Now that a win over the Hornets has bumped the Bucks’ record to 6-2, the team is finally starting to generate some buzz. (Aaah, a pun to die for. Or just to die, period.)
We’re not going to do this type of rankings compilation every week, nor are we going to do it when the Bucks fall back to reality. For the moment, though, it’s fun and foreign enough to merit a quick foray across the World Wide Web. Enjoy it for however long it lasts.
ESPN, Marc Stein: (#8, up six spots from the previous week)
Did our blatant overreaction to a season-starting win in Boston and that audacious one-week catapult to the No. 4 spot inspire B-Jennings and Monta and the unheralded frontcourt combo of Mike Dunleavy and Larry Sanders to the best start in Brewtown in a decade? We’d like to think so, yeah.
NBA.com, David Aldridge: (#8, after not being ranked in the top 15 from last week)
The Larry Sanders Show (9 points, 8 boards, 2.4 blocks per game for the 2011 first-round pick — and, this season, the starting center) now airing in prime time for the surprising Bucks.
Ok, he’s a 2010 first-round pick, but heck, close enough. Plus, if I could only listen to one NBA pundit for the rest of my life, it would be Aldridge.
NBA.com, John Schuhmann: (#9, up eleven spots from previous week)
Injuries to Derrick Rose and Danny Granger have presented the Bucks with an opportunity in the Central Division, and Milwaukee has seized it so far. They shut down the Pacers on Wednesday and have a home-and-home with the Bulls starting Saturday. The Indy game was the first time since the opener that the Bucks’ starters weren’t outscored in their time on the floor; They were a plus-20.
The backcourt of Monta Ellis and Brandon Jennings is putting up the scoring, but two keys to the Bucks’ fast start have been young guys—Larry Sanders and Tobias Harris.
And there, of course, is your reason not to believe the hype. Tobias Harris?
Harris is decidedly not one of the keys to the Bucks’ success. Sure, the team would be a whole lot worse if his confidence was shaken like Ersan’s, and he started hitting 30% of his shots instead of 60%. He has been good on offense. But his defense has been as shaky and his jumper has been trustworthy. The hot stretches that the Bucks have employed to bury their opponents have mostly come with Tobias not out on the floor.
In any case, there are lots of good things being said and deservedly so — and they aren’t all rankings. Two weeks after Brandon Jennings won Eastern Conference Player of the Week honors, Matt Moore of CBS Sports says that Jennings is worthy of the honor once more.
Come on, LeBron can’t win it (ECPOW) every week. That would get stale. How about this? Brandon Jennings, the Brandon Jennings, shot 50-40-90 last week, (50 percent from the field, 40 percent from 3, 90 percent from the line) for 24 points with seven rebounds and three steals. Absolutely stunning numbers for a player so many have questioned. Contract year, man. Contract year.
He also tabs the Bucks as the Eastern Conference Team of the Week.
And not just because they were the only Eastern team to go undefeated this week. Brandon Jennings has this team running on all cylinders and, man, that sounds weird to say. The Bucks have the 11th-best defensive efficiency in the league this season and the 12th-best offense. It’s not elite, but it’s good enough to get them second in the East and a plus-9.3 efficiency mark this week.
Now, if I may, let me take a moment to edit this post and click ‘Publish’ on this sucker before the Bucks tipoff their trap game against the Charlotte Bobcats tonight. Thanks.