Milwaukee posted a 2-2 record this past week with a crucial loss against the New York Knicks, despite the team playing without Jeremy Lin and Amare Stoudemire. The Bucks were able to rebound and defeat the Atlanta Hawks 108-101 when Monta Ellis took over the ball game and scored 33-points, the most he has put up since being traded to Milwaukee.
The following is what Stein had to say about the Bucks under his comments:
“I appreciate that pretty much no one outside of Wisconsin is rooting for the Bucks to overtake the Knicks for No. 8 in the East. But here’s a Milwaukee cause we can all rally behind: Ilyasova is bidding to become the first player to average 12-and-8 in fewer than 28 minutes per game since Arvydas Sabonis in 1995-96!”
Stein makes several good points. Everybody that follows basketball wants Linsanity to make it into the playoffs and take over the postseason. It would be a great story if Lin outplayed Derrick Rose and the Knicks defeated the No. 1 seed Chicago Bulls, assuming Lin will not be lost for the rest of the season with a torn meniscus. However, fans in Wisconsin are still pulling for their team as I believe the Bucks could give the Bulls a run for their money in the playoffs.
It is also an interesting fact that Ersan Ilyasova could become the first player in 16 seasons to average 12 points and eight rebounds in fewer than 28 minutes per game. Milwaukee fans know how great of a season Ilyasova is having and how valuable he is to the success of the team, but no one outside the state of Wisconsin has a clue. If the Bucks could make a push for the postseason then people will get to see how good Ilyasova really is.
The Bucks are currently two games behind the Knicks with 13 to go for the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference.