Milwaukee Bucks Links: Brandon Jennings Backs a Coach

Instagram: Brandon Jennings unofficially threw his support behind Rockets assistant coach Kelvin Sampson in the Bucks’ search for a new head coach.

Jennings posted a picture of he and Sampson, who was an assistant with the Bucks for three seasons before he went to Houston to become Kevin McHale’s top assistant.  As a caption, he added, “This my guy for Life. He needs to be a Head Coach in the NBA.”

Sampson interviewed for the Milwaukee coaching vacancy nearly three weeks ago and Jennings, of course, is a restricted free agent.

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:  Flynn Robinson, who led the Bucks in scoring in their inaugural season, passed away at age 72 in Los Angeles this week.

Flynn Robinson receives a plaque for being the most outstanding player after the ’68-69 season.

Robinson, a 6’1″ guard, helped popularize the NBA in Milwaukee in their opening campaign in much the same way that Jennings’ 55-point game kicked off the ‘Fear the Deer’ era in 2008.  In February 1969, Robinson scored 41, 43, and 45 points in consecutive wins over the Lakers, Hawks and Pistons.  Play-by-play announcer Eddie Doucette nicknamed him the ‘Electric Eye’ for his sharpshooting ways.

Robinson was traded away for Oscar Robertson prior the Bucks’ championship season, and a season later, he was the Lakers’ top scorer off the bench during their (still record) 33-game winning streak.

Yahoo Sports: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar wore his shorts backwards for an entire game and it looked to be rather uncomfortable predicament.

Asked about his sartorial mistake, Abdul-Jabbar grinned and said, “Somebody told me about it shortly after the game started, but we were going by then.”

Since the Bucks’ trunks are the boxer type, the only visible evidence that Abdul-Jabbar had them on backward was that the club emblem was in the back instead of the front. And he didn’t bother to turn them around at halftime.

ESPN:  In an attempt to trump up the Red Wings’ 3-1 lead over the Chicago Blackhawks, ESPN’s Steve Levy made the worst inter-sports analogy in the history of sports broadcasting.

Perhaps Mr. Levy should not attempt to explain the NHL to hockey naifs in terms of a sport which he clearly comprehends as a naif.

A few brief rebuttals:

  • The Red Wings have already won a playoff series this year. The Bucks did not win a playoff game.
  • Detroit finished the regular season with a .583 winning percentage, while the Bucks ended at .463.
  • Since 1996, the Red Wings have won four Stanley Cups. In the same time, the Bucks have won three playoff series.

In summary, no.

Bucksketball: Mitch Vonhof conjures up a word cloud that depicts the Bucks’ 2012-13 season.

Jersey Chaser: In a much fairer sports analogy, Marques Johnson compared Paul George’s massive challenge against LeBron James to his own quest of overtaking Julius Erving as the best small forward back in the early ’80s NBA.

After Game 1, he wrote:

Fortunately for Heat fans, Pacer coach Frank Vogel got way too overly analytical in his decision to sit Roy Hibbert the final play.

Couple that with a complete brain spasm by Paul George and his funnel to the hole defensive approach on The King, and it is Golden Opportunity blown.

Of course, Vogel sharpened his defensive strategy in Game 2.  When James drove to the hoop for a potentially game-tying basket at the end of regulation (below), George stayed with him and Hibbert hung around enough (while sagging off Chris Bosh) to be a bother.

May 24, 2013; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Heat small forward LeBron James (6) is defended by Indiana Pacers center Roy Hibbert (55) and small forward Paul George in the fourth quarter of game two of the Eastern Conference finals of the 2013 NBA Playoffs at American Airlines Arena. The Pacers won 97-93. Mandatory Credit: Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

Grantland:  Speaking of Hibbert’s interior defense, only one player altered shots better in the paint than Hibbert did: Larry Sanders.

I evaluated a set of thousands of NBA close-range shots in which an NBA big man was protecting the basket. These were shots from the 2012-13 regular season in which a qualifying interior defender was within 5 feet of the rim and also within 5 feet of the shot location.

In such cases, the opponents made 48 percent of their shots. When Hibbert was protecting the basket, however, the number dropped to 38 percent. Only one player in the NBA reduced close-range shooting efficiency more than Hibbert; of course, that was LARRY SANDERS!, who held opponents to a ghastly 32 percent. For context, both Marc Gasol and Tyson Chandler — the last two winners of the NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award — held opponents to a respectable 44 percent.

The Pacers are three wins away from the NBA finals.  The Bucks need better defenders around Sanders — especially around the perimeter — to take advantage of the unbelievable advantage that Sanders lends them.

Topics: Brandon Jennings, Flynn Robinson, Kelvin Sampson, Larry Sanders, Milwaukee Bucks, Roy Hibbert

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