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Rocky road could doom Bucks playoff hopes

Posted on Tuesday, March 14, 2017

PHOTO BY BILL TENNESSEN   The Milwaukee Bucks will have to somehow navigate a rough and rocky road if they intend to reach this season’s NBA playoffs. The Bucks are one of six teams vying for one of the last three playoff spots in the Eastern Conference, with the others being Indiana, Detroit, Chicago, Miami and Charlotte. Here are their respective records: Indiana – 34-22 Detroit – 33-33 Milwaukee – 32-34 Chicago – 32-35 Miami &...

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Koenig, Fischer will audition for NBA officials

Posted on Friday, March 03, 2017

Jimmy Butler and Wesley Matthews are now household names, established NBA players. But that wasn’t the case when they both left Marquette University years ago. In fact, at the time, both Butler and Matthews were facing uncertain futures in basketball. But Matthews and Butler enhanced their chances of becoming pro players when they made distinct impressions on NBA officials with stellar performances at the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament in Portsmouth, Va., a basketball showcase for college ...

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Rumors running rampant as trade deadline nears

Posted on Thursday, February 23, 2017

Some news and views before this afternoon’s NBA trading deadline: With an enviable glut of frontcourt players, the Philadelphia 76ers appear poised to trade talented center Jahlil Okafor, the No. 3 overall pick in the 2015 draft. Said a person close to the Okafor situation: “He will be traded.’’ Added another source, “We (the 76ers and Okafor) want to get this done and I think we will.’’ Chicago appears the leading ...

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Bucks lack sufficient ammo for big-time trade

Posted on Wednesday, February 22, 2017

It’s no secret the Milwaukee Bucks have a lot of work to do before they become a certifiable Eastern Conference title contender. That’s especially true after the devastating loss of star-in-the-making forward Jabari Parker, who recently tore his left anterior cruciate ligament for the second time in his young pro career and won’t return to action until late next season, at the earliest. Whether the Bucks can help their cause via ...

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Van Gundy shows his concern for Parker

Posted on Friday, February 17, 2017

Jabari Parker received an avalanche of get-well messages after suffering a season-ending left anterior cruciate ligament tear last week. One of them came from Detroit Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy, who immediately texted Bucks coach Jason Kidd. “I don’t do this often,’’ Van Gundy said of his text. “But I love the way plays; he plays hard. And he seems from the outside like not only a good player but a ...

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Going One on One with ... Henry Ellenson

Posted on Tuesday, February 14, 2017

After one exceptional season at Marquette University, Henry Ellenson opted to turn pro. He was then selected in the first round – the 18th pick overall – by the Detroit Pistons. The 6-foot-11 Ellenson has appeared in 14 games for the Pistons this season, averaging 1.5 points and 1 rebound.  He has also played 13 games with the Grand Rapids Drive, the Pistons’ D-League affiliate, and averaged 18.4 points and 9.4 rebounds. “Offensively, he’s really good; He’...

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Jabari Parker set to have surgery

Posted on Monday, February 13, 2017

Jabari Parker is expected to undergo knee surgery Tuesday. According to sources, the Milwaukee Bucks’ gifted young forward will have surgery to repair a torn left anterior cruciate ligament in Vail, Colo. The surgery, sources said, will be performed by Dr. Robert F. LaPrade, one of the most highly-regarded knee surgeons in the world. LaPrade has operated on a slew of professional athletes from a variety of sports. Parker, who is 21, suffered a torn ACL while ...

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Agent says Larry Sanders has offer to return to NBA

Posted on Saturday, February 11, 2017

If everything goes accordingly, Larry Sanders will return to the NBA in about two weeks. What’s more, he could be returning to a team that is bound for the playoffs. Sanders, the former Milwaukee Bucks’ starting center who shocked the basketball world by deciding to quit playing in 2015, recently auditioned for a half dozen teams over a two-day period in Miami. The 6-foot-11 Sanders went through a series of drills and then conducted interviews ...

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Larry Sanders could be back in the NBA soon

Posted on Friday, February 03, 2017

It’s Larry Sanders intentions to play for an NBA team yet this season. It’s highly unlikely the team will be the Milwaukee Bucks. Sanders, the former Bucks’ starting center who decided to walk away from the game in February of 2015, recently announced plans to resume his NBA career. Sanders’ agent, Joel Bell, said several teams have shown interest in his client but not the only NBA team he’s ...

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Kidd is missing the point with Antetokounmpo

Posted on Wednesday, February 01, 2017

Giannis Antetokounmpo has been drawing favorable comparisons to some of the game’s iconic players, one being the legendary Earvin “Magic’’ Johnson. And that’s understandable. Johnson, at 6-foot-9, was an exceptionally tall point guard in his day with the Los Angeles Lakers. Likewise, Antetokounmpo, at a shade under 7 feet, is an exceptionally tall point guard for the Milwaukee Bucks. Bucks general manager John Hammond, who has been around the NBA game ...

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Going One on One with ... Sam Dekker

Posted on Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Sam Dekker has enjoyed success at every step of his basketball career. In high school, he led Sheboygan Area Lutheran to the WIAA Division 5 state championship, hitting a game-winning 3-pointer with two seconds remaining. In college, he played a major role in leading the University of Wisconsin to the 2015 NCAA Championship game against Duke. Now, in his second season in the NBA, the 20-year-old Dekker is a key contributor for the Houston Rockets, one of the best ...

