your life when your employer says, "You know what? You are so valuable to us that we're not going to let anyone else have you. If someone does try to take you, they have to give us two of their most valuable future hires. In exchange for all this, here's seven million dollars this season." I sure as hell know that won't be the case for me, as that would first require one of my employers actually wanting me at all. But that is the case with Ryan Pickett, as he's been franchised by the Packers.

Surely, as valuable as Pickett is to us no team is going to give us two first round picks to sign him, so expect him back in green (navy?) and gold next season. The Packers still have some time to work out a multi-year deal with Pickett, but if not he'll be reeling in some pretty good cash next season.

“Ryan has been a good teammate and productive player for us on the field and also a good representative of the Packers in the community,” Ted Thompson said in a statement released by the Packers. “We look forward to having him be a part of our future.”

No complaints here. Big men like Pickett are extremely valuable in our 3-4 scheme, and he should continue to be a good player and a strong mentor to B.J. Raji.

The First of Many Aborted Winks Thinks

Now that I've moved Winks Thinks to The Bucky Channel, I'm going to take a little more liberty in how often I write these things. The goal of course is every week, but I have absolutely nothing to write about this week, so I'm not going to waste anyones time. Hopefully this doesn't alienate anyone from not coming back next week, but I'll make sure never to go two weeks in a row without a column. Thanks as always for reading.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Throwbacks in Packers Future?

Navy blue shirts with a small circular designation for the uniform number and gold pants may be coming to Lambeau Field sometime this season. According to Uni Watch, the Packers are looking at using their 1929 design for either a throwback uniform or perhaps even an alternative third jersey.

"Based on something I saw earlier, I’m almost certain the Packers will be wearing 1929 throwbacks. Those are dark blue jerseys with a dark blue numeral inside a gold circle over khaki pants and dark blue socks. Of course, per today’s uniform standards, the circle and numeral on the front would be much larger, and I believe the style guide showed a solid brown helmet with gray mask to simulate the leather ones some players wore in 1929."

It goes without saying that this would be awesome, as it's pretty rare for the Packers to ever deviate much from their usual home and away uniforms. Of course, I agree with Cheesehead TV that the uniforms they should be looking at bringing back would be the ones of the ACME Packers variety, although I'm still going to campaign that the Packers someday come out with a blaze orange alternate during the deer hunting weekend.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Andrew Bogut is the Best

The Bucks defense showed up in the second half against New York on Monday night, led by Andrew Bogut who had five blocks for the third game in a row. The Knicks put up a monster 26 points in the second half Monday. I don't know if our defense was that good, or if the Knicks were just shooting that bad. I think FSN did a good job of picking a game not to put on the boob tube though. Another good thing from Monday night was that the Bulls got beat by the Wizards. Making the playoffs is something that can be done for this team.

As the title would suggest, Bogut really came to play right out of the gate Monday. He finished the first quarter with 14 points, and 9 rebounds. The Bucks had a 27-20 lead after one, but really couldn't find their shooting touch in the second. The Bucks scored the 39th point of the game at the 7:28 mark, but would not score another point till the 1:36 mark of the quarter. This would have been the perfect time for the Knicks to make a run, but that didn't happen either. With the poor shooting drought the Bucks still had a 47-41 lead at half.

The second half was not a pretty half of Basketball. The Bucks turned the ball over way too many times Monday. They got away with it because of the way they played defense, and the fact that the Knicks shot 33.8% from the field. The Bucks outscored the Knicks 36-26 in the second half. My guess that stadium was clear after the third quarter. It was a game where the Bucks didn't really bring everything they have, but they got a win out of it. These are the games they need to win, so keep winning them guys.

Lets check out some highlights from this sloppy 83-67 win.

* Andrew Bogut had a 20/20 game Monday night. Last time he was at the Garden he only played 6 minutes, but Monday night he played 36 to have a Dwight Howard type game. He finished with 24 points, 20 rebounds, and 5 blocks. Just a huge game from the big guy. This was an easy Bucks POTG award for Monday. Carry this team to the playoffs Bogut.

* Luc Richard Mbah a Moute also had another solid game. He had a double double himself finishing with 11 points, and 11 rebounds. He doesn't put up the best numbers, but he is always is helping this team in some way. Keep up the good work young fella.

* John Salmons is 3-0 as a Buck. He had a rough night from downtown, but still finished with 15 points. He also started for Charlie Bell, who didn't play at all. Not sure if Bell was hurt or if he might see a major cut in minutes.

* Bucks out rebounded the Knicks 61 to 35. Stats like that should always make the win a little easier. Keep up the good work on the glass.

* Not many bright spots for the Knicks, but I guess David Lee had a double double. He finished with 12 points, and 13 rebounds. We will give him the Hunter of the Night, but really no one on the Knicks should have got this.

It was a win we needed to keep pace for a playoff spot. This is going to be a big week for the Bucks. They have four more games this week, so they got off to a good start. Lets hope they can finish the week off strong also. Next up are the Hornets Wednesday night at the Bradley Center. Don't sleep on this team, because even with CP3 out they are starting to win some games. They are also in the hunt for the 8th seed in the West. Because of all that, the Bucks will have to play better than they did Monday night. Maybe with the home environment and some Squad 6 the Bucks will find their shooting stroke. For the rest of the box scores from Monday nights game click the link below.

And if they hate let 'em hate and watch the money pile up...

Your Weekly Rankings Update

At 20-7, the Wisconsin Badgers are having a much better season than many people thought they would have. They have some tough losses on their resume - UW-Green Bay, at home against Illinois - but they've also beaten two teams that currently sit in the top five right now. With those up and downs, the Badgers fall about right where you'd expect them in this week's rankings - #17 in the Associated Press and #19 in the ESPN/USA Today coaches poll. All that's on the docket for Bucky this week is a game against Indiana, a game they better win.

Marquette is still unranked, but they garnered eleven votes in the AP Poll which shows some recognition is coming there way, although they still remain on the bubble. They have St. John's and Seton Hall this week, and two impressive wins there could shoot them into the rankings for the first time in awhile.

One other thing I wanted to bring up is that I am writing this during the latest episode of 24, something that I would have never done at any point in the last two years. This used to be my number one show, but it is so awful this season that I would rather write a post about the college rankings that you've probably seen already anyways. Seriously, I posted this at 8:30, halfway through the episode. Jack Bauer has been on screen for less than 90 seconds. This show is terrible, so terrible. Thank God we still have Monday Night Raw to watch after this!

Miller Comes Up Huge Against Canada

Every huge American hockey win from now until the end of time is going to be compared in some way, shape, or form to the Miracle on Ice back in 1980, and no hockey win will ever come close. But this weekend's win against Canada was pretty damn impressive, and there's no denying that. Any hockey win against the games' founders in Canada is going to be an achievement, but beating Canada on their home ice in the Olympics is about as big of a win as you'll ever get outside of a Cold War situation.

The star of the game? Look no further than Ryan Miller, my boy from the Buffalo Sabres. As a newly minted Sabres fan, Miller was the first person on that team that I could really identify, but I've been getting nervous about his play lately. He's been logging a lot of minutes for Buffalo and was the netminder when the Sabres went on a recent losing streak. But Miller come up big on Sunday, stopping 42 shots including holding the Canadies scoreless at the end of the game in an attack Scott Van Pelt said looked like something straight out of a video game. He did let three goals behind him, but the U.S. had five, and they've earned the number one seed going forward.

