This week, as we patrolled the hallways in Milwaukee and Madison, we noticed that there was an excitement in the air about the Milwaukee Bucks. Milwaukee's on a four-game winning streak, and of course, the news of Jabari Parker coming back pushed our emotions into overdrive.
Jabari Parker medically cleared to return to the Bucks
The return of Jabari Parker: Parker set to return tomorrow night
Naturally, we decided to ask our favorite sports personalities about the Bucks and their excitement for the return of Jabari Parker.
Photo: Getty Images
1. What word, phrase, or GIF would you use to describe how you feel about the return of Jabari Parker this Friday?
Brian Posick, Sports Director and Voice of Wisconsin Badgers hockey: Wondering. Are the Bucks served to bring him the bench? With the Brew City KEG, Parker may not get many chances with the first unit.
Armen Saryan, Producer Extraordinaire (The Drew Olson Show): Cautious curiosity. His offensive abilities are well-known, but we have no idea how he will be able to perform after this recovery, and we already know his issues defensively. I wonder how he will be able to fit into the mix this late in the year and if it will disrupt the chemistry this team is establishing.
Drew Olson, Host of The Drew Olson Show:
Jimmie Kaska, Once ate a pound of meatballs with spinach and called it a salad (web guy):
Mitch "Thunder" Nelles, Host of the It's All Thunder podcast: Boom – excited for ‘Bari.
Spenser Williams, The Big 920 reporter and producer:
Mike Pilch, Badgers Sports Network host and update anchor: Intrigued.
Josh Albrecht, "Intern Josh" on The Drew Olson Show:
Joel Finkelman, Producer of Lucas in the Morning and Host of The Finkelcast: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Sure I'm excited, but he's going to be on a huge minutes restriction and probably no back-to-backs, so I want to give it some time.
2. How do you feel about the team’s success since Jason Kidd was relieved of his coaching duties?
Armen: Good, but we expected some of this because of the light schedule coming up. Still, four wins a row in the NBA stands on its own, and the team seems to be playing with confidence.
Pilch: Interesting that they are undefeated. The team has played with some extra juice. They have done it against weak competition, but if you want to reach the second round of the playoffs, you have to beat those types of teams. That is something they didn’t do under Jason Kidd.
Finkelman: I feel like most of the team's success sans Jason Kidd has revolved around the fact that their schedule has been easier and Giannis coming back. Although I can't say I'm super sad to have seen him ousted.
Thunder: Easy to judge success – but it’s been against bad teams. Timing was great for Bucks and Prunty. I just like when the Bucks win.
Jimmie: They're still only 7th as of today in the East and I think the timing of the firing probably played into the fact that they haven't had a difficult slate for the past week or so, to give Joe Prunty some time to work his way in. But, the change was necessary.
Posick: Feel good. But the competition wasn't that strong. Let's see how they're doing in a month.
Drew: It’s somewhat hard to tell, given the level of competition in the past few games. But, the team seems a bit looser and the defense definitely has improved. They aren’t scrambling as much from side-to-side and getting torched by open shooters.
Spenser: The team is playing looser. It’s hard to really gauge their success in four games, but so far so good.
3. If there is a move the Milwaukee Bucks need to make before the trading deadline, who do they need to acquire?
Jimmie: There's only one correct answer to this question.
Finkelman: I don't really get why every pseudo 1-in-300-chance-of-winning-a-title-team NEEDS to make a move. It's as if everyone who watches the league somehow forgets that Golden State is a slam dunk to win another championship. Any one of their 'big 4' could tear his ACL in their next game and it wouldn't matter a bit. The east is in shambles. The Cavs weren't good enough LAST YEAR and they are worse now. The Celtics can push the Warriors a bit but they aren't getting 4 wins out of 7. The ONLY team with a chance is the Rockets and at the end of the day James Harden will probably do James Harden things in the playoffs... aka disappear when needed the most. So who honestly cares if the Bucks trade for someone? Is Deandre Jordan going to make this team a title contender? No, so don't waste our time. Short of trading for Anthony Davis (and even then come on), this year's team ain't winning a championship, so getting a rental that makes the team 5% better isn't going to make a difference.
