There's no crying in basketball, and our Milwaukee Bucks aren't weeping into the NBA All Star break. In fact, even with three starters out for pretty much the rest of the season, the team is digging deep, playing well and still poised for a playoff run.
The Bucks (25-29 as of February 10) are basically tied with the New Jersey Nets (24-28) for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. Of course, several teams are battling for this No. 8 spot, including the Chicago Bulls and New York Knicks.
I still like this team's chances. They are moving the ball well, sharing it and most importantly not holding the ball on offense by letting it die with a jumper from the weak side. It's an offense without three starters that's worked in recent games since it's opening up shots for the likes of Charlie Bell and Ramon Sessions. Richard Jefferson and Charlie Villanueva also are gelling making shots and playing defense.
Of course I'm not naive to think that it's not going to be tough to persevere without Redd, Bogut and Ridnour. But, the team's remaining schedule is much softer than its first half slate and if there's a coach that thrives on underdog mentality and tough breaks, it's Scott Skiles.
Rumors out of Cleveland say the Cavs want Richard Jefferson. I like RJ, and even though conventional wisdom says he's not long for Milwaukee, I'd like to see him here for the remainder of the season. Plus, I've never liked the "sink the ship and trade to save salary" mentality that many teams take when the going gets tough.
A team should always seek to win, especially in the NBA where free agents want to go to a winner. Milwaukee hasn't won much in the last decade, so creating a winning vibe is a multi-year task and one that this group is up to.
The Bucks have improved to 15-9 at home this season (10-20 on the road) and still have 17 home games remaining. Tickets and deals are a plenty, so get out and support this team.
Bottom line, people, don't give up on the Bucks. Believe, embrace and expect good things.
A life-long and passionate community leader and Milwaukeean, Jeff Sherman is a co-founder of OnMilwaukee.
He grew up in Wauwatosa and graduated from Marquette University, as a Warrior. He holds an MBA from Cardinal Stritch University, and is the founding president of Young Professionals of Milwaukee (YPM)/Fuel Milwaukee.
Early in his career, Sherman was one of youngest members of the Greater Milwaukee Committee, and currently is involved in numerous civic and community groups - including board positions at The Wisconsin Center District, Wisconsin Club and Marcus Center for the Performing Arts. He's honored to have been named to The Business Journal's "30 under 30" and Milwaukee Magazine's "35 under 35" lists.
He owns a condo in Downtown and lives in greater Milwaukee with his wife Stephanie, his son, Jake, and daughter Pierce. He's a political, music, sports and news junkie and thinks, for what it's worth, that all new movies should be released in theaters, on demand, online and on DVD simultaneously.
He also thinks you should read OnMilwaukee each and every day.