Next up for the Americans is a matchup against the winner of the Switzerland/Belarus matchup, taking place this Wednesday at 2pm Wisconsin time. It's likely the game will again be broadcast on MSNBC as it was on Sunday night. The biggest American hockey game in thirty years was left out of a national primetime slot and instead broadcast on a liberal news network. Nice job with these Olympics, NBC.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Marquette, Wisconsin Survive Close Contests

As hard as it is to watch the Packers lose to the Vikings and to see the Brewers lose to the Cubs, few things irk me as much as when the Badgers lose to Northwestern. It may be a fine academic institution, but I just can not stand them athletically, for I feel the entire program is a joke. Thankfully, the Badgers were not losers on Sunday, although at times it looked like they may have been.

Not a very impressive week for the Badgers, with the loss to Minnesota and then a pretty regrettable outing against Northwestern. A few weeks ago, I threw out a claim that the Badgers had the type of team that could make the Elite Eight, and that's a statement I'd like to take back. Up just a handful of points towards the end of this game, the Badgers strategy to protect their lead was to fire up ridiculous three point shots instead of trying to work some guaranteed points down low.

Fact of the matter is, the Badgers don't really have a lot of down low, post-up ability, and that's going to cost them dearly in the tournament. They are a good team, no question, but I just was not impressed by what I saw Sunday afternoon to think they could do any damage. Still, a win is a win, and the Badgers got it 70-63.

One team that may be apt to do a little more damage in the tournament is the Marquette Golden Eagles, although they have to earn a bid into the tourney first which may be a challenge. They took one step closer to surviving a burst bubble with a 79-76 overtime win against Cincinnati on Sunday. I won't go all out and say that every game is a must win for MU, but losing this game would have been crushing for their tournament hopes.

Realistically, Marquette is probably still going to have to put up a good Big East tournament run to earn a ticket, but they've looked very good in victories and even defeat this season, and could make a run if they did learn how to finish more games like they did against Cincy. The Brew Town Beat takes a good look at just how badly this Marquette program needs to make the NCAA tournament, which is a good read if you love Marquette and if you love blogs that post something once every two weeks (just kidding guys, love the work you do!)

Bucks Hold On to Beat Bobcats

I'm still extremely hungover so this will be just a highlight post for the Bucks 93-88 win against the Bobcats. Let's get right to it:

* Andrew Bogut had a double double Saturday night. He finished with 18 points, 13 rebounds, and 5 blocks. Nice game from the big guy from down under. It always puts us in good position to win games if Bogut gets a double double. He will earn himself yet another Bucks POTG.

* The newly acquired John Salmons is fitting in well with this team. He had another good game Saturday night for the Bucks bench. He finished with 19 points, 7 assists, and 5 rebounds. He just makes our bench solid. Not sure if he will continue to be the sixth man or not, but I guess it is a good role for him. Keep up the good work you Hakim Warrick look alike.

* Brandon Jennings had a bounce back game Saturday. He finished with 19 points, 7 rebounds, and 5 assists. Good to see him recover from his 1-13 shooting night as quick as he did.

* Not sure why there was a Mascot party at the game Saturday, but it looks like everyone had fun with it. I just love Bango because hes always doing something crazy. Also it looks like he can dance too.

* Stephen Jackson had a huge game for the Bobcats, but his 35 points were not enough for his team to get the win. It seems we have played Jackson like 10 times this year. He did however play us one extra time because he was traded from the Warriors to the Cats. For his 35 point effort he will get the Hunter of the Night.

It was a big win for the Bucks in the playoff push for the 7th or 8th seed. Right now Charlotte is in, but Milwaukee is right in the rear view mirror. It is not going to be an easy rest of the season for the Bucks either. They play the most teams with a winning record the rest of the way out of the teams they are contending with. I do feel that we have the team that could make the playoffs, and maybe even give a top seeded team a fight. Could they win a series like that? I doubt it, but I think this may be a team that people underestimate the rest of the season. The Bucks are in the Garden on Monday for a match up with the Knicks. For the rest of the box scores from the game click the link below.

So we live a life like a video...

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Elimination Chamber Predictions

Honestly, if I didn't get Pay-Per-View events half off (I really should start renting this place out for UFC fights), then there's no way I'd be getting the WWE Elimination Chamber PPV this weekend. In my brief career of being a wrestling fan, I've never seen a chamber match so that's a plus. But other than that, I have to think that the outcomes at this point are pretty predictable.

As of this posting, there are just four matches on the card, which means they expect each chamber match to take roughly about an hour unless they add something else. It was advertised in Canada that Edge vs. Batista was going to be a match, but the WWE hasn't made anything official as of yet. Perhaps that's supposed to be a surprise Sunday night, we'll see. Also nowhere on the card is Shawn Michaels, but I almost expect him to take someone out (John Morrison?) for a shot at the belt. Here's the predictions for the currently advertised matches:

PS - Please don't read any further if I'm currently dating you, this is very embarrassing.

Maryse vs. Gail Kim - Divas Championship - This match is going to be a snore, as are all Divas matches. I'd expect Maryse to retain the belt here if for no other reason than she at least has a personality whereas Gail Kim is stale. No reason to watch this match other than the fact that Maryse is the hottest woman alive on this planet.

Drew McIntyre vs. Kane - Intercontinental Championship - Kane is a great wrestler, Hall of Famer for sure, but he's only in this match to give McIntyre another credible opponent to beat. I'd like to see Kane win so that Drew actually has someone that has beaten him, as creative has done a great job of protecting McIntyre from losing so far. But I think that this feud was just a filler before they gave someone else a chance to face Drew as we head towards Wrestlemania, perhaps someone like Christian who will be hungry for a belt after ECW called it quits.

Sheamus vs. Randy Orton vs. Kofi Kingston vs. Triple H vs. Ted DiBiase vs. John Cena - Elimination Chamber Match for the WWE Championship - First of all, as great as it is seeing Kofi and DiBiase earn a shot at the belt, there's no way either of them come close to winning this. I'd expect some sort of appearance from Cody Rhodes at some point - either backstage or outside the ring - in order to further an apparent Randy Orton babyface push. John Cena isn't winning this thing either because he's too busy being an advocate for Bret Hart, as it's going to come down to either Triple H or Sheamus. Honestly, I think that Triple H might walk away with the title as a feel good moment to end the show, setting up a rematch with Sheamus at Wrestlemania. But at the end of the day, it's either going to be Triple H or Sheamus that win this thing, and it's going to be those two facing off at Wrestlemania.

The Undertaker vs. Chris Jericho vs. CM Punk vs. Rey Mysterio vs. John Morrison vs. R-Truth - Many are thinking that Shawn Michaels will in fact appear at this PPV by taking out John Morrison, a guy who is already hurting with a kayfabe ankle injury. Even without interference by HBK, the ankle storyline already takes JoMo out of the picture. R-Truth better not come this close to sniffing a title again in his life, and Rey Mysterio and CM Punk are probably are going to face either at WM26 in some sort of stipulation match. That leaves Undertaker and Chris Jericho. Well, it's pretty obvious that somehow, someway, Undertaker will face Shawn Michaels at Wrestlemania while Chris Jericho will face Edge. The best way for all that to happen is for Taker to lose to Jericho, so expect that title change for sure. Most predictable pay-per-view of all time.
See you at seven.

