Bucks 6th Fan Blogger Finalist - Colin Booth
“Where we’re going, we don’t need roads.”
Daylight savings sounds lame. And if you couldn’t tell from my picture, I like to spice things up a bit. So, along with my friends, I started to lovingly refer to the day we turn our clocks back as “Back to the Future” night. On that blessed night, I could always count on two things: First, my mom would call to remind me to turn my clock back. To be honest this was a good thing, otherwise I probably would have shown up to work way too early. Second, and in no way related to the first, I got an extra hour of bar time.
I know that brief precursor is a curious way to start an article about the new NBA season, but stick with me because much like the Bucks, I think you will like where this goes.
After crashing the home opener of the new Boston Three Party, our team came back to the BMO Harris Bradley Center to showcase their game. And a show is exactly what I witnessed tonight. Jennings passed the rock with an effortless swagger - not to mention hit a game winning three while time expired, Ellis outran Uncle Drew and although I couldn’t hear it, I feel confident to say that Jonny Mac waxed philosophical on the FSN mic. Yes, I am excited for the season, so excited that I feel like I am back in 2000 with our Big Three running the floor. That’s right, we are going Back to the Future.
Scott Skiles - a.k.a. Doc Brown - is coaching a team that looks almost as good in their press photos as they do on the floor. After a slow 2011-12 year we are back and based on the previous two games, better than we have been in a while. The scary Skiles D is still intact but it appears we have added some offensive firepower (we dropped 99 in Boston a year after they allowed 89.3 on average and let’s just say that after tonight’s last second three I don’t see us slowing down any time in the near future).
One of the great things that can make this team special is our depth. Although Ellis dropped his share (23 points) and Jennings was able to dot the game with an exclamation point (while dropping another double-double 13 points and 13 assists), it was our role players that really shined tonight. Mike Dunleavy was doing his best Toni Kukoc, circa 95-96 Bulls, impersonation - contributing 29 points, 12 boards and 6 assists. Not to mention: Larry Sanders threw down a jam or two that would make my grandma jealous, Ersan was Ersan, and Beno Urdih demonstrated again that he could out-hustle a team filled with nothing but various versions of Snopp Dogg from throughout his musical career. Overall we look fast, I’m talking DeLorean rev’d to 88 fast. But let me tell you why I am as excited for this team as I have been in over a decade.
Monta Ellis can fill buckets plain and simple. After a 21 game appetizer - where he averaged 18 points and 6 assists - we get to see what a full 82 course meal can bring. Back in 2000 Ray Allen was able to average 22 points, 5 assists and 5 rebounds while shooting threes at a 47% clip. Asking Monta to match number for number one of the NBAs all-time great shooters is probably too much. However, what Monta cannot match in shooting prowess (career 33% from downtown) he has in spades in his ability to push the pace, and on the defensive side of the court (1.7 steals per game vs. Ray’s 1.2 career avg.). I would go as far as to say that he is the perfect complement to Jennings, the 1.21 gigawatts to power our machine.
Which brings me to the main man. Brandon Jennings is our Marty McFly. He is hot. I mean get this man a guitar so he can rattle and roll the Enchantment Under the Sea dance. After that first game’s box score looked like a video game he decided to end game number two in storybook fashion and send the ravenous Milwaukee crowd home with something to talk about. So, how do I anticipate this will translate into his season? Well, strictly based on numbers, he has increased his points per game each of the previous 2 seasons by an average of 1.8. If that holds true he will come in around 21 per game this season (he has averaged 5.4 assists/game career but started games one and two with 13 dimes each). By comparison, Sam Cassell averaged 18 points, 8 assists, and 4 boards in 2000. As Marty would aptly say, Jennings has the potential for a “Heavy” year.
Those two components would compete favorably with Ray and Sam of 2000. I think that our the depth our lineup has (plug in Tobias Harris, Larry Sanders, Ersan Ilyasova, or Mike Dunleavy) can fill the void of Glenn Robinson. If we continue to push an offense at this pace that continue with our defensive pressure I don’t know what year we end up in.
Fear the Deer? This year, let’s see if the league has the time to Run with the Stags.