Pilch: The Bucks need better defense and more consistant shooting. There seem to be a number of good big men (Jordan, Williams, Kanter among a few) that will be available. But you have to give something up to get them.
Posick: They need a rim protector/rebounder. DeAndre Jordan would be nice. Hassan Whiteside would work too.
Armen: The name still out there is DeAndre Jordan. It would be excellent because this team's biggest deficiency is interior defense. The Sixers shot 7 % 😨 from 3 against the Bucks, and still were close most of the game. It should have been much easier to contain their 2 point percentage with them struggling so much from deep.
Thunder: Not sure who, but SOMEONE who can at least PRETEND to defend the rim…
Spenser: I would really like them to add a good forward or center, but also I don’t want them to mortgage the future for one, so a minor deal or two might be all they need.
4. What is your favorite thing about Giannis Antetokounmpo?
Drew: I love the mean mug he does after a big dunk. It makes me laugh, because I always think of him as “Budd the Elf.” When he was a rookie, he was so excited by things we take for granted – smoothies, pancakes, driving a car.. He was enthusiastic like Buddy.
Jimmie: Giannis stinkface FTW! But also I think my next kid is going to be named Giannis.
Spenser: I really love to see Giannis running on the fast break and see what he is going to do.
Finkelman: There are two things I really admire about Giannis... He is capable of doing something amazing ANY time he has the ball in his hands. I literally change the channel when he goes to the bench half of the time because not having him on the court is lame (albeit necessary). The other thing is his attitude. Giannis has his scowl which he brings out only in the nastiest of moments after he just dunked on an entire team after crossing over and doing a 360 from the 3-point line in 1 step. I love the bravado that he has because it never crosses over into complete arrogance/douchiness. If the Bucks can't figure out a way to keep Giannis past his current contract I think I will abandon caring about the franchise the next day after he's gone.
Thunder: How he can be such a prolific scorer, and still not have a consistent outside shot.
Pilch: Giannis has a unique name and the type of basketball ability that is very rare.
Armen: Everything. Everything about him. I have an absolute man crush on Giannis.
5. How far do you think the Bucks will go this season, and how do you feel about the Bucks then based on your prediction?
Posick: I thought they'd compete for a top-four spot. A first round playoff series victory is everybody's expectation.
Drew: Their goal – by almost universal decree – was to win a playoff series for the first time in 2001. That would provide a springboard into the new arena. If they do that, mission accomplished. Anything less will be deemed a disappointment.
Spenser: I think they can definitely win a first-round playoff series, and I’m looking forward to where this team goes next year entering the new arena.
Armen: I still believe they could win a playoff series if they get to a 5 seed. If they get 6 or lower they will lose in the first round. I don't think I could be completely disappointed unless they miss the playoffs entirely. I mean they were about 7 or 8 games under .500 last year until they went on a run to save their season. So I still temper my expectations. 45-47 wins would be good.
Pilch: I believe they will find a way to reach the second round, but will HAVE to be a four or a five seed to do that. It will happen, and that makes it a successful season.
Jimmie: The next step is to win a playoff series. If they make the Eastern Conference Finals, I'm impressed. They'll have to beat either Cleveland or Boston to get there, probably. If they lose in the first round or miss the playoffs, that's a pretty big disappointment, but considering they fired their head coach mid-season when they were thinking about doing it in the offseason, the floor on this season has been lowered somewhat.
Thunder: MAYBE win 1 playoffs series, more likely lose in first round – assuming no major trades… which would make me not overwhelmed, not underwhelmed… simply… WHELMED.
Finkelman: Maybe winning a first round series? And that's disappointing to me. Giannis is in the middle of a season that should have him in the MVP discussion, clearly improved from last season and the team as a whole doesn't feel much better than last year's squad. That doesn't make any sense to me and is probably reason #1 why Kidd is gone. Frankly though, until they get another bonafide STAR on their team... this will be their fate every single year. But don't worry Bucks PR staff... us fans will keep 'Owning The Future' forever I guess right?