Everyone Gives a Hand in Win

As the above picture shows, Scott Skiles is the best coach ever, who else would help up a guy wearing two knee braces? The Bucks are just in a loving mood right now. They made a few trades, one which was huge because John Salmons didn't waste time making an impact for the Bucks. Friday night he hit a three that was the dagger to the Pistons. He was also the leading scorer for the Bucks with 19 points. Not too many times you see a team get a win when no one scores more than 20 points on the team. Salmons said after the game he had no clue what the players were and he just kind of went with the flow. Maybe we shouldn't run plays if we are going to win games by just going with the flow.

Milwaukee didn't come out firing Friday night though as they watched the Pistons jump out to an early 8-0 lead. The team came out flat, but when down 9-2 Delfino made a nice steal and dove for the ball. This might have sparked the rest of the team to start working harder. The Bucks were down six after the first, but things could have been a lot worse. The second quarter is when the Bucks turned up the heat. Jerry Stackhouse had twelve points in the game, ten in the second quarter and Milwaukee had a four point lead at halftime.

The second half was back and forth basketball. Neither team could really got out to a big lead. It was more of an anything you can do I can do better type of half. The only problem for the Pistons is that the Bucks did things just a little better Friday night. They really made a few hustle plays that ended up being the difference in the game. Jennings had a huge steal late, Salmons game sealing three was awesome, and Ilyasova had some huge rebounds when the Pistons were missing some late shots. Just a huge team effort Friday night. Also it was good to see Skiles stuck with the hot hand, and proved that just because you start doesn't mean you get to play more minutes.

Bell and Mbah a Moute both started, but only played about 12 minutes and 16 minutes respectively. I like how Skiles is kind of hard on these guys, and it kind of reminds me of a coach I follow a lot named Roy Williams. And not just because I always love giving love to any Tar Heels when I get the chance. I remember one time last year when Roy's all-star starting five did a five man sub back onto the bench where Williams chewed their asses for two and half minutes in the middle of the game. I know these guys are older than kids in college, but you need to show them who is boss and Skiles does an excellent job of that. Really a must win for the Bucks when you play teams like the Pistons who have had a rough season.

Lets check out some highlights from the 91-85 victory by the Bucks.

* John Salmons, welcome sir, and thank you for that huge three pointer. As I said above he led the team in scoring with 19 points. I was going to go with Ilyasova for player of the game, but just joining a team and making the three that put the game out of reach makes John a tough guy to pass up. So John, again welcome and here is your first Bucks POTG.

* Ersan Ilyasova has no luck whatsoever. He had a huge game, but since Salmons three stole he award we still want to show our love for him here at TBC. He finished the game with 16 points and 12 rebounds. Huge game off the bench for the young guy. He also was 6-6 from the field which is awesome. He has a lot of potential, which is the reason this guy didn't get traded at the deadline.

* Really Jennings? You were 1-13 from the field, what kind of game is that? Well believe it or not it could have been worse. Antawn Jamison played his first game with the Cavs Friday and night he was 0-12 from the field. So don't let it bother you Jennings, at least you didn't embarrass yourself as bad as Jamison did. Jennings points per game in February is below 11 so it has been a rough month.

* Can anyone say 23-4 when leading after the third quarter? Your Milwaukee Bucks sure can, because that what they improved their record to with this win Friday night. That is an awesome stat that shows we don't blow leads. Now if we can just get the lead by the end of the third the playoffs might be in sight.

* Six players scored in double figures for the Bucks. Good team effort boys, way to not put the load on one guys shoulders. Salmons (19), Delfino (16), Ilyasova (16), Bogut (12), Stackhouse (12), Jennings (10).

* Richard Hamilton did all he could to keep the Pistons in the game Friday night. He finished the game with 29 points, and was 10-10 from the free throw line. This will earn him the the Hunter of the Night award.

* This is a Winks find, but I had to show people if it stays like it is. Click on this link of Rudy Gay's profile tell me if you see something wrong.

Overall a good bounce back win after the three point party the Rockets had Wednesday night. No time to celebrate because the Bucks host the hot Bobcats. The Bobcats are coming off a huge win over the Cavs, so this will be no walk in the park. Lets hope Salmons can learn a play or two and maybe put up 30 tonight. By the way I did forget to add that odds are Charlie Bell will be moved to the bench for Salmons. Not sure when, but if it is not Saturday night it better be Monday night. Click the link below for the rest of the box scores from Friday nights game.

Ill taste the sky and feel alive again....

Friday, February 19, 2010

Wisconsin Limping Towards the Finish

The losses are coming more rapidly for the Badgers basketball team than they have come at any point this season, and it's against teams that they should be beating. Both Illinois and now Minnesota can put Wisconsin in their "quality wins" column, and in both of those losses the Badgers really did get outplayed. Thursday night's game was a prime example of that, as the Gophers ran away with this one winning 68-52.

It looked as if for awhile the Badgers were going to do their patented routine of letting the other team get the lead only to come on strong and beat them in the second half, but Minnesota just never let up. One key to their victory was the huge discrepancy in free throws. The Gophers had four times as many free throw attempts as the Badgers, making 23 of 28 while Bucky was just 5 for 7. As we were flipping between this game, the Marquette game, and the Olympics of course, it did seem like every time we came across the Badger game the Gophers were at the line.

So with the loss, you can pretty much kiss away any chance of the Badgers winning the Big Ten regular season crown, and their seed in the tournament is getting lower by the day. In the losing effort, Trevon Hughes lead Wisconsin with 19 points, while the recently-returning Jon Leuer had just four points in 26 minutes. Next up for the Badgers is an afternoon game against Northwestern on Saturday, please God do not let us lose that one.

Now as for the aforementioned Marquette Golden Eagles, they were also in action Thursday with a game against Pittsburgh. This wasn't a must win for them, but a victory would go a long way if they were indeed going to make the postseason tournament. Well, they lost. They stayed close and the home crowd gave them good support, but Pittsburgh came out with the 58-51 victory. Not the greatest night for basketball in the union's 30th state (hint: Wisconsin).

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Winks Thinks: The Weir Here, Weir Queer Edition

This whole Winter Olympics has got me feeling a little awkward lately. As in Johnny Weir awkward. I'm going to be honest with you, I'm about as straight as they come (please hold back your comments), but there is something strangely captivating about the male figure skating Johnny Weir. I mean he's so flamboyant he makes Adam Lambert look like Wilt Chamberlain. Lame reference, I know, but you get the idea. This dude is gay.

Despite this, I feel like my whole world has been turned upside down since I watched him skate during the Winter Olympics on Tuesday night. You know those things in your life that you hate so much that you end up obsessing over them? That's how I feel about Johnny Weir right now. He's just such a flaming douchebag, so unnecessarily flamboyant, so awkwardly mysterious, yet he's all I've been thinking about the last 48 hours. I don't know what it is, but he's having the same effect on me that Mango used to have on the guest hosts of Saturday Night Live in the mid-90's.

He's skating again on Thursday, and despite both the Badgers and Marquette being on the ESPN family of networks at the same time, there's no way I'm going to miss Weir skate in primetime. The way he skates, the way he moves, the gay little smile he gives us at the end that I sometimes pretend he's giving to just me, it's something I just have to see. And this angers me.

