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Apr 28, 2010; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Hawks forward Josh Smith (5) tries to block a shot at the basket by Milwaukee Bucks center Dan Gadzuric (50) in the first quarter of game five in the first round of the 2010 NBA playoffs at Philips Arena. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-US PRESSWIRE

Milwaukee Bucks Links: Head Trauma, Old Friends, and The End

Truth About It: In examining what may lie ahead for James Harden, Dan Diamond spoke to Carlos Delfino.

Delfino’s symptoms weren’t brought on by a devastating blow to the brain…at least, not at first. He suffered a bad head injury in March 2010 — when Udonis Haslem stepped on him — but was back in action within a week.

It wasn’t until seven months later, after Delfino took a few hits to the head in early-season games, that he started feeling spacy and exhausted. His worsening condition

forced him out of action for two weeks…and then another few weeks…and before long, Delfino had missed 30 games.

Delfino spent the time in dark rooms and visiting doctor’s offices, seeking relief and solutions. He went through extensive testing and medical therapy, ultimately needing to work on simple balance and basic coordination. It was frightening, he told me, “one day you’re playing…you get [hit]…and the next day, you don’t feel the same” and can’t get back to normal. It was unlike any injury he’d had in his two-decade-long basketball career.

Diamond goes on to speculate that the injuries have changed Delfino’s style of play (i.e., less forays to the basket), but the shot location numbers for Carlos pre- and post-injury on Hoopdata.com do not bear out that line of reasoning.

Carlos will become an unrestricted free agent in the offseason.  Whether it happens in Milwaukee or somewhere else, here’s hoping he goes on to a long and healthy career.

NBA.com: Steve Aschburner argues that Metta World Peace’s suspension should be tied to James Harden’s recovery.  He also relays an anecdote about both Bobby Dandridge laying out Jim Barnett as a member of the Bucks and Jim McGlocklin’s resulting empathy.  (Is ‘anecdote’ the best word choice simply by virtue of the fact that Dandridge didn’t kill Barnett?)

Jim Barnett got clocked a few times in his six-team, 11-year NBA career, but never harder than when Milwaukee’s Bobby Dandridge intentionally nailed him in the temple with an elbow in a playoff game in the early 1970s. “That was the worst,” Barnett, now a broadcaster for the Golden State Warriors, said recently. “Because I was out. Jon McGlocklin was with the Bucks – I had played with him in San Diego – and I said, ‘Jon, I have no idea where I am.’

“He said, ‘I’ll just throw the ball to Oscar [Robertson] and Lucius Allen.’ And for, like, three possessions up and down the floor, he didn’t try to beat me or anything. Swear to God, in a playoff game.”

Reminded about the incident, McGlocklin smiled and said, “I don’t think I was ever that nice.” 

Off the Dribble:  Dan Gadzuric is back and eligible for a playoff run with the Knicks.  If the Bucks cannot come up with a stud center this offseason (and how would they?), then they need to, at the very least, find a big man in the mold of Gadzuric (circa 2004-2007) to complement the rangy, but movable, styles of Larry Sanders and Ekpe Udoh.

Also, just for the hell of it: the Bogut-to-Gadzuric alley-oop.

Washington Post:  Former Bucks GM (and swingman) Ernie Grunfeld got a contract extension with the Wizards.  In his nine-season run as the president in Washington (no, not that president), the Wizards best season was a 45-win campaign in  2004-05.  Ernie has made a few clever moves in the last 24 months, but owner Ted Leonsis should have a firm grip on what his Grunfeld’s capabilities are by now.

At least, he’s not running the Bucks.  Oh wait…

Twitter: Gery Woelfel says that John Hammond may be interested in Portland.

And finally:

The Bucks are out of the playoffs.  They won their game against the Raptors, but the 76ers won the Nets’ last game in Jersey.  The Bucks will have a lottery pick, barring any trades.  They will also get to keep their 2nd round pick, thanks to the top-44 protection afforded that pick in the Keyon Dooling buyaway.

See more on their fateful last day of playoff hope here and here.

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Tags: Carlos Delfino Dan Gadzuric Ernie Grunfeld Milwaukee Bucks Playoffs

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