Milwaukee Bucks fans – I feel you. I get you. But you also need to realize that losing PJ Tucker is OK. Trust me, DAWG.
I get it. You like his attitude & his toughness. You loved the BATTLES with Kevin Durant in the Eastern Conference Semifinals. We ALL love his championship speech. You loved watching him HAMMER champagne. We ALL love the word “DAWGS”. I love all of that too. Milwaukee will ALWAYS love PJ Tucker.
You’re likely upset that Tucker is taking his talents to South Beach because you’ve seen Tucker. You know Tucker. You connect the title to Tucker. Hell, maybe you drank with Tucker at The Harp last month. And you probably know NOTHING about the new guy they signed to replace Tucker (more on him in a bit).
IT’S THE RIGHT TIME TO MOVE ON
Losing Tucker isn’t that big of a deal. Would I have liked to keep him around? Sure, but I’m not into giving fifteen million dollars to a 36-year-old, offensively challenged, undersized, role player. He’s the seventh oldest player in the NBA and if Udonis Haslem officially retires, he’s sixth oldest. He was the PERFECT midseason acquisition but that’s it. He filled a NEED.
I don’t know if the Bucks offered more, less or the same but I’m sure PJ was looking for one more payday and I can’t blame him for taking the most money to play for the Heat. (Bonus: No state income tax in Florida….also: It’s warm there during the basketball season).
THE BATTLES WERE FUN
PJ Tucker vs Durant was fun but it wasn’t like he locked KD down. Did he make it harder on him? Yes but Durant was still pretty much able to get everything he wanted by elevating OVER Tucker when he needed to. Durant averaged 35 ppg in the series and scored 48 in game seven. One less inch on his “big ass foot” and I GUARANTEE you’re not upset by Tucker signing elsewhere.
Every offseason means new faces and yes, the Bucks are in fact gambling by losing a veteran that was a GREAT fit in the locker room and taught the other guys about being DAWGS. Financially, it wouldn’t work if they wanted to fix other holes like adding a shooter in Small Forward, Rodney Hood, paying F/C Bobby Portis and bringing back Point Guard George Hill to play behind Jrue Holiday. Holiday will likely need some time off early due to playing for Team USA. They’re not done yet, either.
THE NEW DAWG
The Bucks ALSO added a younger version of PJ Tucker in 4th year Forward, Semi Ojeleye. Ever heard of him? I’m guessing not until this week. I hadn’t. He’s PJ Tucker LIGHT. He’s an inch taller & 5 pounds lighter. His body is CHISELED. Is he the defender Tucker is? No, but he’s close. Is he the offensive rebounder that Tucker was? No but he’s close. Is he the 3 point shooter that Tucker was? No. He’s actually better and shoots from more than just the corner.
Ojeleye is 26 and going into his fifth year in the NBA. He doesn’t score a lot but he was the Celtics primary on ball defender in the post and he’s CHEAP. If you want to go inside more numbers, here you go. Ojeleye will space the floor on offense, opening up the middle more for Giannis and will have every opportunity to grow into the PJ Tucker “DAWG” role throughout the season. He could be part of the future as this isn’t the youngest team in the NBA.
THINGS CAN STILL CHANGE
The Bucks will have plenty of time to evaluate him by the trade deadline. PJ Tucker turned out to be the missing piece last season and I trust General Manager, Jon Horst to make the right move if they need to (and can) by the deadline to make a run at back to back titles.
If the Bucks don’t at least get back to the Eastern Conference Finals next year, I can already see my twitter mentions & the message boards and I can already hear the phone calls to sports radio about firing Horst because he & the owners “went cheap” and didn’t bring PJ back. Someone on twitter has already told me they HOPE I’m right.
Forget about me. I hope the Bucks are right on this one, DAWG.
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