But that's what the Winter Olympics have done to me so far. For the last six weeks, and even in last week's column, I have been all talk about how I don't care whatsoever about the Winter Olympics outside of maybe U.S. Men's hockey. Yet here we are, one week in, and I couldn't be more about them. Sure, I'm not as crazy as my roommate Bear who actually set his alarm for 3am the other night so that he could awake and watch the results of a curling match on CNBC, but I'm getting pretty invested. I'm taping things during the day to watch them after I get home from work, I've become a huge fan of people I didn't know before these games starting such as Seth Wescott, and I'm even rooting for people I've previously said I didn't care about such as Shaun White and Lindsay Vonn.

But doesn't this kind of thing happen every time with the Olympics? I still don't feel that the Olympics have the same sort of appeal that they did when I was younger, but that's because I was more impressionable as a child. Still, it's foolish for me to think that I'm above watching the Olympics. Sure, some of these sports are things that I would never want to watch regularly, but when they are on every four years it's pretty easy to get into them and follow the athletes. Plus, the Olympics are basically on 24 hours a day for two weeks. That's something I can definitely get behind, especially since February is usually a slower month for sports anyway.

Now, with that being said, their has been a amount of criticism regarding NBC's coverage of the Olympics, with the biggest issue being the fact that many of the events are still on tape delay. On any given night that you and your family sit down to watch the Olympics, it's a good bet that half of the things you've seen have happened already. On Wednesday night for example, I watched Lindsay Vonn capture the Gold a good half day after it already happened, which was fine for me because I hadn't yet heard the results anywhere else.

Sometimes that's not always the case though. On Monday of this week for example, I spent a good majority of the afternoon falling in love with the sport of the Snowboard Cross, watching the qualifying rounds with great anticipation of the semifinals which were to be aired later that evening. In the qualifying rounds, each snowboarder runs down the hill solo, but during the semifinals they go four people at a time. If I thought the solo runs were exciting, then I couldn't given imagine how cool I would think the four man runs would be. Well unfortunately, in the middle of the afternoon I decided to look online to see the names of all the qualifiers for the semifinals, but instead I was directed to a page that gave me the results of said semifinals, and I even found out already that my boy Seth Wescott went on to win the Gold. Kind of ruined the whole experience of watching these Olympics "live".

It's NBC's strategy to hold off on some of the events because the viewing audience is going to be higher in primetime, I get that. Why would they want to show Lindsay Vonn live in the middle of the day when they know they can grab more ratings in the evening? There strategy seems to be paying off too, as the ratings for these Olympics have been higher in the United States than they have been in quite some time. So even though there are many people that would like to watch the events live as they occur (as we can with virtually any other sport that is broadcast in this country), NBC changes the rules a little bit during the Olympics.

You'd think though that maybe NBC could show the events live and then again in primetime to satisfy both audiences, but perhaps that would take the allure out of showing these events in primetime at all. But I'm a guy that has a few days of during the week usually, and I'd rather watch the events live during the day instead of at night after they've already happened, instead of during primetime where the clips are sliced between action of flamboyant male figure skaters (except for the insatiable Johnny Weir, of course).

So even if NBC is satisfied with the way they are broadcasting the Olympics, there is one major flaw. On NBC, most of the day is spent broadcasting the Olympics of course, but there are select moments during the day where they break for local news. The local news wants to make sure they retain the massive audiences that come with the Olympics, so obviously they spend a majority of their newscast talking about the games. What's wrong with that? Well, THEY SPOIL THE RESULTS OF THE EVENTS NBC IS HOLDING FOR PRIMETIME! Where the hell is the logic in that?

The Peacock is also pretty strict in the way other networks can use Olympic highlights as well, and when ESPN does want to share with us some news during SportsCenter, they're forced to show quick graphics taken by the Associated Press for about less than one minute and then they move on. This stipulation is especially awful on the day before and after the NBA All-Star game, because ESPN is left to fill the hour with a bunch of talk and fodder, including of course updates about whether or not Brett Favre's milkman thinks he'll be returning to the Vikings (and the obsession with mentioning him in every Winks Thinks continues).

Those are just some minor complaints from a coach potato's perspective about the Olympics, but I don't want to ignore that the fact that these have been a very entertaining Games so far. The Americans are coming through in the clutch and winning Gold in many of the individual sports, and the American hockey teams are looking strong in their opening games. The curling program has been struggling, making watching these three hour contests a complete waste of time whether you watch them during the day or decided to wake up in the middle of the night for them. Either way, I'm glad I let my position down and I've been thoroughly enjoying these Olympics.


Yeah, so that exists. The best thing about porn is always the titles they come up with, and how the plotlines of the particular movie briefly match their title description. Examples: Fleshdance, Super Size Meat, and The 69th Sense. But this Seinfeld video is a little different, as it's an actual parody. There are a few more of these XXX parodies out there too, anything from Scrubs, That 70's Show, to Friends.

The reason I bring this up in the first place is because of Evan Stone. When my roommate was watching a porno the other night - just watching, mind you - I freaked out because I recognized one of the actors. I don't know, I've watched a few porns in my days - just watched, mind you - but I can't really remember recognizing anyone. The guy I recalled was Evan Stone, and I'm sure enough would recognize him if you saw him. He's hard to miss, the guy has been in nearly 800 adult films since he first started in 1998, including the role of the "Porn Nazi" in the above video.

The life of a porn star has to be quite the experience. Appearing in almost 800 films has to help bring home a good amount of money, which isn't bad for a guy who has said, "I never sought porn. It found me." There's gotta be the downfalls though too, I mean there's no way this guy is clean and regular sex can't be all that exciting for him anymore. Plus, you got the fact that he's being immortalized on a column written by some loser blogger. So can being a porn star really be all that great? I'm going to vote yes on account of all the money and naked chicks.

God Bless You, Evan Stone.


Lastly, I know that in the past I've bought up my hatred for the act of honking, but never have I experienced a situation like the one I just did right before I posted this. On my way to the bank in wonderful North Fond du Lac, I had a made a left hand turn from the main drag onto a side street. A green SUV then preceded to honk at me. It wasn't one of the friendly, "Hey, I know that guy" honks, it was more of the "Fuck you, asshole" variety. Enraged because I hate getting honked at, I put the brakes on and sat there, honking in upset fashion. And that was the end of the story.

Unless it wasn't. Just as I was headed into the bank parking lot, the green SUV had found me, and was honking at me as if to pull over. I didn't know this guy, there was nothing wrong with my car, this guy was coming after me. I pulled into the parking lot, he pulled in. I pulled out of the parking lot, he went to pull out. Thankfully there was some traffic on the street and I was able to lose him. This is why people shouldn't honk unless a) they do know somebody or b) it's a life or death situation. What if the guy had caught up to me? We could have had a verbal argument, or worse, about something as stupid as honking. I hope that douchebag enjoys his evening tonight thinking about how he almost had me. What a dick.

(I also hope he doesn't read The Bucky Channel, because in that case I've just been outed. Something tells me that's not too likely.)

That'll do it for this week. Usually I'd put my WWE Pay-Per-View predictions here, but they are doing a terrible job of filling out the card for the Elimination Chamber, so that will have to be it's separate post this weekend (sorry for that). Enjoy The Hours.

