Dishing and Swishing: The hype around the Milwaukee Bucks needs to simmer down

first_imgShawn Farhadian is a sophomore writing about the NBA and social justice. His column, “Dishing and Swishing,” runs every other Friday. Here’s what might be another problem, as proposed by former NBA forward Richard Jefferson: What if Giannis is more of a Scottie Pippen than a Michael Jordan? Does he need that extra superior star power to take him over Milwaukee’s playoff bumps? Milwaukee is already down 2-0 to the Miami Heat — a fifth seed in the east — in the Conference Semifinals. And to be honest, I’m not sure if I would be too surprised if they go down 3-0 Friday. Here’s the problem, though: The Bucks — and Giannis — don’t pass the eye test. At all. To put it bluntly, they are boring to watch. Miami’s young guards and wings, which include Jimmy Butler, Goran Dragic and Tyler Herro, are outrunning and outshooting Milwaukee’s guards. They’re doing it by continuously finding and taking open shots, whereas the Bucks seem to try to force everything through Giannis. The Los Angeles Clippers, Utah Jazz, Denver Nuggets, Oklahoma City Thunder, Toronto Raptors, Houston Rockets and Boston Celtics lead the NBA in points, field goal percentage, three point percentage, free throw percentage, rebounds, assists, steals and blocks per game respectively. The answer to this question is thought provoking because although Jefferson could very well be right, the debate gets more complicated when you start to mull over options for Giannis. The Greek Freak is expected to test free agency after the playoffs, and Vincent Goodwill of Yahoo Sports reported Thursday that it’s an “open secret” that Miami and Toronto are the leading candidates to land Giannis. However, this shouldn’t automatically warrant winning Defensive Player of the Year. Giannis finished No. 40 in the league in blocks per game and No. 98 in steals per game. His 6-foot-11 stature, 7-foot-3 wingspan and unreal athleticism clearly help him out, but why wasn’t Los Angeles Lakers forward Anthony Davis considered more, since he finished No. 16 in steals per game and third in blocks per game and helped the Lakers to the top seed in their conference? For the record, he was still in the top-22 in defensive rebounds and defensive win shares. Yes, Milwaukee is a defensive juggernaut: They lead the NBA in defensive rating, defensive rebounds and opponent points in the paint. Likewise, Giannis led the league in defensive rebounds and defensive win shares, which helped the Bucks win games. Although OKC and Utah are already eliminated from the playoffs, Milwaukee isn’t at the top of any single offensive statistic. The Bucks’ power lies in their defense. I just spit out a bunch of stats and names, but here’s what I’m really trying to get at: As spectacular of a defensive team the Bucks are, their offense isn’t good enough to outplay other defenses in the playoffs, including Miami’s. It’s not electrifying, and Giannis and shooting guard Khris Middleton take virtually every single shot as they are the only two Bucks to score more than 20 points per game this season. You know what they say: If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em. Isn’t that right, Kevin Durant? Anyway, Milwaukee needs to perform better this series (and the next if they make it, somehow), and by better, I mean they need to be more exciting to watch. If they’re not going to play well through better ball movement and more points in transition, they’ll be in trouble sooner than they’d like. This isn’t to say that the Bucks are not a good team, because of course they’re good. For the regular season, the Bucks finished first in points and rebounds per game, third in field goal percentage and sixth in assists per game. Good offensive teams perform well in those categories. An easy start to fixing this problem is to get more points off turnovers; Milwaukee finished just 10th in that category this season despite its stellar defense. This standing is also behind the other three remaining Eastern Conference teams (Toronto, Boston and Miami), so forget about winning the Finals for a second. If they want to even get there in the first place to compete against a team like the Clippers or Lakers, they need to capitalize on forcing an eighth-best average of 14 turnovers per game. But haven’t you noticed that they don’t lead any particular offensive category? The Milwaukee Bucks finished the shortened 2019-20 regular season winning more than 75% of their games. In a top-heavy Eastern Conference, they finished out on top by 2.5 games. They lost only five games at home, and they did it all with the reigning MVP, current Defensive Player of the Year and four-time All-Star forward Giannis Antetokounmpo.last_img read more