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The Packers will beat the odds and Falcons

Posted on Sunday, January 22, 2017

Since the postseason began, the Green Bay Packers have been the Rodney Dangerfields of the NFL: They haven’t been getting any respect. The Packers weren’t supposed to beat the New York Giants. And they did. They weren’t supposed to beat the Dallas Cowboys. And they did. And today they aren’t supposed to beat the Atlanta Falcons in the NFC Championship game in the Georgia Dome in Atlanta. And they ...

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New NBA All-Star voting has same old problems

Posted on Saturday, January 21, 2017

NBA officials instituted a new method for selecting starters to the upcoming All-Star Game in New Orleans. They might want to go back to the drawing board and do some tweaking. Instead of just letting the fans select the five starters for the Eastern and Western conference all-star teams again, the NBA decided to throw a bone to the players and media. On the surface, it seemed like a wonderful idea. After all, the players and media ...

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Pressure is on Packers young linebackers

Posted on Sunday, January 15, 2017

Last week, the Green Bay Packers’ two, inexperienced cornerbacks -- Damarioius Randall and LaDarius Gunter -- stepped up in a big way. Their exceptional performances against a potent New York Giants’ passing attack was one of the primary reasons the Packers prevailed. Today, the Packers’ two young, inexperienced inside linebackers -- Jake Ryan and Blake Martinez -- will have to play every bit as well against the Dallas Cowboys as Gunter and Randall did ...

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NBA All-Star teams have winning formula

Posted on Friday, January 13, 2017

To the victors go the spoils. That certainly figures to be the case for the Eastern Conference in this year’s All-Star Game. The Cleveland Cavaliers, Toronto Raptors and Boston Celtics possess the top three records in the conference and are rightfully expected to comprise half of the 12-member East All-Star roster. Cleveland is a cinch to have its “Big Three’’ of LeBron James, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love represented in the All-Star ...

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2017 NBA draft class loaded with potential No. 1 overall picks

Posted on Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Every year there is at least one NBA team that flat-out tanks, although they’d never publicly acknowledge it. Four years ago, for instance, the Milwaukee Bucks’ hierarchy determined early in the season to call it quits. The Bucks won a grand total of 15 games – a franchise low. The Bucks’ strategy to lose big then has paid off in a big way now. The Bucks wound up with the second overall pick in ...

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Packers DBs need to step up

Posted on Sunday, January 08, 2017

Of all the NFL opening-weekend playoff games, the Packers-Giants encounter at Lambeau Field today is the most intriguing. Would it surprise you if the Packers and Aaron Rodgers, who has been insanely good for several weeks now, won by 10 points or more? No. Would it surprise you if the Giants and Eli Manning, who transforms into Peyton Manning in the playoffs, won by 10 or more points? No. The fact of the matter is that Rodgers, possessor of ...

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Plumlee conducts himself like a pro

Posted on Thursday, January 05, 2017

It’s easy to be “professional’’ when you know you’re going to be in the starting lineup every game. Or, if you know, you’re number is going to be called frequently as a reserve and given quality minutes. But being “professional’’ is considerably more challenging when one probably believes he should either be starting or in the regular rotation and isn’t. Miles Plumlee is ...

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Look for the Packers to ace their biggest test of the season

Posted on Sunday, January 01, 2017

My initial inclination is the Green Bay Packers will annihilate the Detroit Lions today. The Lions, after all, are a run-of-the-mill rather than upper-echelon team. Two numbers are all you need to know about the Lions: 322 and 327. The former number is the points they have scored this season; the latter is the points they have yielded. Case closed. Then, again … upon further inspection, the Lions may be better than I and so many others contend. For ...

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Terry delivers early Christmas present to Bucks fan

Posted on Sunday, December 25, 2016

Jason Terry has his own personal rule when it comes to his signature “Jet’’ celebration. “I have to make three 3s before I bring the ‘Jet’ out,’’ the Milwaukee Bucks veteran guard said. “You just don’t pull out the ‘Jet’ for mediocrity.’’ But Terry made an exception to his rule on Friday night when the Bucks played the Washington Wizards at the ...

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Packers will fly by Vikings

Posted on Saturday, December 24, 2016

After the Minnesota Vikings were stranded in their plane for almost four hours Friday night after it skidded off the runway, you couldn’t blame them for not staying on it and going right back to Minneapolis. Don’t expect much to go right for the weary and slumping Vikings today, either, when they face the highly-mtivated Packers at Lambeau Field. The Vikings have virtually no chance to advance to the playoffs; the Packers, on ...

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Look for Packers to stay hot in frigid Chicago

Posted on Sunday, December 18, 2016

Neither high wind nor heavy snow nor bitter cold will ever prevent Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy from shutting down his team’s vaunted aerial attack. So, even though the Packers will play their arch-rival Bears in frigid cold today in the Windy City, don’t expect McCarthy & Co. to deviate from their passing script. Especially when the Bears’ secondary is, charitably, bad. The Bears’ cornerbacks are Bryce Callahan and Tracy ...

