When your tesm stumbles into a superstar, it sometimes takes a little while for the reality to sink in. Jennings, of course, isn’t yet considered a “franchise player,” but he sure looked like one last night. It all reminds me of a few years ago when Gilbert Arenas took the NBA by storm—game-winning shots, 60-point performances, playoff heroics—it was all like an out-of-body experience for Wizards fans. Some franchises may be used to having star players, but the Washington Wizards aren’t one of ’em.
And neither are the Milwaukee Bucks. Over at SB Nation’s Bucks blog, Brew Hoop, there’s as much shock as awe:
My twenty years as a Bucks fan have been, at least superficially, a disappointment. Far too many 50-loss seasons ending in mid-April. Disappointing draft picks and bloated contracts. Stars that don’t shine as bright as every other team’s stars. Coaches that talk a good game but can’t seem to coach one. So if you’re a recent convert or a casual fan, understand where I’m coming from. I might love the game too much to give it up, but as a fan I’ve got some serious baggage. Cynicism, pessimism, paranoia…it’s all there lurking in the shadows.
So quite honestly I don’t know how to deal with Brandon Jennings. I just watched him score 55 points in his seventh professional game, and quite honestly I’m working through some things. Like, is this really happening? Is it possible the universe is playing an awful, awful trick on us poor Bucks fans? Or is this just what it feels like to have a superstar drop into our lap? And can we just get him to sign a max contract extension now, rather than waiting another two plus years?
Fifty-five for the game, all in the final three quarters. Forty-five in the second half (17/21 fg). Twenty-nine in the third quarter. Simply unbelievable.
The Warriors don’t defend much anyway, but everytime the Bucks gave Jennings a high screen good things happened. As we’ve seen from most opponents, the Warriors were content to go under screens on Jennings and dare him to make a play.
So he did. Gliding to the hoop for acrobatic layins. Dropping in that one-handed floater that’s quickly becoming his signature shot. Pulling up off the screen for a clean look at a mid-range jumper. And when all that was getting boring, how about a three-pointer? Or seven of them? Once Jennings got going, it didn’t matter if his feet were set. He made his first twelve shots of the third period, and when his last jumper of the period bounced off the rim the entire arena seemed confused. How did that happen?
Perhaps more amazingly, he kept going, which was fortunate considering the Warriors refusal to lay down. Every time the Bucks needed a big shot in the fourth he was there to make it happen. This was his coming out party, and he wasn’t going to let it end with anything but a win. By the way, did we mention that he missed his first three shots and was benched less than five minutes into the game?
Click here for their full thoughts on the game, and remember Bucks fans, enjoy this while it lasts. Have you seen Gilbert Arenas lately? Sometimes, this stuff can be fleeting. Make the most of it, Milwaukee.