See you at MacLaren's Pub...

Okay, Seriously, What's Going on Here?

It's pretty obvious that Gweeds wasn't entirely happy with the trade the Bucks made on Wednesday, and I know he's not going to be happy about this one. After shipping Joe Alexander to the Bulls, John Hammond has yet again given up another one of his draftees in Jodie Meeks. Meeks and Francisco Elson (for real this time) are being traded to Philadelphia. In exchange, the Bucks will get the expiring contracts of Royal Ivey and Primoz Brezec.

Alright, I have to admit that I'm not quite sure what's going on right now. Do the Bucks hate Meeks already? Are we trying balance the books after we took on the contract of John Salmons with some new expiring contracts? Are we setting ourselves up for another deal involving Luke Ridnour? Do we actually like Royal Ivey? Hopefully we hear something from Hammonds soon, just to get a little idea of what direction he thinks this team is headed in.

The Bucks also received a second round pick in the deal, but odds are Hammond will end up trading whoever we draft there anyway, so that's kind of irrelevant.

I Guess the Deal Wasn't Final

So instead of Kurt Thomas, I guess it's Hakim Warrick that is being shipped to Chicago instead of Francisco Elson. That is a great move for the Bucks, I said sarcastically. Lets give up a guy that can run, dunk, shoot, and play defense. I guess I forgot how Thomas is such a key to this team getting into the playoffs. I really like Warrick, he always plays with heart and works hard down low. I know he can have a rough night shooting here and there, but he has a lot of energy and that's something this teams needs at times. I guess the Bucks were working another deal to trade him anyway, but that failed so late last night they took Kurt out of the deal and put Warrick in it.

Not only was Thomas taken back, but Elson also means soooooooooo much to this team that we couldn't give him up either. Instead we traded our 8th pick in the draft in 2008. I won't lie I hate Joe Alexander, but I would have hoped we could have got more for him. I guess the main problem here is that we didn't take Brooke Lopez in the 2008 draft. Either way we are stuck with John Salmons who I don't have a problem with, but I just think the guys we traded could have got us a guy like T-Murphy or Al Harrington.

Hopefully the Bucks don't make any more ill-advised trades today. Dot dot dot.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Three Point Party Kills the Bucks

No, not the number three, but rather three point baskets. The only bad part about this three point party is that the Bucks never got an invite. The Rockets went to work in the second half from downtown to take control of this game. I saw at half the Bucks were only down 57-52, but when the next time I glanced at the screen they were down 89-63 (incredibly, I was working out during this game). Even more incredibly, the Bucks got outscored 43-14 in the third quarter. That took away any chances of the Bucks getting off to a good start in the second half of the season.

Milwaukee started off ice cold Wednesday night. Brandon Jennings scored the first 9 points of the game for the Bucks. Milwaukee started to find its stroke after that, but still only put up 20 points in the first quarter. The game was tied after the first quarter at twenty.

Like I said before the game was still close at halftime, with the Bucks only trailing by 5 points. The second quarter was more of a team effort as more guys added in on the scoring effort, and with that things were looking okay for the Bucks at half. It would have been nice to get off to a good start at home in the second half, but the Rockets would go on to win 127-99.

Lets check out some highlights from game.

* Luc Richard Mbah a Moute continues to do well. He finished with 18 points, and 8 rebounds. It would be nice for him to a be a 15 and 8 guy everynight. I really think he is starting to get the hang of the NBA game. That will earn him the Bucks POTG for Wednesday night.

* Hakim Warrick was the only Buck not to see the floor. Not sure what is going on there. I hope to God that he is not in the dog house with Skiles, but I really think he needs to play every night. He really needs to play when we are getting crushed in the fourth.

* So... about the Rockets hitting all those tray balls. They finished the game 16-23 from downtown on the game. Milwaukee only made 5 three pointers. That is a 33 point difference in just three point shots. Not going to win many games when that happens.

* Shane Battier had a huge game for Houston. He finished with a double double scoring 20 points, 10 rebounds, and making all 6 of the threes he took. Not the guy you thought was going to kill the Bucks Wednesday, but that is what happened. Battier will win the Hunter of the Night award for Wednesday night.

* Aaron Brooks also finished with a double double. He scored 15 points, and he had 12 assists. I thought the Jennings vs Brooks matchup would have been cooler, but Jennings left the game in the first with an apparent injury. He just never seemed the same when he came back into the game.

Not the way the Bucks wanted to start the second half of the season. I guess if anything good did come out of the night the Bucks made a trade. John Salmons is now a Milwaukee Buck. Kurt Thomas and Fransico Elson are now Chicago Bulls. I guess for what we gave up this is a good move for the Bucks. We didn't give up anything big, and Salmons has up side. He is averaging 12.7 points a game, and 3.4 rebounds. Lets hope he can bring some wins to Milwaukee. I would also guess that the Bucks are not done because right now Dan Grab N' Reach is now our backup center. Click the link below for the rest of the box scores.

There they go, back in stadiums as Shady spits his flow....

* Programming Note: Winks will have his Winks Thinks posted sometime on Thursday afternoon, after he wakes up from yet another drunken slumber. Quite the champion, that guy.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Miller Leads U.S. Over The Swiss

I'm not sure how I really feel about these Winter Olympics so far. I did unexpectedly get very in to the Snowboard Cross event the other day, but then five minutes ago I just watched an Italian dude skate around like a gay cowboy. Kind of a mixed bag so far. But there's one thing I'm hoping Winter Olympic fans can all agree on, and that's how glad we are that the hockey tournament has started.

Not bad for a guy that could have given two shits about hockey this time last new, but with my newfound love of the Buffalo Sabres I'm all in right now. My interest in Team USA is only heightened by the fact that their goalie is Ryan Miller of those Sabres I love so dear. We had the first chance to see Miller and his teammates Tuesday night as they faced over against Switzerland.

Pretty easy game for the Americans, as they came out ahead with a 3-1 victory. Bobby Ryan (Anaheim), David Backes (St. Louis), and Ryan Malone (Tampa Bay) all found the back of the night for Team USA, while Miller didn't do too bad himself. He stopped 14 of 15 shots, the lone goal coming off of a Switzerland power play. Still would have liked to see Miller get the shutout, as he has been shaky the last couple of weeks for Buffalo, and I was worried about how he'd look in the Olympics.

So far so good though for USA, and they'll take on Norway this Thursday in their second game before a Sunday tilt against the heavily favored Canadians. Be sure to check those games out if you can, in between all the Johnny Weir figure skating action of course.

Yeah, slow news week.

Bucks Rumors Galore

What are the odds that the Milwaukee Bucks actually bring in a guy like Antwan Jamison before the Trade Deadline? Probably about the same as the odds of me making a career out of this website, but the rumors persist anyway. When I listened to Bucks GM John Hammond speak a few weeks ago, he was very adamant about the fact that the Bucks wanted to win now, but I just can't see them pulling of a trade of a Jamison magnitude. Still, rumors swirl that the Bucks are looking at him, the Pacers' Troy Murphy, and the Bulls' Tyrus Thomas.

