On Schedule Pt. II
The second half of a basketball game is no more important than the first half. No matter how it feels. However, the second half of a basketball game is certainly different than the first half. It is the outcome of halftime adjustments. It marks the separation between a team that loses energy and one whose focus rises as the game clock dwindles.
The second half of a basketball season is no more important than the first half. But it is certainly different than the first half. It contains the brushstrokes that either build toward a bleak end, or reach forward into a new beginning.
For that reason, we cannot call these games the final 41 games of the season. We hope that they are not the final games of the season at all. Because we hope that they are a precursor to even more games, even more meaningful games.
For chronology’s sake, you can check out 41 reasons to care about the first 41 regular season games here. And now a few words about the final 41 regular season games.
Jan. 26: Warriors
Monta Ellis and Ekpe Udoh welcome their former team to Milwaukee for the first time.
Jan. 29: @Pistons
Yes, NBA players are good – all of them: The Bucks and Pistons, a couple of struggling teams, combined to make 41-41 free throws in a random January game in Milwaukee last season.
Jan. 30: Bulls
I would say that these games have a playoff-like atmosphere, but they really don’t. These games are something else altogether.
Feb. 1: @Knicks
New Knicks point guard Jason Kidd won Rookie of the Year… when Brandon Jennings was five years old.
Feb. 2: Magic
Will Dwight Howard still be on the Magic? Will Dwight Howard still be a requesting a trade from the Magic?
Feb. 5: @Nuggets
For those tracking Anthony Randolph (anyone?), he is now a Nugget. I remember being pretty high on him before the 2008 draft, and despite contrary evidence, I still hold a nugget of hope that he will become a productive player.
Feb. 6: @Jazz
The Bucks have lost 10 straight games in Salt Lake City. The last time they won was an opening-night overtime victory in 2001.
Feb. 9: Pistons
Catch the so-called boom or bust player of this year’s draft: ninth overall draft pick and former Connecticut center Andre Drummond.
Feb. 11: Wizards
Will third overall draft pick Bradley Beal prove to be the steadying sidekick that John Wall has so desperately needed since arriving in the NBA?
Feb. 13: 76ers
In the final game before the All-Star break, we have the triumphant returns of former Bucks Royal Ivey and Kwame Brown.
Feb. 19: @Nets
Coincidentally, this marks the one-year anniversary of Ersan Ilyasova’s 29-point, 25-rebound game against the Nets last season.
Feb. 20: Nets
Brandon Jennings has called Deron Williams the best point guard in the league. They have split six head-to-head games – with Jennings taking the last two.
Feb. 23: Hawks
With Joe Johnson and Marvin Williams gone, the Hawks have a new look and an uncertain but perhaps even brighter future.
Feb. 26: @Mavericks
Last season, the Mavericks did not win 50 games for the first time this century – of course, they only got to play 66. Then they retooled this offseason with aims on a second title, notably adding Elton Brand, O.J. Mayo, and Chris Kaman.
Feb. 27: @Rockets
The last time the Bucks visited Houston was the last time that Andrew Bogut played for the Bucks. On an unrelated note, the Rockets might actually have more power forwards on their roster than the Bucks.
March 2: Raptors
The Raptors missed on luring Canadian legend Steve Nash to Toronto. But the seeming consolation prize, Kyle Lowry, is one of the game’s underrated two-way players.
March 4: Jazz
According to Pythagorean wins (which is based on point differential), the Bucks and Jazz both had an expected record of 34-32 last season, yet the Bucks went 31-35 while the Jazz went 36-30.
March 6: @Clippers
Blake Griffin dunked 192 times last season. That was 100 more dunks than 10th ranked dunker Kris Humphries (92).
March 9: @Warriors
March 9: The Bucks beat the Knicks at home and started a season-best six-game winning streak on March 9, 2012.
March 12: Mavericks
The Bucks have won three out of their last four home matchups against the Mavericks. And the only loss came on a last-second Dirk Nowitzki jumper in overtime that bounced in back in 2009.
March 13: @Wizards
The Wizards amnestied Andray Blatche, one season after Blatche was the team’s captain. Ah, the Wizards.
March 15: Heat
Will the Milwaukee faithful cheer louder for former Marquette star Dwyane Wade or former Bucks star Ray Allen? My vote is Brandon Jennings.
March 17: Magic
A Sunday afternoon home game on St. Patrick Day in Milwaukee? Sign me up.
March 19: Blazers
The Bucks did not merely sweep a pair of games against the Blazers last season – they put up 116 points in each game.
March 20: @Hawks
Lou Williams is now a Hawk.
March 22: @Pacers
New Pacers guard Gerald Green has always been a fun watch, and as of last season, he is a newly productive player.
March 24: Hawks
Some NBA teams, including the Bucks, will occasionally wear retro 1990’s jerseys this season. There is no confirmation that this will be one of those games, but the Hawks are also participating with jerseys that hearken back to their Dikembe Mutombo days.
March 27: @76ers
Every time the Bucks and 76ers have matched up over the past three seasons, I have used it as a way to gauge Brandon Jennings against Jrue Holiday – and I am still not really sure what to think.
March 28: Lakers
The Bucks beat Kobe Bryant and the Lakers last season at home.
March 30: Thunder
Monta Ellis dropped a career-high 48 points on the Thunder in a game for the Warriors last season.
April 1: Bobcats
Michael Kidd-Gilchrest is the most polished basketball player in the world who will celebrate a 19th birthday this coming September.
April 3: Timberwolves
Russia recently defeated basketball powerhouse Spain in an Olympic game. And Russia’s two standout players – Andrei Kirilenko and Alexey Shved – signed with the Timberwolves this offseason.
April 5: @Knicks
Ah yes, Brandon Jennings in Madison Square Garden. Jennings memorably lit up MSG for 37 points last season, snapping an eight-game losing streak.
April 6: Raptors
Highly-regarded 7-footer Jonas Valanciunas arrives to Toronto via Lithuania. The center and fifth overall draft pick in the 2011 draft will debut this season.
April 9: @Heat
Is it premature or overly optimistic to hope that the Heat will have wrapped up home-court advantage in the NBA and/or the East at this point?
April 10: @Magic
Looking forward to Jason Richardson not making 8-9 three-pointers in the second half of a comeback win against Milwaukee in this game.
April 12: @Hawks
Devin Harris and Jeff Teague comprise an interesting point guard tandem.
April 13: @Bobcats
A date with the Bobcats will be very welcome during what will be a difficult, road-heavy final week of the regular season.
April 15: Nuggets
The final home game of the season. The regular season, that is.
April 17: @Thunder
Finals preview? Okay, maybe not – but perhaps a meaningful final game nonetheless.
My passions? Writing and the Bucks, to start. So it is good to be here. I have reported on media row for just about every Bucks home game since 2009-10 – almost all of that time writing for BrewHoop. I have also written for the Milwaukee Brewers Baseball Club, SB Nation, ESPN Milwaukee, Slam Online, etc. You can follow me on Twitter @alexboeder or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.