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Will the zebras let Seahawks play their game?

Posted on Sunday, December 11, 2016

Let’s cut to the chase: Either the Green Bay Packers win today and keep their slim playoff aspirations alive. Or they lose and call it a season. Yes, it’s do-or-die time for the Packers when they host the Seattle Seahawks at snowy Lambeau Field. The Packers seemingly have their act together with Aaron Rodgers, aka The Franchise, on fire. Rodgers have thrown for seven touchdowns in the last three games while not having ...

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Going One on One with Dick Bennett

Posted on Wednesday, December 07, 2016

When Dick Bennett took over the head coaching reins at the University of Wisconsin back in 1995, it wasn’t like he was walking into a gold mine. The Badgers had been perennial also-rans with virtually no tradition. Prior to Bennett’s arrival at Wisconsin, the Badgers had advanced to NCAA postseason play just three times in 97 years. Under Bennett, the Badgers not only went to the NCAA Tournament three times in five-plus seasons but they ...

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This could be a banner day for Packers

Posted on Sunday, December 04, 2016

Now that Aaron Rodgers is back in his A-game mode, maybe, just maybe, the Green Bay Packers will get back into the playoff picture. Rodgers has been on fire the last two weeks, with a passer rating of 115 against the Redskins and 116.7 versus the Eagles. In those two games, Rodgers passed for five touchdowns and didn’t have one pass picked off.  Yet, there are two other reason why I like the Packers to make ...

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Posted on Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Written and Compiled by Jerry Tapp Here are some of the numbers that helped define the Packers 27-13 win over the Philadelphia Eagles on November 28. The Packers have had a losing record on Monday nights during the Mike McCarthy era. Even with yesterday’s win, the Pack is 7-8 on Mondays since 2006, although they have now won three straight on Monday. Davante Adams had a pair of TD receptions in the game, the second time in ...

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Matthews, Packers have a season not to remember

Posted on Monday, November 28, 2016

Paging Clay Matthews. Paging Clay Matthews. Has anyone seen the Green Bay Packers’ outside linebacker, the one with the long, flowing locks, the one who once upon a time was an impact player? As Packer Nation has painfully witnessed, Matthews has been MIA for most of the season. He has sat out four games, including three straight recent games that virtually obliterated any legitimate chance of the green and gold making the playoffs. But even when ...

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Bucks sharp-shooter shooting for late-season return

Posted on Sunday, November 27, 2016

Khris Middleton isn’t making any promises but he’s definitely keeping the faith. The Milwaukee Bucks veteran swingman was expected to play a major role for the team this season, but saw those plans shattered in late September when he blew out his left hamstring during an informal workout with some of his teammates. Bucks officials said Middleton had torn his hamstring, but what they didn’t say was that the fifth-year pro ...

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Jabari Parker makes impact off the court, too

Posted on Thursday, November 24, 2016

“For it is in giving that we receive.’’ - St. Francis of Assisi   Jabari Parker can fully relate to those words. He has derived an untold amount of satisfaction over the years in giving, a gift that was passed along to him by his parents Sonny and Lola. The elder Parkers, who have been married 28 years, taught Jabari and his three siblings -- Iman, Tilah and Christian – the importance of helping others. ...

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Packers will recapture their mojo today

Posted on Sunday, November 20, 2016

The injury-ravaged Packers are dearly the underdogs in today’s game against the Redskins. But that doesn’t mean they can’t pull off an upset on the road. In fact, I contend the Packers have a reasonably good chance to snap their three-game losing streak and begin their playoff run. As their 5-3-1 record indicates, the Redskins are far from a dangerous outfit. Four of their Ws were by a touchdown or ...

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Defensive ailments will hurt Packers again

Posted on Sunday, November 13, 2016

It’s hard to fathom the Green Bay Packers under Mike McCarthy and with a healthy Aaron Rodgers healthy suffering three straight setbacks. But that could easily happen today. The Packers, coming off losses against Atlanta and Indianapolis, are a train wreck, mostly notably on defense. In three of their last four games, the Packers have been scorched on defense. Dallas put up 30 points on them, and Atlanta and Indianapolis racked up 33 and 31 point, respectively. There&...

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Bucks Brogdon puts best foot forward

Posted on Friday, November 11, 2016

PHOTO BY BILL TENNESSEN   Malcolm Brogdon did everything humanly possible to make himself a first-round selection in last June’s NBA draft. The 6-foot-5 guard crafted an amazing collegiate resume at Virginia and, during his senior season, he was unequivocally one of the elite players in the nation. Brogdon wasn’t only the Atlantic Coast Conference Player of the Year; he was also the ACC Defensive Player of the Year. Of all the extraordinary ...

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All the Luck in the world will not help Colts beat Packers

Posted on Sunday, November 06, 2016

The Green Bay Packers haven’t exactly been blowing out their opponents this season. In their four victories, they beat Jacksonville by four points and Detroit and the New York Giants by seven points each. Just once did the Packers blast a team and that was the bad news Bears – 26-10. But all indications point toward the Packers racking up their second decisive victory today against the Indianapolis Colts at Lambeau Field. For starters, the ...

