Sports department for the student run radio station 90.3 WRST at UW-Oshkosh
“The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” –Lao-tzu
Well it is Friday, as if Rebecca Black would let anyone forget, which brings us near the end of our first week of sports blogs here at WRST. I think it is a pretty neat Endeavour because we have a variety of voices talking about a variety of topics. If what was written Sunday doesn’t pique your interest maybe Tuesday will. We’re pretty random, and I think that is good. Aside from my soliloquizing that will lead off this blog every week my task is to write about the National Basketball Association.
If you would have told me as recently as two years ago that I would be writing a weekly blog post centered on the NBA I would have wondered what could have possibly convinced me to do such a thing. The answer is not so much what as whom, specifically my good friend Ian Segovia. Until Ian and I became good friends I despised NBA basketball. Like other folks who love high school and NCAA basketball like I do I found the NBA game to be too self-centered, hectic, and seemingly brainless. Additionally I lamented the lack of sway held by coaches. After spending time with Ian and discussing the sport that we both love in very different ways I developed an appreciation for the pro game. It is not that I love other styles any less, I simply recognize that though both are labeled “basketball” they are very different games and need to be recognized as such, not better or worse just different. I will not join the NBA die-hards who decry the college game for its pace or lower level of talent but I am obviously no longer the in the camp that pro basketball is horribly flawed either.
I like to know as much as possible about something if I am going to talk or write about it. It is for that reason that I will keep most of my NBA commentary very local, IE Bucks basketball, because they are the only team I can see on a regular basis. I will comment on wider ranging stories as necessary but will mostly hit on what is going on in Milwaukee.
Now to the actual commentary:
Well the Bucks went 2-1 this past week (for the sake of this blog weeks go from Friday to Friday). The lost a tough one to the Hawks, viewed as potential trade partners until the last minute, and sweeping a road trip against Dallas and Houston. Two main factors that allowed Atlanta to get the win, first the Bucks couldn’t stop Al Horford and two the Hawks were draining threes. Going 14 of 28 from beyond the arc is going to get it done most nights. Couple that with Horford having a good performance overall and getting the winning basket with ease and you have the formula that beat the Bucks that night. In fact I am surprised it was even close given the 3 point disparity.
Against Dallas the Bucks did a much better job slowing Dirk than I thought they would. Sanders played strong defense and the Mavs no longer have a center who can make teams pay for putting an athletic 5 on Dirk and having the 4 guard the center. All the more reason why Chandler was a vital part of that team’s success a few years ago. Dirk still got 20 and 20 so again I stress slowing because there is no stopping him. It also helps that the Mavs only went 1-17 from deep. As they say, live by the 3, die by the 3. I think this came told us more about Dallas than it did Milwaukee.
Finally the Houston game, obviously anytime a last second 3 determines the winner the stats are going to be very close and that was the case here. Interestingly neither team went too deep on the bench basically sticking with a shortened 8 man rotation. For Houston that makes sense because they got all but 11 of the team’s 107 points from the top 6 players. Meanwhile the Bucks got 42 points from its bench. The key per usual is play at the end of the game and LARRY SANDERS had a huge block and despite Brandon Jennings executing poorly in the final 10 seconds Ellis got the hit and the win.
Next up the Bucks have Toronto and Utah at home and then the Clippers on the road. The best fans can reasonably hope for is 2-1 and in reality it will likely be 1-2 but we shall see next week. We’re in the dog days as we can see the light at the end of the tunnel but it is still a ways off so keeping up energy and stamina is key for this team at this stage to stay in the playoffs and hopefully move up.
Around the league:
How about Steph Curry? That guy can straight ball. It is one thing when a D3 women’s player scores half her team’s points in a game but when a pro guy does it, it is just unreal.
As I said we’re in the dog days right now. The playoff field seems pretty set, key word being seems, and it kind of a waiting time. That being said some team will make a push and make things interesting; it is just a matter of whom.
World of Sports:
Two things I am burning on from outside the NBA
1) Danica Patrick was robbed. The boys didn’t want to lose to a woman so they teamed up on her and pushed her from 3rd to 8th. Grow up fellas. She had a great car and it is hard to be too upset about a top 10 finish when a driver like Matt Kenseth led for so long and was knocked out of the race but Danica should have had a top 5 finish at least.
2) The Oshkosh North boys’ basketball team is really good. They have tightened up their zone and are so athletic in transition and deep on the offensive end. Best of luck to them against DC Everest on Saturday. Hope to see them at state, again.