The Bucks might have missed a good advertising opportunity after slip-sliding on their spiffy new court against these same Torontonians during the exhibition season. Something along the lines of, "We'll fall all over ourselves for you." Madison Avenue it's not, but the Bucks aren't selling floor wax. They're peddling trust and patience, something this franchise has not engendered for a long time. The politically risky but basketball-necessary move of pretty much starting anew with both the roster and the coaching staff won't have an extended honeymoon period when there are tickets to sell and an arena to build. The reception Saturday night for the season opener was better than the Bucks had a right to expect, but then again this is a loyal-beyond-reason sports town. The BMO Harris Bradley Center was fairly full and amenable to Larry Sanders' succinct greeting from the spotlighted circle on the old court while the new one, sort of like a number of the players, was undergoing seasoning. "Glad y'all came out," said the man in the middle. "Go Bucks." With their ground-up restoration, the Bucks have given their fan base a reason to believe that hustling and unity will replace the bickering and lethargy that characterized maybe the most forgettable playoff season in franchise history. But now it is time to show they can be competitive in this league. Good intentions just get people fired. The first thing any discerning basketball fan would have noticed was the starting backcourt. Nate Wolters, the mid-major Jackrabbit who is getting minutes on merit, and Gary Neal, who has spent most of his professional career in European ports of call, are not Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis. But that might not be such a bad thing if Larry Drew can tweak the rotation to make opponents at least think about the matchups. Wolters started against the Raptors because Brandon Knight is still hurt and because Wolters was more impressive than a second-round draft pick should have been the night before in Boston. "He gets us organized," Drew said. "I've got to have organization in the very beginning. I can't just have guys out there where everybody is looking for their shots." To that end, Drew made a bold statement to the crowd by not starting the team's (relatively) big free-agent signing. O.J. Mayo was on the bench when the game began, which makes for two Mayos subbing in the same city if you're counting at home. But looked at another way, the Bucks have decent depth, all things considered.
Bucks have the pieces to surprise
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel | Nov 3