I'm not sure what the Bucks have to offer in any such deal, besides a possible lottery pick next year and maybe a few expiring contracts, but it would be great to see anyone of those players wear the Bucks red this season. I'd say Murphy is the most likely, only because Jamison is too good to be true and there's no way the Bulls swing a deal with a team they are competing with to make the playoffs. That's about the extent of my knowledge on the subject though, but luckily there's a blog that analyzes the situation very well. That being said, head on over to Brew Hoop for more speculation. And then come back to us for links to other sites that we pass off as new material.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Bucky Slips Back a Few

Two wins this week and it's conceivable that the Badgers could be a Top Ten team right now, especially with the losses suffered by some of the nation's top teams in the last seven days. But the Badgers suffered a pretty rough loss of their own, losing to a nonranked Big Ten team at home for the first time in Bo Ryan's tenure. The loss to Illinois wasn't terribly detrimental, as they are a program on the cusp of the rankings, but it obviously didn't do many favors.

In the last polls, the Badgers sit at #14 in the Associated Press and #16 in the ESPN/USA Today poll. The ranking could have been a lot worse, but they righted their ship in a big way with an 83-55 victory at Indiana last weekend. At 19-6, they are the fourth highest ranked team with six losses, behind Georgetown, Michigan State, and Ohio State.

The Badgers can try to climb back up a little bit this week with games against Minnesota and Northwestern, two games you figure the Badgers have to win if they are truly as good as we are starting to think they are. One positive note in that regard is that Jon Leuer has been cleared to practice following his injury, and could be looking at returning this Thursday against Minnesota.

As for Marquette, they are technically ranked #30 in the AP, although still garnering no votes in ESPN/USA Today edition of the rankings. Most predictions still have MU falling just short of the tourney, so it would be nice to see them pick up a couple of wins this week especially against Pittsburgh. Actually, Thursday night should be a pretty entertaining next for college basketball fans - the Badgers play on ESPN and Marquette on ESPN2 with both games starting at 8pm.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Quick Thoughts on Corey Hart

Okay, what? Doug Melvin has gone to arbitration zero times in his career, and the first guy to ever make him go there is Corey Hart? And Corey Hart WINS???????? What the hell is wrong with that system?

Now the salary difference between what Melvin was willing to pay ($4.15 million) wasn't that different from what Hart ended up getting ($4.8 million), but just the fact that he won was a little surprising to me. Hart hasn't been very good at all since he appeared in an All-Star game two years ago, but apparently the arbitrators thought that his talent was deserving of a higher salary than what we were offering.

Even though from a way outsiders perspective I disagree with this decision, I'll accept it and move on. I actually wouldn't have minded Corey Hart going the way of J.J. Hardy this offseason. I've always been a Hart fan and still wear an All-Star shirt of his proudly, but he's just been too much of a disappointment lately. But the arbitrators saw something in him this weekend, let's just hope he now delivers.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Old Man River Beats The Young Buck

Steve Nash was too much for the young guns Saturday night in the Taco Bell Skills Challenge. Derrick Rose was the defending champ, but was out because of an ankle injury. He was replaced by Russell Westbrook who led things off, but took 44. 1 seconds to finish the challenge which is a bit too long. Next up was our own Brandon Jennings, who was doing awesome till the long pass part. He went to work right away doing everything else in one shot. The four to five tries it took him though during the long pass portion cost him a chance to go to the second round. He finished with a good first run time of 35.7 seconds.

Steve Nash went third, and just beat Jennings time when he finished it in 35 seconds flat. The last hope was Deron Williams to take longer than 35.7 seconds. He looked like he was going to struggle a little, but nailed the long pass part and finished in 33.4 seconds. So that set up a final between Williams and Nash. Good showing by Jennings though, and I think he is the type of player that will win this sometime in his career should he get another chance.

In the Finals though, Nash came out on fire. He set the bar high with a 29.9 second run. It really put all the pressure on Williams with a tough time for him to beat. Deron stepped up to the table right away and just smoked past the first few obstacles, until he too got owned by the long pass. His first attempt looked good and he was half way to the next ball when he noticed it bounced out. That threw off his timing, and also his chances of winning the event. That cleared the way for Mr. Nash to walk away with the title. Overall it was a cool event, but it kind of sucks that they only get one run at it. Maybe something they should think about changing down the line to make it more exciting.

Cant complain about the All-Star Weekend though for Jennings. He looked good in everything he did, well except for maybe the new haircut. The only thing the hair did do for him was get him a new nickname, Gumby, and it gave people a reason to watch/talk about him. I think he handled himself well, and it seemed that he really got along with other players well too. Good to see that all this hasn't gone to his head.

Polar Bear + MVP= WTF

So guess what people, this is the face of the NBA Development League. I hope to God they don't expect this to draw in viewers. Brian Butch took home the MVP honors Saturday in the NBDL All-Star Game. I didn't even know they had this game, but they did play Saturday afternoon. Mr. Butch did have a nice game though, finishing the game with 18 points, and 13 rebounds. He represented the West team as they beat the East 98-81.

Butch is averaging just over 16 points, and just under 9 rebounds a game for the Bakersfield Jam. He was joined by a few semi-recognizable faces in Mustafa Shakur who played college ball in Arizona, as well as Joe Crawford who played at Kentucky. The East had Cartier Martin who played for Golden State this year when they had all those injuries. The only reason I know this is because they played the Bucks during that four game period. They also Earl Barron who played a lot for the Heat last year, but now is playing in Development All-Star games.

Good to see Butch still going after his dream of playing in the NBA. Maybe this award will help those chances out, because I am sure a lot of people saw him play that day All-Star game. Well maybe not, but either way he can put this trophy in his case. If I was a betting man I would say this will be final highlight of the Polar Bears Career.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Jennings Helps Rookies Win

In the annual NBA All-Star Weekend Rookie Challenge on Friday night, speed proved to be better than size for the Rookie team. They had no seven footers on their team, but they did have the guy with no ACL's in DeJuan Blair. Blair had just a monster second half for the Rookie team. He finished the game with 22 points, and 23 rebounds. I don't know how he didn't win the MVP award, oh wait yeah I do, it was fan vote. The fans voted for Tyreke Evans, who had a good game too. The cool thing about these guys is that they are not only about themselves. When Evans was given the award he said he wanted to share it with Blair. Good to see the big guy get his love.

As for our Bucks' Brandon Jennings, he had a good game but also got his name out there with his hair style. He went with the Gumby haircut, and it got a lot of attention right away. He also put up some good numbers that helped to get him noticed. He finished the game with 22 points, 8 assists, 6 rebounds, and 4 steals. He missed a few easy shots that might have cost him a chance to win the MVP. He also got screwed by his teammates because he had a few nice passes that were not handled that cost him a chance at a double double. I think if he gets a double double he might be in the running for the MVP.

This game is underrated for people who view it. I really think this game needs to be shown at a better time. I really enjoyed the game, because it let these guys go out and have fun. It also was good because these guys have all the energy in the world so they would work hard to win the game. Most All-Star games you don't see much defense, but you could tell these guys were trying to play some defense. I know the score was high so you might be thinking how were they playing defense, but the game was so up and down the court.

The worst part about the game was how tough it was for the big guys. Brooke Lopez, Marc Gasol, and Kevin Love don't fit well into this game. Don't get me wrong I love how these guys play the game, but it just seemed that they were not having at much fun because of the pace of the game.

