Milwaukee Bucks Links: Stubborn Ol' Folks Edition

(Update: 4:00 PM CT:  Fox Sports Wisconsin: Bucks sign six-year lease with BMO Harris Bradley Center.)  The league tallied the results from its annual survey of the 30 general managers.  The results aren’t terribly surprising save for the oddball vote here and there.  Of the approximately 761 teams and players who get votes in the various categories, two votes went to the Bucks:  one for the Bucks team in ‘Most Improved Team’ ballot and one for Doron Lamb in the ‘Sleeper Rookie?” category.

Which team will be most improved in 2012-13?

1. Brooklyn — 62.1% 
2. L.A. Lakers, Minnesota — 10.3% 
4. New Orleans — 6.9%

Also receiving votes: Denver, Golden State, Milwaukee

Which rookie is most likely to be a “sleeper” success?

1. Jared Sullinger, Boston — 17.2% 
2. Maurice Harkless, Orlando, Andrew Nicholson, Orlando — 13.8% 
4. Jae Crowder, Dallas, Damian Lillard, Portland — 10.3% 
6. Terrence Jones, Houston — 6.9%

Also receiving votes: Jared Cunningham, Dallas; Andre Drummond, Detroit; Evan Fournier, Denver; John Jenkins, Atlanta; Perry Jones, Oklahoma City; Doron Lamb, Milwaukee; Donatas Motiejunas, Houston; Terrence Ross, Toronto

Note:  General managers were not allowed to vote for their own teams, so these two votes weren’t a case of John Hammond trying to toot his own horn.  This rule also resulted in fun results like:

Which team will win the Southeast Division?

1. Miami — 96.7% 
2. Atlanta — 3.3%

Evidently, Heat GM Pat Riley considers to be the Hawks to be his main rival — that’s probably a good choice, no?

Also, Kevin Durant got a vote as the player who makes the most out of ‘limited ability’. Huh?

Ball Don’t Lie:  At Yahoo’s fantastic basketball blog, Kelly Dwyer, Eric Freeman, and Dan Devine take their shots an predicting the season that lies ahead for the Bucks.

You should read all of this.  All of it.  It’s a remarkably tidy summary of what lies ahead.

From Dwyer’s interpretation,

At first or even fifth glance the Milwaukee Bucks seem an unremarkable cast of characters, destined for .500 at best and a crushing bit of anonymity along the way.

A re-tread coach. A small market setup. A series of middling low lottery picks. Samuel Dalembert, on his 49th team. An, um, “experienced” GM. The answer to several “Who He Play For?” questions, should Charles Barkley remember that there is still a team in Milwaukee. Just one nationally televised game all season that isn’t on NBA TV or WGN.

Beyond all that lies a ticking time bomb, though. One that very well could prove a positively-toned breakthrough for several of the more prominent cast of characters, but one that could also make for a Hindenburg-sized disaster that only the League Pass know-alls would notice. Rub your hands together, NBA sickies, because you can’t lose.

Leading the Bucks, ostensibly, is coach Scott Skiles; a truly intelligent basketball man who truly did try to get himself bought out last season so that he didn’t have to return to this noise. Skiles had unpleasant endings in each of his last three head coaching spots — Greece, Phoenix, Chicago — and his expert (as in, “probably should have won the Coach of the Year award”) turn riding the 2009-10 Bucks to an unending series of 89-81 wins seems like ages ago. In the last year of his deal and his fifth (!) season in Milwaukee, Skiles could lead the league in passive/aggressiveness in 2012-13.

The Bucks can be a lot of things this season. One thing they should not be? Undramatic.

Milwaukee’s regular season starts in 11 days.

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Speaking of drama, the Bucks are playing tonight in Toronto without Larry Sanders, who was suspended for a game for what Scott Skiles described as “a team conduct” issue.

Sanders got into a tussle with Washington center Jan Vesely in the second half of the Bucks’ 102-94 loss to the Wizards on Saturday. And he again questioned several referee calls at length.

Twitter: If you haven’t read Bucksketball’s piece on Monta playing his retro Super NES games on the flight to La Crosse, read it. Tobias Harris also tweeted a closeup of Monta’s game console, one which bears a mention, if only for the fine 90s-era graphics.

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