The Milwaukee Bucks stepped into Bizarro World last night, escorted there by none other than the even lowlier current version of the Philadelphia 76ers. When it was all said and done in Philly, the Bucks had their 11th win in this forgettable 2013-14 NBA season, by the improbable score of 130-110, and the Sixers had their 11th straight defeat. Strange karma indeed.
It's not not so funny though when you think about it, especially if you're part of the Milwaukee brain trust that will select first in the NBA draft this summer, should the Bucks continue on the .196 winning pace that has brought them to an league worst 11-45 record. By the looks of last night's Keystone Cops debacle, however, it appears the Sixers just might wind up with the inside track on Jabari Parker, Andrew Wiggins, or Joel Embiid.
Rumors swirling in Beer City have the desperate Bucks eyeballing Embiid as their #1 pick, which ultimately is yet another head-scratcher considering the team's need for instant offense, and the critical need for more fans in the stands. In a league that rarely gives a thought to defense, it's obvious either Wiggins or Parker would be an easy first choice if you were the Bucks on draft day 2014.
Parker, clearly, can contribute right away. He's built for the NBA right now, and at 19.1 ppg. and 5.8 rebounds per game, he possesses the best stats on paper. Add to those numbers a healthy 48% field goal mark (38% from 3) and 72% from the line, and it's a lock he could step in, start, and contribute double figures from day one.
Wiggins has that capability too, although he appears a few years behind Parker in his physicality. His numbers are similar, 16.3 ppg., 5.8 boards, 44% from the floor, 35% from the arc, and 75% from the line. Embiid, (11 ppg., 7.9 rebounds) however, as a true center and defender, and with only 20 minutes of playing time per game, is a bonafide project.
Besides about 6 legitimate NBA caliber players, what do the pathetic Bucks really need? A guy just like Parker, a player that can score in spectacular fashion, that is, put fans back in the seats. His defense is a non-issue, (hardly any teams play it in the league anyway), and he can have an immediate impact on offense. Ultimately, he's the guy that fans will come out to watch. If anything, based on the thousands of empty seats visible every night at the Bradley Center, he's also the player that will help the organization address the biggest problem of all, attendance. On the other hand, a selection of Embiid as the first pick would be yet another step in the wrong direction for a franchise that, with any other owner, would be headed for Seattle without a second thought.
No, if you're the Bucks, you need to to do 2 things the rest of the way this season; stay ahead of the Sixers in the battle for the most ping pong balls, and start watching Jabari Parker more closely than they obviously have been already.
At this point, in season full of misery, winning games from here on out will ultimately add to the losing in the long run, especially where owning the overall number one pick is concerned. As a Milwaukee Bucks fan, that scenario might just seem even more bizarre than the one that played out last night.
In the present tense world of the Milwaukee Bucks, winning is losing. Just lose, baby. Imagine that.
And For What