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Jason Kidd has the Bucks positioned for the playoffs

For those of you wondering why I am writing about the Milwaukee Bucks on Super Bowl Sunday, don’t worry, I haven’t completely lost my mind. After all, after suffering through the debacle known as the NFC Championship game two weeks ago, and faced with the reality of having to watch the likes of Russell Wilson, Marshawn Lynch and Richard Sherman all over again versus Pretty Boy Tom Brady and Mad Man Bill Belichick, it’s pretty easy to say there are better things to do today. For the record, after snow blowing and shoveling for the last two and half hours already today, blogging about the Bucks makes perfect sense.

With 37 games remaining in the NBA regular season, the Milwaukee Bucks, under new head coach Jason Kidd, sport a 25-22 overall record, good for a solid sixth position in the NBA Eastern Conference playoff standings. That’s right, the “who are these guys” Bucks, playing without their top draft pick (Jabari Parker -knee injury) and their most recent All-Star, Larry Sanders (head injury), are quietly going about making some serious money for the sharps in Vegas.

Last night the Bucks, playing in front of their second sold out home crowd of this season, disposed, in methodical fashion, of the once mighty Portland Trail Blazers. Never mind the Blazers featured All-Star LaMarcus Aldridge, should be All-Star Damian Lillard, Wesley Matthews, Jr. and a 32-14 record, the Bucks parlayed the energy from the raucous (read beer infused) crowd to a 95-85 victory, their third win in a row.

Behind the likes of Khris Middleton, Jerryd Bayless, Brandon Knight, Jared Dudley, John Henson, O.J. Mayo, and Giannis Antetokoumpo, the upstart Bucks held off a late second quarter surge by the Blazers and led by as many as 19 in the fourth and final quarter. Newly acquired 37 year old veteran, Kenyon Martin, added to the fun with an emphatic slam, and The Alphabet (Giannis), gave the crowd a preview of the NBA Slam Dunk contest with an outrageous breakaway windmill jam that brought the house down. The Bucks also were without Zaza Pachulia, Kendall Marshall and Ersan Ilyasova. Didn’t matter, the “Spare Parts” got it done once again.

Mix together stingy defense night in and night out, aided by the youthful energy of a younger, deeper lineup than most teams dream of and augmented by a head coach and a staff of assistants that prepare for each game like it’s the NBA Finals, and you have the formula for a team that continues to be cash money for the savvy bettor gazing at NBA games every night.

Kidd, a Cal grad, has assembled, like his players, a staff of assistant coaches that are out thinking and out preparing every other team in the league right now. Tell me if you’re familiar with this group; Joe Prunty (Cal Poly Luis Obispo), Eric Hughes (Cal State – Hayward), Sean Sweeney (St. Thomas) and Josh Oppenheimer (Northern Arizona). Not exactly a who’s who of former head coaches from the NBA or D1 college level, is it? The fact is, their backgrounds mattered to Kidd, who has master-minded this transformation of a franchise worst 15-67 team of disgruntled misfits one year ago into a legitimate threat to make noise in the NBA playoffs this year.

To coin the all too familiar phrase, “if the playoffs started today”, the Bucks and the Washington Bullets would be matched up in the first round of the eastern Conference playoffs. and, like most every game the Bucks have played in so far in this season to date, I’ll take the odds on that series, backing the Bucks.

Even to the casual fan, it appears professional basketball is back in Milwaukee. Go Bucks Go. Fear The Deer. Back The Rack.

And For What

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