Be sure to swing by Brew Hoop and check in on all things Bucks. There are no actual brews there....or hoops technically, but there is plenty of basketball goodness. Follow Eric on twitter at @ericbuenning.
The Gary Neal/Luke Ridnour/Ramon Sessions trade is working out pretty well for the Bobcats so far, how about on the Bucks' side?
Jeff Adrien and Ramon Sessions have been pretty solid since being acquired in that trade. Most of the Bucks camp would go as far as to say that they won the trade pretty handily. While I don't firmly agree with the latter, there's no denying that Milwaukee got better as a result of the swap. Both Adrien and Sessions, though not considered the "young talent/assets" that the Bucks love, fill up holes that the roster desperately needed. Having Adrien provide beef inside while Sessions helps fill out a useful guard rotation has made the Bucks look mostly competent since the deadline. Sessions also seems to be more accepting of his role more than the old backcourt, which makes everyone feel all rosy and warm inside. Can't dislike that.
What has Giannis Antetokounmpo been like recently? Seems like he's the lone bright spot for the team this season (true or false). Has he grown anymore and how is his game shaping up?
Giannis used to be the only bright spot the first half of the season, but with the improvements from Brandon Knight and Nate Wolters in the second half of the season, as well as the positive contributions from the aforementioned acquired players, there are at least a couple more high notes.
Don't get me wrong though. Giannis' star still shines the brightest in Milwaukee. On the court it seems like he's mostly reached his capabilities as a rookie, which far and away exceeded anything we expected of him coming into the year. He's even grown on those surprising early results, adding a little more of an attack to his offense, instead of just sitting on the perimeter and slashing when the time was right. He's handled the ball at the point a bit more and he hasn't hesitated as much to pull the trigger from three. He also still has his share of jaw-dropping, mind-splintering moments, but has just about settled into his limits for the remainder of this season. We've seen what he's capable of and DAMN do we love watching it, but now he'll begin adding refinement to his game (putting on weight, getting up tons of shots this summer, etc). We could not be more excited for what we'll see next season.
The draft is coming, let's say the Bucks end up with the top overall pick. Who do they select?
The top overall pick would be tricky for the Bucks. If Joel Embiid is healthy and that back injury won't linger, I think it would be a mistake to not take him and figure out what to do with your current front court after the number one pick is "won." Embiid isn't my personal favorite, but Bucks executives should not care what I think. Should Embiid not be completely healthy, I give Jabari Parker the 50.1% to 49.9% advantage over Andrew Wiggins right now. The Bucks would benefit greatly from a wing creator, perhaps their biggest hole on the current roster. Parker or Wiggins could probably come in right away and start to form that reputation, with solid complements already around him. I give Parker the slight edge because his scoring ability seems more of a sure thing right now. It's hella close though. I do not envy the folks who will have to make that decision.
Has John Henson been able to build on a fairly solid rookie year?
Sort of? I don't really know, to be honest with you. While his length still causes problems for opponents, I've started to question the likelihood of Henson making leaps and bounds to get better. That's not to say he doesn't work hard or that he's a bad guy or anything; there just doesn't to be that extra gear that gives me enough reason to believe that he'll live in the gym and develop a reliable enough jump shot or consistent enough use of his right hand. Henson has gone from surprisingly effective to good in his first two seasons, but whether he can get to being really good remains to be seen, and it honestly clouds my judgment on him a little bit.
Aside from a great draft pick what are Bucks fans looking for from this team to end the season on a positive note?
I think that all fans could ask for the rest of this season is that the young guys play the majority of the minutes and do most of the work. That is priority number one. It may mean that they win a couple more games and "fall behind" Philly for the worst record, but I don't think you'd find a ton of people in tears over the players they want to keep on the roster and build around playing like a team headed in an encouraging direction.