Heat close in on playoff berth, top Bulls

first_imgJudy Ann’s 1st project for 2020 is giving her a ‘stomachache’ Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award “I want to start the playoffs right away,” Dragic said. “But first, we need to take care of business and be professional.”The Heat need one more win or one more Detroit loss to wrap up their 20th postseason trip in 30 seasons. The Pistons are in New York on Saturday, in a game that should be over before the start of Miami’s home game against Brooklyn.Bulls center Robin Lopez was ejected after picking up a pair of technicals with 8:43 remaining, ending his 13-point, six-rebound night. The Bulls dropped their seventh straight, making this the third losing streak that lasted at least that long for Chicago this season.Lopez had plenty to say to the officials as he walked off the floor, gesturing and pointing as he yelled his case.“I was emotional. I had a life reaction,” Lopez said. “I felt I was never given the time to cool down. I was making my way towards the bench and I was hit with that second T right away. I was a little caught off guard. … It’s not something I’m particularly ashamed of. I play with passion. If I do something I feel is wrong, I apologize for it. If not, I’ll stand by it.”ADVERTISEMENT LATEST STORIES The Bulls won four playoff series in 1997-98, Michael Jordan’s final season in Chicago. They’ve won five playoff series in the 20 seasons since.UP NEXTBulls: Visit Orlando on Friday.Heat: Host Brooklyn on Saturday.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Miami Heat guard Josh Richardson (0) and forward Justise Winslow (20) block a shot by Chicago Bulls forward Bobby Portis (5) during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Thursday, March 29, 2018, in Miami. (AP Photo/Joel Auerbach)MIAMI — No matter the opponent, there are two constant principles of the Miami Heat playoff philosophy.Win at home.ADVERTISEMENT Jiro Manio arrested for stabbing man in Marikina Scarlett Johansson, Sterling K. Brown among SAG Awards presenters Conor McGregor seeks to emerge from controversy in UFC comeback View comments MOST READcenter_img Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. In Liverpool, Man United sees the pain and path to recovery Defend like mad.There’s no playoff berth to officially celebrate yet, but the Heat are getting into that postseason mode. Miami held Chicago to 37 percent shooting on the way to beating the Bulls 103-92 on Thursday night, pushing its home winning streak to a season-best eight games, and cutting the magic number for clinching a playoff spot to one.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folkSPORTSTim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crown“I think we’re pretty solid on defense right now,” said Heat guard Josh Richardson, who led all scorers with 22 points. “But it can be better.”Goran Dragic added 17 points for Miami, which got 13 from Justise Winslow and 11 from Kelly Olynyk. The Heat (41-35) moved within a half-game of Washington for the No. 6 spot in the Eastern Conference playoff race; the Wizards lost at Detroit earlier Thursday, an outcome that meant Miami will have to wait at least a couple more days to clinch. David Nwaba scored 15 points, Noah Vonleh added 14 points and 13 rebounds, and Bobby Portis ended up with 13 points and 16 rebounds for Chicago.“I thought we came out with greater effort,” Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg said. “We sustained it for the game. We did let it get away from us a little bit in the fourth quarter.”Miami led most of the way, trailing for only 14 seconds in the opening quarter. The Bulls didn’t make it easy, getting within four late in the third and cutting what was a 19-point deficit down to 12 after Lopez’s ejection.But Olynyk answered with six straight points for Miami, part of a 48-point Heat bench effort.Heat center Hassan Whiteside returned from a nine-game absence with a hip problem, scoring eight points and grabbing seven rebounds in just under 20 minutes.“It’s just good to have him back,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said.TIP-INSBulls: Rookie forward Lauri Markkanen (elbow) got the night off. The Bulls are thinking that he can play in Orlando on Friday. … Justin Holiday scored 13 for the Bulls.Heat: Tyler Johnson left in the first half with a sprained right ankle. … Thursday was the 22nd anniversary of Alonzo Mourning’s career-high 50-point game for Miami.SLOW NIGHTMiami came in averaging 11.2 makes from 3-point range per game. The Heat went 7 for 27 from deep Thursday, and are 16 for 56 in their last two games.SPLIT DECISIONChicago beat Miami on Thursday, and then Miami beat Chicago. A couple miles from AmericanAirlines Arena, the Cubs topped the Marlins 8-4 in an opening day game that preceded the Heat victory over the Bulls.PERSPECTIVE Recto seeks to establish Taal rehab body to aid community, eruption victims Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil Stanton homers twice in debut as Yankees beat Blue Jays Cabuyao City rising above the ashes through volunteerismlast_img read more

Liverpool face transfer disappointment over Ajax starlet

first_img1 Anwar El Ghazi AC Milan are set to beat Liverpool to the signing of Ajax ace Anwar El Ghazi, according to reports in Italy.The 20-year-old winger has been on Liverpool’s radar ever since he broke through into the Ajax first-team, but they are not the only club circling.Milan have also held a long-term interest in El Ghazi and now it has been suggested that they are finally closing in on signing him.Ajax want around £8m for the sale and could be open to parting with their man him this summer.Tuttosport claim that Rossoneri scouts watched him in action for the Dutch club at the weekend and that El Ghazi has already agreed the terms on a five-year deal at the San Siro.Now all that is left is for the two clubs to agree a fee – however Liverpool may launch a late bid of their own to avoid missing out on him.last_img read more