3 Things We Learned From Bucks-Cavs


Milwaukee held home court proud when LeBron James and the Cavs would challenge at the Bradley Center. With James departed, the Cavs presumably would be less of a challenge. Mercifully in a year filled with upsets and turmoil, this presumption was correct. Even without an injured Giannis Antetokounmpo (out with a neck strain), the Bucks built a 26 point lead and easily cruised to a 108-92 triumph. While the game was less interesting than others, three things can still be taken away from the routine victory.

1. NBA Grind Is Seldom Glamorous

This may appear counter-intuitive for such a one-sided win. “Wow, 26-point lead! What an exciting game!”, a non-observer may think. But the game actually had the feel of a grind. The pace of play slowed to a sleepwalk without Giannis and the Cavs’ shooting was only six points (37 to 43%) lower than the Bucks’. But this is good experience. While one can certainly count on a rocking Forum for the playoffs, elite teams can’t get too high or low during a best of seven series. That’s why it’s encouraging the Bucks didn’t overlook a supposedly overmatched opponent.

2. Bledsoe Is a Member Of The True Core

The unfortunate truth of the NBA is a lot of players come and go, even for the most familial of teams. But the E in KEG, Eric Bledsoe, proved that he’s firmly entrenched in the team’s inner circle. By escaping basketball exile in Phoenix, Bledsoe joined a franchise currently committed to success. On the court, he’s contributed quite well, including against Cleveland.

After the game, he rehearsed the old cliché of “one game at a time” as a means to playoff seeding ends. Granted, not the most exciting postgame statement. But it’s a critically important mindset to hold without the team’s star. If Bledsoe can blend his experience with assertive but not overbearing play, he will be a vital part of the team’s rotation.

3. Fiserv Fun For All Fans

Fiserv Forum is primarily a basketball arena. But the truth is, some fans are lukewarm about the actual game. Some have restless children, and others are sucked into Facebook or Bucks Lead’s superb Twitter feed. Thankfully, the Bucks (even going back to the Bradley Center) know the NBA is much more than basketball– it’s a dazzling show. Maybe that’s why the Bucks goofed around with the Globetrotters, who will also play at the Forum New Year’s Eve.

[fvplayer src=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K-GBqPwMJyI”]

And of course the Bucks have Bango, the best mascot in the NBA. (It’s just too bad he gets so nervous about the game he can’t talk!)

[fvplayer src=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q3umtw179KA”]

The Buck’s MCs also give fans fabulous prizes if they can squint at flipping phones and have good math skills. Now with the Bucks 18-8 and just two back of first, these promotions aren’t just lame sideshows. They provide a golden halo around a basketball product that’s never been more entertaining.

About Jeffrey Newholm

"Jammin Jeff" Newholm had been a basketball fanatic since his high school days, and remained a casual fan as a student in Whitewater. Wishing to check in as an active participant, he also completed a writing certificate program at UWM. He loves seeing Bucks games more than any other activity in hometown Milwaukee and especially screaming really really loudly to get someone to miss a free throw. Twitter: @JeffreyNewholm

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