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Bucks Parker has a true friend in rival

Posted on Friday, November 04, 2016

Paul George and Jabari Parker went at each other on the BMO Harris Bradley Center court Thursday night like two pit bulls. George, the Indiana Pacers’ All-Star forward, and Parker, the Bucks’ gifted young forward,  challenged the other with unbridled intensity, neither backing down from the other. When the horn sounded, both players had posted impressive numbers: George totaled 24 points, four rebounds and two steals, and Parker finished with 27 points on 11 of 17 field-goal attempts ...

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Kaminsky refuses to jump on Cubs bandwagon

Posted on Sunday, October 30, 2016

Frank Kaminsky won’t be shedding any tears if the Chicago Cubs don’t end their 108-year World Series victory drought. In fact, Kaminsky, who grew up outside of Chicago, just might throw a celebration of sorts if the Cubs come up short again. Kaminsky has been a lifelong Chicago White Sox fan and “Frank the Tank’’ frankly has no love for the National League team on Chicago’s north side. &...

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Packers will have more problems than just stopping Julio Jones

Posted on Sunday, October 30, 2016

One of the biggest fallacies about today’s Packers-Falcons game is that if Packers shut down, or even keep in check, Atlanta’s all-world wide receiver Julio Jones, they’ll prevail. Not so. While Jones is an exceptional player and a game-breaker, the Falcons’ high-powered offense can still rack up numbers, not to mention wins, without him being their go-to player. To wit: Jones had just two catches for 29 yards against the Denver ...

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Better days ahead for Bucks

Posted on Friday, October 28, 2016

Some quick, early-season hits on the Bucks and their 29 partners in the Association: The Bucks now have the talent to seemingly be one of the biggest surprises of the season, although you certainly wouldn’t make that assessment after their miserable opening-season loss to the Hornets. Still, I still expect Giannis Antetokounmpo and Jabari Parker to emerge as prime-time players this season and spearhead the Bucks’ ascension in the Eastern Conference standings. I have the ...

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Bucks Jason Terry is a straight shooter, Part II

Posted on Tuesday, October 25, 2016

In the second part of an extensive interview with Jason Terry, the Milwaukee Bucks’ 39-year-old guard offers up his opinions on a wide-range of topics, including the presidential candidates, the Bucks’ two young budding stars – Jabari Parker and Giannis Antetokounmpo -- his passion to bring a team back to Seattle and his “shocking’’ picks for the NBA Finals. What are your thoughts on the controversy surrounding the protest of the national ...

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Bucks Jason Terry is a straight shooter, Part I

Posted on Monday, October 24, 2016

Jason Terry has been around the NBA block. The 39-year-old Terry has been in the Association since being the 10th overall pick in the 1999 draft. Terry, now in his 18th pro season and first with the Milwaukee Bucks, recently chatted about his lengthy and entertaining career, touching on a myriad of topics, including the virtual demise of trashing-talking, his championship season with the Dallas Mavericks, his hilarious on-court encounter with a player he didn’t ...

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Packers will bear down tonight

Posted on Thursday, October 20, 2016

In light of the Green Bay Packers’ myriad of problems, one might tend to believe they’ll be in trouble against the Chicago Bears tonight. Personally, I doubt it. We are talking about the Bears here. They are about as bad as the Cubs are good. To wit: -- The Bears are 1-5. They only team that has a worse record is hapless Cleveland. -- The Bears’ sole victory was against Detroit and they ...

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Packers offensive line is passing early-season tests

Posted on Sunday, October 16, 2016

The Green Bay Packers’ potentially-explosive offense hasn’t been clicking on all cylinders so far this season. But through four regular-season games there has been one highly encouraging development: The Franchise, aka Aaron Rodgers, isn’t getting mauled as often by opposing defenses. Last season, Rodgers took an absolute beating and it was a testament to his mental and physical toughness that he managed to play an entire season. Rodgers, in case you forgot, ...

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New CBA for NBA may be close to done deal

Posted on Saturday, October 15, 2016

Ever since July, or the Summer League in Las Vegas, not one NBA person – owner, player or coach – told me he didn’t believe a new collective bargaining agreement would be reached before the Dec. 15 deadline. Since then, nothing has changed. It’s just a question of when the major announcement will be made: this week, next week, next month. John Henson, the Milwaukee Bucks player representative, doesn’t know a precise ...

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Lacy could play giant role for Packers tonight

Posted on Sunday, October 09, 2016

We're going to find out a lot more about Eddie Lacy today. We’re going to see if the Packers talented running back is back to his old self, punishing tacklers, making big plays, helping the Packers win. Yes, when the Packers play the Giants from New York tonight in Lambeau Field, we’ll get a much better gauge of Mr. Lacy and how he'll fit -- or not fit --into the Packers attack the ...

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Bucks changes could make for better Monroe, a better season

Posted on Wednesday, October 05, 2016

CHICAGO -- Let’s keep things in perspective, it was only one game, one rather meaningless preseason game. So, the Bucks’ preseason opener against the Bulls Monday night at the United Center in Chicago shouldn’t be construed as a harbinger for the regular season. Yet, Bucks Nation had to be encouraged by two things in that game: the Bucks’ perimeter shooting and their defense, two facets of their game that contributed mightily ...

