Thursday, March 14, 2013

Milwaukee's Worst

The Milwaukee Bucks and the Washington Wizards had split the season series before tonight's final meeting between the two clubs at the Verizon Center. Milwaukee took the first game in D.C. back in November by a a score of 101-91. The Wizards got even in February with 102-90 win over the Bucks at Milwaukee's Bradley Center.

The Wizards were still without Bradley Beal, who missed his fifth straight game with a sprained left ankle. Making matters worse, A.J. Price was also sidelined with both a pulled hamstring, and a pulled groin. Trevor Ariza was a game-time decision, but scoring 14 points in 29 minutes off the bench.

Bucks assistant coach Bill Peterson offers some instruction to center Gustavo Ayon
Bucks reserve guard Ish Smith was brought over from the Orlando Magic in a trade deadline package that sent J.J. Redick to Milwaukee.
Bucks guard Brandon Jennings drives by assistant coach Anthony Goldwire during pregame warmups
Jennings, who attended, first, Dominguez HS in his hometown of Compton, CA, and later, Oak Hill in Mouth of Wilson, VA, was the first high school player to skip college to play professionally in Europe, choosing to play for Lottomatica Roma of the Italian league, prior to being selected 10th overall in the 2009 draft by the Bucks.
Bucks swing-man Marquis Daniels shoots around before the game
Past and Present: Bucks assistant coach Sidney Moncrief, right, was a five time NBA all-star with Milwaukee in his playing days. Brandon Jennings, left, has yet to make an all-star appearance.
Marquis Daniels played his high school ball at Mt. Zion Christian Academy in Durham, NC, the same high school as Tracy McGrady.
Bucks fans were surprisingly abundant on Wednesday night, decked out in what are, undoubtedly, the ugliest jerseys in professional basketball. Though Milwaukee has won a championship in 1971, and has had legendary players such as Lew Alcindor (Kareem Abdul-Jabbar), Oscar Robertson, Jack Sikma, Sidney Moncrief, and Ray Allen, its greatest basketball legacy will unfortunately be providing the NBA with some of the most atrocious on-court apparel the league has ever seen. At the time when Milwaukee won their lone championship, the jerseys were half respectable. Despite being pine green and lipstick red, Alcindor and Robertson made the unis cool. The evolution of the Bucks jersey took a turn for the worse, as they took away the red, and added a lighter shade of green as the trim color. Sidney Moncrief and Jack Sikma were the two most prominent players to sport these jerseys, which lasted from 1986-1993. Milwaukee realized their error in judgement with the introduction of this distasteful uniform, and made purple the main color of the franchise. From 1994-2006, the Bucks had a purple base, with the same pine green trim. In the 1995-96 season the Bucks introduced what was probably the most horrendous alternate jersey in NBA history. The uniform had a green base with purple trim, and actually had a depiction of a buck imprinted on the front of the jersey. Ray Allen, Glenn Robinson, and Vin Baker were some of the more relevant Bucks to represent Milwaukee in this ghastly outfit. This season, Milwaukee has actually reintroduced the same jersey for 90's throwback nights. In 2006-07, Milwaukee went back to their roots, replacing the purple with the same red that had made them notoriously hard to look at in the 70's. Now stars like Brandon Jennings, Monta Ellis, and the recently acquired J.J. Redick can celebrate Christmas everyday in these green and red nightmares that give opposing teams all the more reason to "fear the deer."

Wizards forward Trevor Ariza shoots from distance over Bucks center Larry Sanders
Wizards forward Trevor Booker posts up on Bucks forward Ersan Ilyasova
Ariza is defended by Bucks guard J.J. Redick
Wizards guard John Wall is confronted by Bucks center Larry Sanders on a drive to the basket
Wall surveys the floor, garnering close attention from Milwaukee defenders
Wall looks to penetrate the Milwaukee defense
John Wall pulls up for the jumper
Wizards forward Nene is defended by Bucks center Gustavo Ayon
Bucks guard Ish Smith had a tough time defending John Wall, who ran his own dribbling clinic towards the end of the game.
Trevor Ariza drives on Bucks forward John Henson
Wall looks to pass over the top of Milwaukee defenders
Wall tries to dribble in between Bucks guard Ish Smith and center Gustavo Ayon
Wall looks to pass after being confronted by Bucks center Gustavo Ayon on his way to the basket
There was no fear in the Washington Wizards tonight, as they marched to 106-93 win over Milwaukee behind 23 points and 10 assists from John Wall. Martell Webster contributed 20 points, going 4-7 from downtown. Nene, Garrett Temple, and Trevor Booker each added 13.

Milwaukee was led by Monta Ellis with 26 points and 8 assists. Ersan Ilyasova added 21 points and 12 rebounds. Larry Sanders tallied 17 points and 11 rebounds before being ejected after arguing an offensive foul call with 2:45 left in the game.

Washington will host the New Orleans Hornets on Friday night at the Verizon Center.