6th Fan Blogger: Bucks vs Hawks - Game 6 - 4/30/10

April 30, 2010
Jake LeRoy

Debunking the Milwaukee Myth

There was a nasty rumor circulating around this time last week that no one would ever want to live in Milwaukee, that there was nothing to do, that no NBA player would ever actually want to play here. It certainly wasn't a new rumor. It's one that has been started and restarted by out-of-town professional athletes for decades. But it's high time that this erroneous myth be debunked.

This time the rumor came courtesy of Atlanta forward Josh Smith, who isn't likely to ever be considered a credible source on anything. Making matters worse is the fact that Smith hails from College Park, Ga., population 20,382. Not exactly a burgeoning metropolis. I realize that College Park is home to the Woodward Academy, the largest independent school in the United States, but I wouldn't exactly consider that a must-see tourist attraction.

Getting back to the debunking, there is a never-ending list of golden opportunities for visitors. I'm going to let Alice Cooper get things started with his feelings about Mill-e-wah-que, Algonquin for "The Good Land." Now that Alice has said his peace, let's delve further into the happenings in and around Milwaukee. Here are just a few possible reasons for coming to Milwaukee, with these destinations being just the tip of a very deep iceberg.

  • Summerfest: The focal point of Milwaukee's summer party scene, Summerfest spans 11 days and is the world's largest music festival. It offers a diverse selection of music, food and exhibits that can't be surpassed, not to mention the world-class people watching.
  • The Festival Scene: Summerfest may be the focal point, but the remainder of the summer festival schedule is nothing to sneeze at. There's something for everyone with a different festival along the lake almost every week of the summer, including Polish Fest, Bastille Days, German Fest and Mexican Fiesta.
  • Brewery Tours: I wanted to avoid pigeon-holing Milwaukee into a drinking town, but we need to call a spade a spade. We Milwaukeeans are drinkers, and there's nothing wrong with that. One of the best ways to celebrate drinking is to partake in the plethora of brewery tours available throughout the greater Milwaukee area. There's Lakefront, Sprecher, MillerCoors and various other microbrewery tours, providing a beer for every palette.
  • Museums: The Harley-Davidson, Milwaukee Art and Charlie Allis museums provide all kinds of culture to all kinds of people, be they bikers, art aficionados and everybody in between.
  • Anything along Lake Michigan: As Yi Jianlian famously noted upon his arrival in Milwaukee, we've got a lake and it's as big as an ocean. When the weather is warm and sun is shining, there are few places to go in Milwaukee more enjoyable than Lake Michigan. Visitors to the lakefront can play volleyball, soccer or football. They can fly a kite or play Schulrick, the Russian Game of Wit and Skill. (Pay no attention to the name on the site.) The possibilities are endless.
  • The fans: Milwaukee's most important attraction isn't a location or a thing, but a collection of some of the greatest people on Earth. It may have taken a while for some to get on board, but there's no doubt that Milwaukee and the state of Wisconsin as a whole can offer a level of fandom that few cities or states can match. The Bradley Center reached decibel levels in Games 3 and 4 that most fan bases can't even comprehend. Certainly not the fans of Smith's team, who sat on their hands for a majority of Game 5.

I would challenge anyone to name me a player who has spent a significant amount of time in Milwaukee that didn't enjoy their stay. Players come to Milwaukee or Green Bay skeptical of what their tenure will be like. When their stay is complete, though, you'll find nary a player who has an unkind thing to say about the state. And you can take that to the bank Josh Smith.