I have to say that Jennings passes his first All-Star test Friday night. He has to step it up again Saturday night when he will compete in the skills challenge. Derrick Rose didn't play in the game Friday night so I would think that he will probably also sit out Saturday night in the Skills Challenge. Not sure who will step in, but it does open the door for the other people when the defending champ is not in the challenge. All we can hope for is that he does well, and maybe even brings home a trophy.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Winks Thinks: The Trying This at Home Edition

It feels weird trying to write this column on the homepage, it really does. For almost two years, "Winks Thinks" was a staple of the SportsBubbler website, a domain that has now switched to "The Fan Cave" on JSOnline. It's no SportsBubbler, but my website is continually linked there so I'm not complaining. Still, the days of the Bubbler and the Daily Drink will always be missed, as will the thousands of readers that I'll likely lose with this column being only on The Bucky Channel.

Still, I'm appreciative as always for any of you that have decided to try to find this column, or any of you that still like to visit and skim our site every now and again. I'm even thankful for the guy who posted that our site "jumped the shark" in one of our latest Bucks articles, even though I can't think of why he would write that especially since that phrase itself has become a little lame. So here we go, and let's try to see what WT looks like on The Bucky Channel's cluttered homepage instead of the easy-to-read SportsBubbler layout.

Speaking of those Milwaukee Bucks, they haven't been getting a lot of attention in the Thinks column, frankly because I've been too consumed ripping on Central Wisconsin or obsessing about Brett Favre to leave any room for them. Plus, Gweeds has been doing a nice job with the recaps here on the main page, and besides trying to unsuccessfully spread the nickname of "Bucks Jesus" for Brandon Jennings I really didn't have much more to contribute. Feeling as if I was doing wrong by the Bucks by not giving them the love they deserved, the Bucky Channel crew decided to head down to their game against the Pacers last weekend, where coincidentally it was Bucks Jesus Bobblehead night.

I gotta say, overall the Bucks are delivering an entertaining product right now. At 24-27 heading into the All-Star break, they still aren't playing winning basketball but they are right in contention for a playoff appearance. Sure, some people subscribe to the argument that the Bucks should just tank and get a lottery pick because even if they made the playoffs, they'd likely get swept out of the first round by the Cavs anyway. But I think that this is a team that needs to get into the playoffs, even if it is just for a few games. This Bucks team has some good pieces in place to contend in the years to come - Bogut, Jennings, Mbah a Moute - and these guys need playoff experience right now. Having another losing season is going to do nothing to forward this team's progress, and that's really what it's all about for them right now.

At one game back, you certainly get the feeling by attending a game that maybe the playoffs aren't so unrealistic after all. Like any city, Milwaukee is dying to support a winner. Sure, this team can draw 10,000 fans on any given night no matter how poorly they might be playing, but if you want to pack the Bradley Center night after night, all you have to do is give us a winning program. The Brewers are a great example of how much support you can get if you decide to legitimately start contending for a playoff appearances. Not every franchise can get sellouts week after week like the Packers do in the NFL. If you want to draw fans, you have to be a winner.

The game we attended on Saturday was the Bucks' third sellout of the season, a fact I'll admit was aided quite heavily by the fact that free bobbleheads came with the ticket. But it was also a Saturday night and the Bucks were putting together and impressive home winning streak, and that helped draw fans as much as some little plastic toy. I have to say, the bobblehead is what got me to buy these tickets initially three months ago, but I don't see any reason why I wouldn't have wanted to go even if there was no freebie. The Bucks are playing good basketball right now (for the most part, cough cough Tuesday's loss to the Pistons), and they are a fun team to watch.

In addition to the game, we were given a few extra perks, some which were pretty neat and some which were, well, not so neat. Our ticket package included the chance to sit near the court for pregame warmups, as well as to attempt a free throw on the court after the game. I have to admit, when I was first told that we were going to be able to do these two things, I assumed that it would be a very intimate setting. Nah. Nearly 1,000 people showed up for the pregame warmups, and by the time we got there Luke Ridnour was on the microphone praying to the Lord for Michael Redd's injury to heal. Needless to say, we found something else to do before the game pretty quickly.

The free throw thing didn't go well either, as I swear half of the attendance that night had tickets for it. The lines to get on the court were extending from the floor all the way out to the concourse in four or five different places, something we didn't realize until we had already gotten to the floor. Thing was, we were in the wrong line, as we were actually in a line to leave the arena somehow. Since the guys and gals that work as ushers at the Bradley Center are some of the strictest people on earth, we were unable to sweet talk anyone into letting us cut in line.

Not that I'm going to call anyone a slacker or anything, but I don't think anyone takes their job as seriously as stadium ushers, no matter what the setting. I commend them for doing the job, but I'd like to see them loosen up a bit and not check my ticket with five minutes left in the fourth quarter when I'm trying to sneak down into the lower deck (that wasn't the case last weekend, but rarely do I buy a Bucks ticket for more than $25 so I'm quite familiar with the process of trying to sneak into the better seats). Still, I realize they are just doing their job, so who am I to complain. Except I will freely bitch about the ticket ushers at Miller Park, because those people were born with sticks up their asses (yep, I can drop some swear words in Winks Thinks now. See? Asses. Tits. Shit. Sigh, I guess it's not that cool. Lets move on.)

Our ticket package did have one intimate feature to it though, and that was a VIP party before the game. I'm not sure what room it was called, but you know when you're on the first level of the Bradley Center and you see the blocked off room and think, "I wonder how I can get in there?" It was that room. With our buddy Mick being a season ticket holder, we were able to get into a party that was intended to honor some of the longer season ticket holders. There were fans there that have been buying tickets since late 1960's, which judging on the Bucks history seems like a bit of a waste of money. All of these people definitely had money though, so it probably doesn't matter (something else they all had - an affinity for Brian Winters. Seriously, more than one of the ticket holders mentioned him in the little speeches they gave, as if he was the greatest player to ever wear a Bucks uniform. Guess I missed out on that time, but it was a little creepy.)

The highlight of said party was without question the appearance by Bucks GM John Hammond. Hammond gave a little spiel and then answered a good 10-15 minutes worth of questions, and I have to say that he impressed the hell out of me. I would figure Hammond would give a boring little synopsis and try to say all the right things, but he was actually very passionate about his plans for the team. Overall, he said he likes where the team is heading, and that they are trying to win immediately but also trying not to hemorrhage their future by doing so. He appeared very optimistic about the teams finances, saying that when the new CBA goes into affect the Bucks are going to be in a good position to sign some salary cap casualties elsewhere. Hammond basically told us never to expect Joe Alexander to appear in a Bucks uniform again, and told us that he'd like to find a larger guard that can be more effective on the wing (we took this to mean Rudy Gay, someone we've been wanting the Bucks to get for some time now).

Like I said, I was blown away honestly by his deliverance. Hammond's biggest thing he kept telling us was to just be patient, and we'll soon see a perennial playoff contender. The odd thing was he said it with a tone that was borderline "I know something you don't and it's going to be awesome when you find out" or "Please, please, please, Mr. Kohl, please please let me keep my job." I really couldn't tell if he thought we were going to be contenders for years to come or if he was begging for another paycheck, I don't know. Regardless, I want to believe that he knows what he's doing, so I'm going to go with the former for now.

Other than that, the weekend was pretty good. Minus the parts where I had an extreme attack of bloatedness and the part where I got my ass (swear word alert!) handed to me at Potawotomi again. The game of course was the highlight, and it's always fun to watch a Bucks victory especially when you're part of a packed house. With the optimism of John Hammond and the impressive play I saw on the court, I don't think we're too far away from those days becoming more common.