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Lamb could be among Bucks trade targets

Posted on Friday, September 30, 2016

    Just about two weeks ago, the Westgate Superbook in Las Vegas posted the over/under win totals for all 30 NBA teams. The over/under for the Milwaukee Bucks is 39.5 wins. Seven Eastern Conference teams are projected to win more games than Milwaukee. They are: Cleveland (56.5) Boston (51.5) Toronto (49.5) Detroit (45.5) Atlanta (43.5) Indiana (43.5) Washington (42.5) Another team, Charlotte, has the same over/under win total as Milwaukee at 39.5. Right behind are Chicago (38.5), New York (38.5), Miami (36.5) and Orlando (36.5). At about ...

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Pack will get back on track today

Posted on Sunday, September 25, 2016

If the Green Bay Packers don’t win today, there should be a full-fledged investigation. True, the Packers have been far from a well-oiled machine so far this season, barely winning their season opener against Jacksonville (27-23) and barely losing their second game against Minnesota (17-14). But it’s also true the Packers will be playing the Detroit Lions today, and the Lions are a run-of-the-mill outfit that has been ravaged by injuries to several ...

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Packers must neutralize Viking linebackers

Posted on Sunday, September 18, 2016

The Green Packers offensive line passed its first test of the season last week with flying colors. They did a quality job of protecting the franchise Aaron Rodgers and were rewarded with a hard-fought 27-23 victory over the up-and-coming Jacksonville Jaguars. But the O-Line will face a much harder test today when they play the Minnesota Vikings. The Vikings defense is clearly superior to the Jaguars’ and they boast unquestionably one of the best linebacking corps ...

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Kenosha products Trae Waynes, Melvin Gordon looking good

Posted on Thursday, September 15, 2016

One word would adequately describe Melvin Gordon’s and Trae Waynes’ rookie seasons in the NFL: nondescript. Neither Gordon nor Waynes, both former Kenosha Bradford High School stars, lived up to the hype of being first-round selections in the 2015 draft: Waynes was the 11th overall selection, taken by the Minnesota Vikings, and Gordon went four picks later, taken by the San Diego Chargers. Waynes appeared in 15 games last season but made only one start at ...

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Jaguars Ramsey already makes rookie mistake

Posted on Saturday, September 10, 2016

GERY WOELFEL You just don’t poke the bear. You just don’t. Jalen Ramsey has foolishly poked the bear. In an interview with ESPN, Ramsey, the Jacksonville Jaguars’ talented and let’s say very, very confident rookie cornerback, said he doesn’t have any trepidation facing Green Bay Packers Hall-of-Fame in-waiting quarterback Aaron Rodgers on Sunday in Jacksonville. Said Ramsey: “I’m not scared. Throw my way if you ...

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State media weighs in with their Super Bowl picks

Posted on Friday, September 09, 2016

It’s a given a lot will occur between now and Feb. 5 when Super Bowl LI – or 51 in layman’s terms -- will be played in NRG Stadium in Houston. But that didn’t prevent a spate of Wisconsin media figures from chiming in with their Super Bowl predictions: Steve “Sparky’’ Fifer, WSSP (105.7 FM): “Cards and Patriots. I love the Cards' head coach, Bruce Arians. He's a top 3 coach ...

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Wait is worth it for Jim Boylan

Posted on Friday, September 02, 2016

Jim Boylan had one championship ring.   He wasn’t sure whether he’d get another one, although he never stopped believing he would.   Almost four decades ago, in 1977, Boylan played an integral role in Marquette University winning the NCAA championship. A gritty guard who was the consummate team player, Boylan scored 14 points as the Warriors defeated North Carolina 67-59 in the title game in Atlanta.   “I was a young kid ...

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Maker has similarities to ex-NBA defensive stalwart

Posted on Tuesday, August 23, 2016

When Thon Maker worked out for the Milwaukee Bucks before the NBA draft in June, I asked him to compare his game to another player. Maker, an affable young man, didn’t hesitate in responding and fired back, smiling, “I’m a modern-day version of Kevin Garnett.’’   The Bucks, who shocked the basketball world by making the 7-foot-1 Maker the No. 10 overall selection in the draft, would be ecstatic if he ...

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James makes marked impression on Bucks

Posted on Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Ra’shad James’ athleticism has never questioned. He is athletically freakish, possessor of an amazing 43-inch vertical leap. The man can fly like few others. But despite his exceptional physical skills, James has yet to play in the NBA. The 26-year-old James, who attended Iona College, has been a basketball drifter, having had stints in the D-League and overseas in Poland and South Korea. James is also the definition of “late bloomer’’, ...

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Novak still in Bucks plans; is Allen, too?

Posted on Sunday, August 14, 2016

When NBA free agency commenced on July 1, there appeared to be one absolute given concerning the Milwaukee Bucks: They were going to re-sign Steve Novak. Bucks officials and Novak had made it abundantly clear after last season that a deal was in the cards and it was merely a matter of time before it would become official. But here we are in the middle of August, six weeks into free agency, and Novak, the former Brown Deer ...

