Milwaukee Bucks: Imagining a documentary on the early 2010s Bucks

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 05: (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 05: (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) /
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Milwaukee Bucks
ATLANTA – APRIL 28: (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

Where they were in their run

The truth of the Bucks from 2002 all the way through to 2014 is that there wasn’t really any run.

Various players did their best to provide sparks, whether sustained or fleeting, but none of Michael Redd, Richard Jefferson, John Salmons, Andrew Bogut or Brandon Jennings could ever manage to push the Bucks to be anything other than a total irrelevancy.

The Bucks at least made the first round of the playoffs three times in five seasons at the beginning of that period, but from the mid-2000s onward that would pivot to just two postseason bows in eight seasons.

That’s the kind of stretch that usually delivers top quality draft picks who can turn a franchise around, but it didn’t work that way for the Bucks. To be frank, their work in the lottery had been almost comical during this spell anyway.

Starting with T.J. Ford, whose prospects of living up to his eighth overall billing were upended by serious injury, the Bucks also drafted Yi Jianlian of chair workout fame with a sixth overall pick, and Joe Alexander, who proved to be a bust for the ages, with an eighth overall pick. To make matters worse, injury eventually caught up with first overall pick Andrew Bogut too, meaning even Milwaukee’s crown jewel was suddenly tarnished.

There were signs of hopes for the Bucks in 2009-10 as Bogut hit his stride and the Bucks went on to win 46 games, but a catastrophic injury for the center at the beginning of April ultimately led into a seven-game first round defeat against the Atlanta Hawks, and a false dawn for Milwaukee.

That in turn set up two sub-40 win seasons without any playoff action, and a break away from Bogut for good.

If there had been any kind of grand plan for the Bucks at that time, any great idea of roster construction, trading away their former No.1 overall pick signaled the end of it. Any right-minded franchise would have steered into the skid at that point, but not the Bucks.

Instead, it was time to attempt treading the needle with an eclectic group of players.