Hoping the Bucks tank??? Slap yourself!

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The Bucks didn’t pack it in. They’re playing for the playoffs. Image via nba.com

The Milwaukee Bucks defeated the Indiana Pacers Friday night in Milwaukee. With this victory, the Bucks established a new season high winning streak at five and currently hold the 8th seed in the Eastern Conference playoff standings. Yay. Look, I’m not downing them for winning. They’re probably playing their best basketball of the season right now. I, like many others, are wondering when the other shoe is going to drop. Given how the level of play has been contingent on the level of their competition, you can understand why. I’m enjoying this stretch of basketball.

One difference between me and others is, I want the Bucks to play to win the game. I’m not hoping for their downfall. I can’t believe there is a strong sector of “fans” who want the Bucks to lose. Not just to miraculously improve draft positioning, but because they’re scared of a presumptive matchup against the defending NBA Champion Cleveland Cavaliers. This train of thought is disappointing  damn wrong on a couple of accounts.

Reason 1: Cowardice. (Yeah I said it, and I didn’t stutter.) The fact Bucks “fans” don’t want to “get swept” in the first round and therefore don’t want to make the playoffs at all is sickening. You can’t be scared of a matchup. Who knows what could happen? That’s why they play the games. Do I believe the Bucks could beat the Cavaliers in a best of 7? If Jabari Parker was healthy I believe the Bucks could give them a push. Ultimately the championship experience of the Cavs would prove to be too much for them to overcome… this year. Which is why playoff experience is vitally important for this squad. A few guys have tasted playoffs before, Giannis included, but it was a small taste. You need to go through these battles and learn how to win. A young team like this makes the playoffs and loses to a more playoff tested team. What’s the first thing people are going to say? “If only these guys had more playoff experience.” This is vital for the Bucks to become the championship caliber team fans and ownership expect.

Reason 2: The NBA draft will be loaded. So “fans” want to lose games, in order to gain more ping-pong balls, so the Bucks can garner a better draft position. I said earlier I play to win the game. (Coach Herm Edwards does too.) So should the Bucks. The very fact there are actually “fans” out there that want to see the team lose intentionally, in a year where the draft is deep, is  concerning damn wrong. Turn in your fan card, look in the mirror, and slap yourself. You’ve already slapped the Bucks franchise in the face by hoping they lose out. If this is your wish, how can you say you’re a fan? How can you say you believe in owning the future?

The purpose of playing games is to win. The Bucks are in the best stretch of basketball played all season long, and its come at the best time. This win streak has made what once looked like a lost season, an exciting one. The Bucks didn’t pack it in, they’re playing to win. They’re playing for the playoffs. True fans would and should be excited about this. It’s a damn shame there are fence jumpers trying to ruin this for them.

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