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JOB patiently awaits the call

Posted on Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Johnny O’Bryant was expected to be a part of the Bucks’ so-called “Own the Future’’ movement. Instead, he became a victim of the team’s “Own the Past’’ summer movement. After making him a high second-round pick in the 2014 NBA draft, Bucks officials were almost giddy about O’Bryant’s potential and how he would fit into what they were doing. They didn’t ...

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Top rookies fail to shoot down concerns

Posted on Saturday, July 30, 2016

Leading up to last month’s NBA draft, experienced NBA scouts and personnel people constantly mentioned to me how the 2016 draft class was ordinary, at best. They particularly noted how this draft class didn’t have any bona fide stars and how, if one did emerge as a franchise player, it would take several years for that to happen. As one longtime executive aptly stated: “This is a developmental draft.’’ Those same ...

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Maker makes a strong first impression

Posted on Tuesday, July 19, 2016

LAS VEGAS – Thon Maker’s summer league debut was a smashing success. At least it was in the minds of the ones who count: Milwaukee Bucks officials. The 7-foot-1 Maker, who was the 10th overall selection in the June NBA draft, played in five games and was impressive enough to be selected to the all-Vegas Summer League second team. The lithe Maker averaged 14.2 points and raised some eyebrows with his consistent and strong rebounding, averaging 9.6 ...

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Best unknown NBA free agent

Posted on Friday, July 15, 2016

There’s a talented and experienced free agent on the NBA market and seemingly few people know about. Larry Riley, who arguably had more to do with the Golden State Warriors becoming the 2015 NBA champions and the all-time single-season record-holder for victories, has become an unrestricted free agent. Riley, who had been the Warriors’ general manager, recently saw his contract expire and is free to negotiate with any team. Under Riley’s leadership, the ...

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Valentine was in Bucks draft mix

Posted on Thursday, July 14, 2016

There was considerable chatter in the days leading up to the June NBA draft that the Milwaukee Bucks might select Denzel Valentine. Which made sense. Valentine, the former Michigan State standout, seemingly would have fit in perfectly with the Bucks. The 6-foot-6 Valentine is a multi-positional player who could have served as a secondary ballhandler to point guard Giannis Antetokounmpo and he can shoot with range. The Bucks of course, used the 10th overall pick on 7-foot-1 ...

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Lue treated like a king in hometown

Posted on Wednesday, July 13, 2016

LAS VEGAS -- Every year Tyronn Lue returns to his small hometown of Mexico, Missouri for Fourth of July activities. This year, Lue’s trip was different and special. Mexico officials declared July 2 as Tyronn Lue Day in recognition of Lue guiding the Cleveland Cavaliers to the NBA championship. The good folks in Mexico – population 11,543 -- rolled out the red carpet for their hometown hero and their efforts truly touched Lue “It meant ...

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Dekker is back to his normal self on the court

Posted on Tuesday, July 12, 2016

LAS VEGAS -- Can anyone blame Sam Dekker for wanting to put his NBA rookie season in the rear view mirror? Dekker played in a meager three games for the Houston Rockets last season, thwarted by a back injury that necessitated surgery. But the former University of Wisconsin star, whom the Rockets made the 18th overall selection in the 2015 draft, appears ready to make up for lost time. The 6-foot-9 Dekker has played terrifically in the NBA ...

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One on one with Rashad Vaughn

Posted on Friday, July 08, 2016

As one of the youngest players in the NBA last season, it was a foregone conclusion Rashad Vaughn would have a roller-coaster season. And the Milwaukee Bucks’ now 19-year-old shooting guard did. Regarded as one of the premier shooters entering the 2015 draft, Vaughn struggled to get comfortable with the longer, NBA 3-point line (29 percent) and going against older, stronger and more experienced players. But the 6-foot-6 Vaughn also played in 70 games, six of which were starts, ...

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Parker could play major role in Bucks recruitment of Wade

Posted on Wednesday, July 06, 2016

Some quick hits on Dwyane Wade and his meeting today in New York with several NBA teams, including the Milwaukee Bucks: The most important figure in the Bucks’ contingent will unquestionably be Jabari Parker, their young star-in-the-making forward. Parker hails from Chicago as does Wade and they have a strong rapport. They have attended each other’s functions over the years and Wade has consistently provided Parker with encouragement and support. Much has been made ...

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How does Warriors Big 3 stack up with other Big 3s?

Posted on Monday, July 04, 2016

Now that Kevin Durant has decided to join the Golden State Warriors, does he, Curry and Thompson form the greatest “Big Three’’ in recent NBA history? Or, does that distinction still belong to the trio of James, Wade and Bosh when they were tearing it up in South Beach? And how does the newly-minted triumvirate of Curry, Thompson and Durant compare to some of the all-time greatest trios? Like West, Baylor and Wilt? Or ...

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Bucks hone in on Bazemore

Posted on Wednesday, July 06, 2016

It certainly didn’t take the Milwaukee Bucks long to reach out to Kent Bazemore. At 12:01 on Friday morning, or the very start of free agency, the Bucks made a call to Bazemore in Atlanta, where the latter has an offseason home. The fact that Bazemore was the first player contacted by the Bucks speaks volumes about their interest in him. A current NBA player familiar with the Bucks said he believes the 6-foot-5 Bazemore, a ...

