Bucks Fans Lay Off-Season Foundation


Like a fan lost in the wrong dimension, every sign felt out of place in Milwaukee on Sunday. Attorney David Gruber counted down to a non-existent game seven. Radio stations boldly proclaimed “go Bucks!” six points too late. The clear lane to the finals has been cruelly sealed off by Kawhi Leonard and a crazed Toronto fanbase. Sure, it’s early and empty to moralize about silver linings. But there are reasons to believe next season will provide Milwaukee with another opportunity to compete. So fill up the bandwagon and sober up for the next round – the Bucks and Bucks fans will rebound.

Bucks Fans Are No Fad

Milwaukee had an unfortunate incident with a Braves baseball fad. But the Bucks feel different. With a new arena and many new fans, there legitimately is a new mindset in Bucks nation. The city even had to close a street adjacent to the stadium to account for rowdy fans, even for road games!  In previous years, the Bucks held playoff parties at two or three different bars each spring, no more. Now every playoff game entertains thousands in front of the Forum.

A new organizational commitment to excellence ensures the Bucks will battle back to May. Don’t worry: fans on the fence will jump back over after the next Giannis block. And there’s an important reason to expect more excellence.

Coach Bud’s Brilliance, And Promising Off-Season

Fans widely criticize coach Mike Budenholzer for “not playing Giannis enough” or “not making adjustments” against Toronto. But Giannis is still developing, and optimal offense requires excellent outside shooting. Giannis is still working on that, and the bench needs a bit more balancing. But the system of success is transparent.

After the game, Bud classily congratulated the Raptors. He observed he “couldn’t be more proud” and acknowledged Giannis indeed “has a lot of room to grow.” But one line stands out: “this hurts.”

As it should, not because of blunders, but pure disappointment. The conference finals still have the preliminary vibes of the first two rounds. No one will remember much from sweeping Detroit or proving Boston wrong. Being so close to glory does hurt. But the Deer will blink for but a moment and then with the league’s sure MVP, best coach, and best fans, start a second stampede to a championship.


About Jeffrey Newholm

"Jammin Jeff" Newholm had been a basketball fanatic since his high school days, and remained a casual fan as a student in Whitewater. Wishing to check in as an active participant, he also completed a writing certificate program at UWM. He loves seeing Bucks games more than any other activity in hometown Milwaukee and especially screaming really really loudly to get someone to miss a free throw. Twitter: @JeffreyNewholm

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