|Jeremy Schmidt: Pacers-Bucks Y2K Edition
Will Glenn Robinson and Coolio be at this game?
It’s Y2K night, which feels a lot more like 90s night, but that’s okay. Whatever it takes
to get everyone reminiscing about Glenn Robinson. The oft-criticized, now fondly
remembered shooting forward from the very good but not quite great Bucks teams of
the late 90s and early 2000s will make an appearance before the fourth quarter. He’ll
be around signing autographs at some point in the evening and he’ll probably thank
the crowd for showing him great love.
People will see him and think back about how fun those Bucks teams were, but they’ll
also think back to conversations everyone had about Big Dog in 1998. There was talk
about how he was a poor ball-handler, how all he did was shoot jumpers and hated
playing defense. There was constant discussion of his socks. There were comparisons
to Grant Hill and Jason Kidd, two players taken after him who went on to have
superior careers that bounced them around the NBA. As reliable as Robinson was for
20 points every night, he was just as reliable to be criticized by Bucks fans.
But ultimately, Bucks fans still liked him. He was just an easy scapegoat. He wasn’t
as smooth as Ray Allen and wasn’t seen as the leader Sam Cassell was. He was
around the longest and seemed to have the most flaws. So when Bucks fans were sad
or mad, they often cursed Robinson’s name and salivated at the thought of Tim
Thomas taking his place.
Well Thomas eventually took his place and delivered half the production at twice the
price. The Bucks haven’t really found another Big Dog since that one left. Richard
Jefferson, Corey Maggette, Desmond Mason, Keith Van Horn, Carlos Delfino: Plenty
of forwards have come and gone since Robinson departed, but few last more than a
couple of seasons in Milwaukee.
So while Robinson had his faults, kudos to him for doing one of the things most
difficult in the NBA: Lasting.
What to watch for: Bucks
O.J. Mayo will continue to round out of being round and into a more basketball
conducive shape. His now infamous defensive gaffe is all anyone remembered from
his first game back, but Milwaukee’s going to need all the shooting it can get to stick
with the Pacers on Saturday. He’ll have to play some kind of role.
More importantly, Ramon Sessions will make his return to Milwaukee. He’ll give
Milwaukee a legitimate creating and scoring guard off the bench, something the
Bucks did not have in Gary Neal or Luke Ridnour. Sessions has never been and still
isn’t much of a 3-point threat, which has limited his effectiveness and minutes
ultimately, but he finishes well and draws a fair share of fouls. Next to Mayo or
Brandon Knight, he could be interesting.
Really, the hope is that he doesn’t take too many minutes away from Nate Wolters
and is modestly effective at keeping the Bucks offense running smoothly.
What to watch for: Pacers
Evan Turner is new. His numbers this season (17.4 points, 3.7 assists and 6.1
rebounds per game) are inflated thanks to Philly’s breakneck pace, but he’s shown
he’s at the very least, a slightly below average NBA player who can be effective for
stretches. How he’ll mix with Lance Stephenson will be interesting. Their styles
match a bit, but neither is a great 3-point shooter, with Stephenson being capable
and Turner being terrible.
In general, it’s always interesting to see how anyone interacts with Stephenson, but
it’ll be even more interesting...CONTINUE READING AT BUCKSKETBALL