In other news, I gotta say I thought I'd be more excited about the Winter Olympics than I seem to be. Maybe it's because I don't want to see promo after promo for Jay Leno going back to The Tonight Show, I don't know, but I'm just not that interested. Sure, I'll watch, but as I've gotten older the Olympics seem less important to me, and I really have no reason to back that up. Of course, this is the Winter Olympics we're talking about, which don't garner as much attention as the Summer versions anyway, but still.

I do remember the distinct morning when I saw the report that the Winter and Summer Olympics were no longer going to be held during the same year, and I remember running up the stairs to wake my dad up and tell him the news. I don't know why, but for some reason I just thought this was the biggest news ever. I think when my dad didn't really seem to care - then again, I did wake him up for literally no reason - that's maybe when I started to lose interest in the Olympics a little bit. Or maybe it's the fact that I just don't give two shits about figure skating, and besides the obvious rooting for America I really don't have any vested interest in this thing (one exception: Sabres' goalie Ryan Miller starting for Team USA).

One person I'm being told to care about is this Lindsey Vonn, apparently she's a skier of some kind. She appears to be the person we're being marketed to, because she's good, but more importantly she's hot. Believe me or not, but I've never really been too persuaded to watch certain shows, movies, or athletic events because the chicks in them are hot. A buddy of mine said he used to watch "The O.C." because the chicks were hot, when we both knew that we were really just were sensitive dudes that watched it because we loved the drama. Just as no one is going to be watching Lindsey Vonn because she's hot, but because it's the Winter Olympics and there is nothing else on.

The thing that irritates me is that now we're being told she might not even participate because apparently she's hurt. Apparently she's going all Dan O'Brien on us and not even going to let us buy into the hype as she might not even be there. I don't believe for one minute that she's seriously injured. She may be dinged up, but there's no way she's not participating in the Olympics. Just the hype machine at work once again trying to get us to buy into watching the games. Lame.

Winter Olympics I'll be watching: Hockey, Bobsled/Luge, Speed Skating, and that one thing where they ski and then shoot at targets periodically.

Winter Olympics I'll wont be watching: Opening/Closing ceremonies, figure skating of any kind no matter how much Bear tries to get me to follow his boy Johnny Weir, Lindsey Vonn related activities, any even that's also in the X Games.

You know what else sucks? This eighth season of 24. Jack Bauer's adventures used to be the one show I cared about every week, but watching it this season as felt more like a chore. My dad hasn't watched an episode yet and I told him that he could literally watch next week's show and be caught up. All you need to know is that Jack got dragged back into duty, Renee showed up on suicide watch, their is your normal boring political subplot as well as an annoying CTU personal storyline which is going nowhere. Other than the fact that we learned Jack can speak German, literally nothing has happened. Hell, there was an episode a few weeks back where Jack did nothing but sit in a car the entire time. It's just sad to see a once great franchise not realize when it's past it's prime and would be better suited if it just hung it up already. Sound familiar? (hint: Winks Thinks).

See you on Wing Street...

Bucks Beat Nets in Front of 1,016 People

In my Winks Thinks this week, one of the things I talk about is how strict the ticket ushers at the Bradley Center can be. Their complete opposite? The staff at the IZOD Center on Wednesday night as the New Jersey Nets took on the Bucks in front of 1,016 people. I'm no historian, but that has to be some kind of record. It was so bad that the fans that did show up were invited by the ushers to come and sit courtside, to at least make it look like this was an actual NBA game.

Apparently the paid attendance was in the 12,000 range, and Nets officials are saying that the terrible snowstorms in the Northeast were the reason for the low turnout. I'll agree with them to a point, but regardless of what the conditions are outside you're not going to draw a lot of fans when you are now 4-48 on the season.

For those that did show up, they saw a pretty competitive game in the first half, at least until the Bucks finally took over in the second. Milwaukee outscored New Jersey 53-33 after halftime, finishing the game with a 97-77 victory. Andrew Bogut led the way with 22 points and 9 rebounds, and he'll get POTG honors. Also deserving mention are Ersan Illysova (18 points, 6 rebounds), Luke Ridnour (17 points, 8 assists), and Luc Richard Mbah a Moute (8 points, 12 rebounds).

It was a nice win for the Bucks, one that they really couldn't afford to lose if they are going to contend for a playoff spot. The win helps the Bucks forget about their unfortunate loss to Detroit the night before, and puts the Bucks three games under .500 as they head into the break. They're a game back of the 8th seed in the playoff chase, and will have plenty of time to rest up as their next game isn't until next Wednesday. Only Brandon Jennings is competing in any of the All-Star weekend activities (Rookie Challenge), so this is a team that should be well rested by the time they take on Houston next Wednesday.

As for a Hunter of the Night, let's give it to Devin Harris. He had 27 points, while no other Net had more than eleven. What a terrible team that is.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Really, Bucks?

Yeah Carlos, we the fans are also wondering why you guys lost to the Pistons Tuesday night. These are the games that you must win if you want to be a playoff team, and losing at home to a team like Detroit has to put their chances at an all time low right now. The Bucks just came out flat in the first quarter which is something they are not used to doing. The bench didn't play well at all tonight, and you're not going to win too many games where you only put up nine points. Also shitty is the fact that they were up 9-4 to start the game only to not score again the rest of the first quarter.

Only Charlie Bell, Andrew Bogut, and Brandon Jennings scored in double figures for the Bucks. This team will never win a game when they only put up 81 points in a game. The Bucks also turned the ball over 15 times which this team can't do. They also shot 36.6% for the game which is just awful for an NBA team. It also doesn't help when your big guy shots 8-21 either. Those are not regular Bogut numbers, but that is what happened Tuesday night.

Rodney Stuckey was the Hunter of the Night for the Pistons Tuesday. He finished the night with 18 points, 7 Assists, and 5 rebounds. Still not happy that this crap team beat the Bucks. Jason Maxiell also went to work on the Bucks Tuesday. He came off the bench and put up a double double. He finished with 14 points, 10 rebounds, and he was 7-11 from the field. I also think most players on this Pistons team are on the block to be traded, which is just another reason to say "Really, Bucks?"

The Bucks did fight back to get the lead in the third quarter, proving that they at least were capable of showing some signs of life. They were up 58-54 with 3:27 left in the quarter, only to go cold for the rest of the quarter. Still, heading into the fourth quarter they only trailed by two. The Pistons went on an 8-0 run with just over 5 minutes left in the game though, and that would be it for the Bucks for the night. They could never recover from that run and Detroit got the 93-81 victory. I know Bogut shot really bad, but he will earn the Bucks POTG because he finished with 17 points, 18 rebounds, and 3 blocks. And quite frankly, there was no one else to even consider.

Overall, this was a tough loss for the Bucks. They must really rebound Wednesday night against the Nets so they don't go into the break on a tail spin. Lets hope they don't let the Nets get the best of them. The Nets have been just God awful this year. After the game Wednesday night the Bucks will have off till the following Wednesday when they will face the Rockets at home. Come on Bucks, don't let us down, beat the Nets. For the rest of the box scores click the link below.

He just smiled and gave me a Vegemite sandwich....

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