I have had many complaints about ESPN but I have seen a couple of things in the last day that I feel are correct about local Wisconsin teams. ESPN included the Bucks in their list of off-season winners in an article by John Hollinger and the Packers are sixth in their first power poll.
Milwaukee Bucks Off-Season Winners
I have said it, any fan paying attention has said it, all Buck bloggers have said it, but it is still nice when the big boys at ESPN acknowledge it. While there could still be some future problems of superteams forming if another trio can get together, teams like the Bucks need to continue to exist, tough defensive teams built the correct way that can compete. ESPN likes to praise the best and most popular teams, especially in baseball and basketball. Both sports have really long seasons so the mainstream teams move the meter and everybody else is left off their radar. In an off-season that saw the birth of the potential Miami Heat dynasty I would not have been surprised if the Miami Heat were the only winners listed. The Bucks, San Antonio Spurs, Chicago Bulls, Golden State Warriors, San Antonio Spurs and Portland Trailblazers joined the Heat as off-season winners.
Corey Maggette: Hollinger brought up Maggettes ability to get to the line as a major reason this move was justified.
The Bucks were the worst team in the league at drawing fouls last year. Not any more — human free throw machine Corey Maggette gives them the kind of shot-creating scorer that they desperately needed a year ago, and he cost them nothing. He has his faults, but fans overlook how effective a scorer he is because so many of his points come via the relatively uninteresting free throw.
Drew Gooden: Gooden was also labeled as a solid get, some have accused the Bucks have overpaying for Gooden but those accusers might not realize how much difficulty the Bucks have had finding a power forward for the past 30 years.
Drew Gooden was another solid get, providing a massive upgrade from the likes of Kurt Thomas and Dan Gadzuric a year ago. Ideally his deal would be a year or two shorter, but given what other teams paid for frontcourt talent, the Bucks still got a good price. Meanwhile, retaining Salmons was crucial, albeit unfortunately expensive in this market. Remember, teams over the cap have an incentive to overpay their own free agents since it’s impossible to replace them, so from that perspective Salmons’ price makes sense.
End of roster: Adding guys like John Brockman, Chris Douglas-Roberts and Keyon Dooling rarely get a lot of mention but strengthening the bottom of your rotation is critical for teams that cannot just grab the headlining stars.
Milwaukee’s end-of-roster moves were just as strong. Jon Brockman was flat-out stolen from Sacramento for a second-round pick after leading the NBA in offensive rebound rate last year. Chris Douglas-Roberts also cost the Bucks a second-rounder, but fills a need by giving them another wing who can score. Keyon Dooling won’t replace what Luke Ridnour gave them a year ago, but that was the one sacrifice they had to make to pull off the other moves.It might seem like the Bucks spent a lot, but their cap situation going forward is still really strong and they’re two deep at every spot. Fear the Deer, folks — the Bucks could be a force this year.
As we approach football season I will add in more and more football articles, especially as the real seasons for College Football and the NFL start since that coincides with a quiet period for the NBA.
The Green Bay Packers were 6th in the poll comprised of numerous ESPN analysts. The order is 1. Colts 2. Saints 3. Vikings 4. Cowboys 5. Ravens 6. Packers. I have no complaints, I could see Green Bay ahead of the Ravens but not a big deal. I was also happy to see the Jets at 7 behind Green Bay, I think the Jets will have a huge letdown.
As training camp hits for Green Bay I will likely have an article a week on Green Bay and/or Wisconsin.