In-game Musings

  • I can't imagine a better way to kick off tonight's game than a stellar rendition of "The Star-Spangled Banner" from our very own Jerry Stackhouse. Dude killed it. Who knew that Stackhouse had those kind pipes? I give him credit for even doing it. NBA players are used to putting themselves out there at the mercy of the crowd on a nightly basis, but not in the manner Stackhouse did tonight. Well done, sir.
  • The game hasn't even started yet and my goose bump count has already reached three. I'm really hoping that motherly adage "If you keep your face like too long it'll stay that way" doesn't pertain to goose bumps as well. Otherwise I may have a permanent case of goose pimples.
  • The anticipation for the first Milwaukee basket was palpable. You could cut it with a knife. When Carlos Delfino laid the ball in for the first basket, the roof of the Bradley Center was literally blown off. The remainder of Game 6 will be played outdoors. Four helicopters will be suspending the JumboTron for the rest of the game.
  • Do you want to know who's looking dapper tonight? Andrew Bogut. The fans asked and Bogut delivered, rocking the all-white suit for the first time this season. Throw in a red tie and a matching cast, and Bogut looks like he just stepped off the set of a show on the Style Network.
  • Maurice Evans, thank you for running the worst 2-on-1 fast break in the history of the NBA. If I had the high-flying Smith on the wing I wouldn't pass it to him either. That would be an awful decision.
  • The Bucks certainly didn't put together the prettiest first quarter, but they withstood a strong first-quarter effort from an Atlanta team that has its season on the line. They had to know the Hawks were going to come out fired up, but the Bucks matched that intensity and that's why they're leading at the end of one.
  • There was a couple of wildly out-of-place jerseys scattered throughout the crowd tonight. Two that immediately come to mind are a Ben Zobrist Tampa Bay Rays jersey and an Emmitt Smith Florida Gators jersey. Why? Why? Neither of those teams is currently on the court, nor will they ever be since this a basketball game. I'm half expecting to see a Wayne Gretzky jersey at some point.
  • Joe Alexander made an appearance at about the 7:30 mark of the second quarter tonight, taking a seat in Section 214. For those interested, he still hasn't cut his hair, he's still dating a former Energee dancer and he's still back-tapping rebounds to no one in particular.
  • The Hawks look like they have zero interest in passing the ball. I don't think they've had a possession in the second quarter in which three passes have been made. Its sideline pass, Joe Johnson jumper. Screen, Jamal Crawford jumper. Entry pass, and 15 seconds of Al Horford pump-faking and jab-stepping. The Bucks are playing great defense but there's little wonder why Atlanta had just six assists in the first half.
  • Milwaukee needs to start playing better at the start of quarters. The Bucks scored just six points in the first five minutes of the second frame and have scored a measly two points through the first seven minutes of the third. They are very much a team that lives and dies by the jumper, and right now they're dying a slow painful death. The Bucks either need to get it to the rim or start hitting some jumpers real soon.
  • Did that third quarter seriously just happen? It couldn't have, right? I've never seen a team-wide shooting slump snowball quite like that. It's like they missed a few and started to think about it way too much. On the bright side, a late run in the quarter propelled Milwaukee to 11 points in the frame, outdistancing Portland (at Utah, 1999) by six points for the fewest points squared in a quarter in a playoff game.
  • You've got to love it when it's so loud that you can't even hear when a whistle is blown.
  • Apparently when you flat out pick a guy's pocket that's considered a foul, because that's only reason that Delfino could possibly have been whistled when he picked Crawford with two minutes left. That's the only explanation because Delfino committed legal grand theft basketball with that swipe.

Closing It Out
I'm speechless. I have no speech. The city of Milwaukee was on the brink of explosion prior to tipoff. A win tonight would've sent the city into an absolute frenzy. Unfortunately, it just wasn't in the cards tonight. Some nights you have it, some nights you don't. And tonight was definitely a don't night.

Carlos Delfino was pretty much the only the Buck who showed up tonight, putting together a solid all-around stat line of 20 points, six boards, three assists and three steals. Nobody else could find the bottom of the net with any kind of consistency, and sometimes that happens. I just can't think of a worse time.

I'm going to put on my optimistic pants and say that the Hawks simply delayed the inevitable tonight. The Bucks pulled out a win in Atlanta just two days ago. There's no reason to think they can't do the same Sunday. The pressure is back on the Hawks, and we need to hope they wilt under that pressure. Milwaukee played fine tonight other than its ghastly third quarter. If the Bucks can put together a full 48 minutes of basketball, they have as good of a chance of winning as Atlanta. And just in case it's not obvious, I really hope they win.

Work hard. Play hard. Type hard.

Note: These are the views of the 6th Fan Blogger. Thoughts and opinions expressed in this articles are not necessarily the views of the Milwaukee Bucks.

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