Herm Edwards the NFL Head Coach of the Jets at the time told us all that "You Play To Win The Game", which was totally turned upside down last night in Milwaukee. The team that won, the Bucks, had already been eliminated by virtue of the Sixers win over the Nets that concluded before this game ended. Something that both teams in the end were not happy about. As stated that win clinched a playoff spot for Philly and it also didn't help the Raptors who were tied with the Nets in the Lottery Standings. The Raptors did start off this game like a team that wanted to win and they were the ones battling for their playoff lives. This would fade away as the night went on. Demar DeRozan upped his fan base by getting tossed from this game for tossing a ball into the stands after he felt he deserved a call he didn't get. This was to the delight of the folks in Tank Nation who may in fact have plans to build a DeRozan Statue should the Raptors land the first overall pick. Maybe not. In any case at times we have seen a DeRozan this year that has become frustrated and angry over the lack of respect he seems to get from refs on a nightly basis. Demar is a pretty low key individual but when these things happen you see the inner fire that burns inside him. If he ever can embrace that and use it on the basketball court he will be well on his way to being a superstar.
Brandon Jennings a good buddy of DeRozan would lead the scoring charge for the Bucks in this one. He had 25 points but just shot 9 for 23 with 5 assists and 3 steals. In this blog we have speculated at the idea of Jennings and DeRozan being paired up in Toronto. There is no doubt Jennings is by far a better defensive option than Calderon, but there is also no question he is a very different player on the offensive end. Jose Calderon needs to almost be motivated into taking his shot. Brandon Jennings is happy to chuck up shots from the moment the ball is tipped. Still I see it as a realistic option for the Raptors, if they truly believe in DeRozan and want him here for the long haul. These two guys already have a built in chemistry and are close friends of the court. It might just be what both need to get each other to the next level. Jennings has stated after next season that he plans to look to go to a larger market. Toronto is a larger market depending on what is meant by the term.
Colangelo no doubt is going to be exploring every option at his disposal and this one might be a solid one. The problem becomes what exactly do the Raptors have to land a Jennings and what the price would be. It has become common practice in the NBA to unload a guy that says he wants out before it is to late and you get nothing. That said the Bucks are still in the driver's seat and don't have to do anything. They clearly are looking to change direction with the move they made with Golden State trading away former first overall pick Andrew Bogut to the Warriors for Monta Ellis along with some other parts to that trade. There is also talk the Bucks could make a move at both the head coaching position and G.M position, so who is to say if they will be as high on Jennings as the current management was and maybe still is.
That is a story for another day as for the story of this game the Bucks win 92-86 and like the Raptors can plan for the off-season starting Thursday. Jennings and DeRozan could be working out together by next week in L.A. Oh right I said that was a story for another day. It should be noted that James Johnson seems back in the good graces of coach Casey and started and delivered with 22 points, 13 rebounds and 4 assists.