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Lakers looking to hit grand slam in free agency

Posted on Saturday, July 02, 2016

Some news and views as the 2016 NBA free agency period is just a few hours away: The prize of the ’16 free agency class is Kevin Durant and the overwhelming feeling among NBA officials is that he’ll remain with the Oklahoma City Thunder. But if Durant leaves, most believe he’ll choose between the Golden State Warriors or the Los Angeles Clippers. As one of Durant’s confidantes told recently told me, “...

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Brogdon could end Bucks recent history of bad second-round picks

Posted on Saturday, July 02, 2016

There was a time when the Milwaukee Bucks were the best team in the NBA in discovering second-round draft gems. From 2000 until 2008, the Bucks’ scouting department did an amazing job of hitting on their second-rounders. In 2000, they took Michael Redd, who blossomed into an All-Star and United States Olympian. In 2002, the Bucks drafted Dan Gadzuric, who played eight seasons for the Bucks (he was a full-time starter in 2004-05) and enjoyed a solid 11-year pro ...

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Bucks split on taking Maker

Posted on Saturday, July 02, 2016

If you’re torn as to whether the Milwaukee Bucks made the correct call in selecting Thon Maker with the 10th overall pick in last Thursday night’s NBA draft, you aren’t alone. Sources said there were varying opinions within the Bucks’ organization as to whether Maker should be their guy as well. Most NBA teams projected the 19-year-old Maker as a mid-first to late-first round selection. “There was a split ...

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Schwartz expands his empire in Milwaukee

Posted on Saturday, June 25, 2016

We can debate forever whether Thon Maker will be the next Giannis Antetokounmpo or the next Joe Alexander or someone in between like John Henson. What isn’t debatable is this: Maker, the Bucks’ top pick and the 10th overall selection in Thursday night’s NBA draft, is represented by Mike George of Excel Sports Management. Excel, headed by Jeff Schwartz, has become the unofficial representation of the Bucks. Just peruse the Bucks’ ...

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Will Bucks, Celtics play Lets Make a Deal?

Posted on Thursday, June 23, 2016

There has been speculation in recent days the Boston Celtics have interest in Kris Middleton, the Milwaukee Bucks’ standout shooting guard. That interest hasn’t waned. According to sources, the Bucks and Celtics are still exploring a potential deal that would send Middleton to the Celtics. Middleton, who can also play small forward, is coming off a breakthrough season. He averaged 18.2 points and 3.8 rebounds. He is a top-flight shooter, connecting on 40 percent of his treys ...

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NBA draft: Hold on to your hats

Posted on Wednesday, June 29, 2016

If you’re an NBA fan, you might want to fasten your seat belt now. Tonight’s annual draft could be a wild and crazy ride. I contacted an NBA executive after Wednesday’s two major trades, one involving Derrick Rose going to the New York Knicks and another involving Jeff Teague going to the Indiana Pacers, and he was adamant those deals were a prelude to even bigger deals. “That was just ...

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Ellenson, Poeltl are smack dab in the middle of Bucks draft radar

Posted on Saturday, July 02, 2016

Ben Simmons and Brandon Ingram aren’t the only prospects in this year’s NBA draft that the Milwaukee Bucks have no chance of selecting, assuming they stay at No. 10. According to an Eastern Conference assistant general manager and a Western Conference executive who is heavily involved with his team’s draft process, four other players have no chance of slipping to Milwaukee. Those players are: Combo guard Jamal Murray of Kentucky Shooting guard ...

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Time is winding down for Monroe in Milwaukee

Posted on Tuesday, June 21, 2016

It made all the sense in the world for the Milwaukee Bucks to sign then free-agent Greg Monroe last summer. After all, the Bucks were coming off a first-round playoff series loss to the Chicago Bulls, a series in which it was amply apparent the Bucks desperately needed a low-post scorer and rebounder like Monroe. But Monroe’s brief tenure with the Bucks is seemingly about to end. Just like they did prior to the February ...

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Dandridge: 1971 Bucks title team could beat Warriors

Posted on Sunday, June 19, 2016

It seems like anyone who has ever been a part of a NBA championship team has been asked if they could beat the Golden State Warriors, the still reigning champions and holders of the NBA’s single-season record of 73 wins. Saturday, while at the Milwaukee Bucks’ groundbreaking ceremony, I asked Bob Dandridge, a starter on the Bucks’ one and only championship team in 1971, whether the Bucks could beat the Warriors in a hypothetical matchup. ...

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Bucks summer league team shaping up

Posted on Saturday, July 02, 2016

A few more players who’ll be a part  of the Milwaukee Bucks’ summer league team in Las Vegas: Terran Petteway, 6-foot-6 swingman, who played for the Fort Wayne Mad Ants in the D-League. Petteway, who attended Nebraska, averaged 11.6 points and 2.5 assists for the Mad Ants last season. Travis Trice II, 6-2 guard, who played for the Westchester Knicks in the D-League last season. Trice, who attended Michigan State, averaged 15.3 points and 5.7 assists last ...

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Maker soaring up draft charts

Posted on Tuesday, June 21, 2016

The people who put together NBA mock drafts aren’t exactly showering Thon Maker and Brice Johnson with love. Consider Maker, the intriguingly talented 19-year-old from Sudan: - has the 7-foot-1 Maker ranked No. 19. - HoopsHype ranks Maker 27th - has Maker at 28. - doesn’t project Maker going in the first round - predicts Maker will go No. 35. Such is the extensive range for arguably the ...

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Ellenson has a Nowitzki look to his game

Posted on Saturday, July 02, 2016

Another workout, another impressive one for Henry Ellenson. Ellenson, the former Marquette University star, worked out for Milwaukee Bucks officials Tuesday and acquitted himself well. After the individual workout, Billy McKinney, the Bucks’ director of scouting, fairly gushed about the 6-foot-11 Ellenson. McKinney was especially complimentary of Ellenson’s shooting. Ellenson shot 29 percent from 3-point for Marquette last season, but McKinney said Ellenson showed he can shoot effectively with deep range. “Shooting is one ...

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Valentine not fazed by knee chatter

Posted on Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Denzel Valentine has been down this road before. When he was coming out of high school at J.W. Sexton in East Lansing, Mich., where he played for his father Carlton, Valentine was regarded as a nice college prospect but hardly a blue-chipper. “I was at the bottom of the rankings list,’’ Valentine said the other day during a phone interview from Los Angeles. “I was 99 or something like that.’’ Valentine ...

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Ellenson, Bucks will meet Tuesday

Posted on Saturday, July 02, 2016

There isn’t an NBA team more familiar with Henry Ellenson than the Milwaukee Bucks. Ellenson played one season at Marquette University in Milwaukee and the Golden Eagles played their home games at the Bradley Center, the same facility in which the Bucks do. But the Bucks apparently want to know even more about Ellenson before the June 23 draft, and that’s why team officials have arranged to meet with the 6-foot-11 power forward-center on ...

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D-League standout will play for Bucks summer league team

Posted on Wednesday, June 29, 2016

The Milwaukee Bucks are immersed in work for the upcoming NBA draft. But they haven’t neglected other ways in which to improve their team. The Bucks, who want to bolster their suspect reserve corps, have reached a verbal agreement with Ronald Roberts to play for their summer league team. Roberts, a 6-foot-8 forward, played last season for the Raptors 905, Toronto’s D-League affiliate, and had a monster season, averaging 18.1 points and 12.1 rebounds while being ...

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Stars will come out for groundbreaking ceremony

Posted on Friday, June 10, 2016

The moment Milwaukee Bucks fans have eagerly anticipated is almost upon them. On June 18, a groundbreaking ceremony for the new multi-purpose arena will take place at the corner of Fourth Street and Juneau Avenue in downtown Milwaukee. The event starts at 11 a.m. and runs until 4 p.m. Bucks fans will now only witness a memorable moment in team history, but they’ll get to rub elbows with a Who’s Who of Bucks legends. ...

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Could Ellenson, Stone be teammates in NBA?

Posted on Wednesday, June 08, 2016

Henry Ellenson and Diamond Stone were two of the most prolific players in Wisconsin high school basketball history.   Appropriately, both Ellenson, who starred at Rice Lake High School, and Stone, who was a standout at Whitefish Bay Dominican, shared Wisconsin’s Mr. Basketball award last season as seniors.   While Ellenson moved on to Marquette and Stone moved on to Maryland, there is a chance they could end up being teammates in the NBA next ...

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Kings could get it Dunn

Posted on Sunday, June 05, 2016

The Sacramento Kings could come away the big winners in the NBA draft later this month. The Kings have the eighth overall pick and won’t have a chance to land any of the so-called marquee prospects like Ben Simmons of Louisiana State or Brandon Ingram of Duke. But the Kings could land Kris Dunn, the fabulous point guard from Providence, and fill what is expected to be glaring hole with the impending departure of Rajon ...

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NBA scouting director: Poeltl is a top 6 pick

Posted on Tuesday, May 31, 2016

It was about two months ago and two NBA advanced scouts were having a casual conversation during a game at the Bradley Center in Milwaukee. The longtime scouts were discussing this year’s draft class, and exchanging notes on some of the top prospects.When the name of Jakob Poeltl arose, they both agreed the 7-foot-1, 239-pound center from Utah was a talent. They also agreed they’d love to have him on their respective ...

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Simmons, Ingram a cut above the draft prospects

Posted on Thursday, June 02, 2016

The NBA draft is fast approaching. June 23rd to be precise. And that’s got to be a wonderful thing for NBA general managers, player personal directors and scouts, who have invested untold hours into separating the wheat from the chaff. By all accounts, this draft appears rather unique with no certifiable franchise-changer, someone who can be truly impactful right away. Let’s just say the scouts aren’t doing cartwheels about this draft. &...

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Thibs will have his choices

Posted on Sunday, August 07, 2016

It’s a given Kevin Durant will be the NBA’s most sought-after free-agent player this summer. Durant is a franchise player and franchise players seldom become available. Rest assured, teams are already salivating at the prospect of bringing the hall-of-fame in-waiting forward into their fold. But while Durant will be the prize of the 2016 free-agent class, Tom Thibodeau will unequivocally be the cream of the free-agent coaching crop. Thibodeau sat out this season after parting ways ...

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