Bucks in six? All eyes toward playoffs in Milwaukee

first_imgThe Milwaukee Bucks currently sit as the No. 6 seed in the Eastern Conference just one game ahead of the No. 7 Heat. With two games remaining in the NBA season, the Bucks are locked into a playoff spot. The only question is — where?The Bucks, Heat and Wizards are all within 1.5 games of each other, jockeying for position in the six through eight seeds of the Eastern Conference. Despite such a close race, Milwaukee is locked into a six or seven seed because of tiebreakers with the Wizards.Milwaukee’s path to the playoffs has been filled with twists and turns, from star guard Giannis Antetokounmpo being in the early MVP conversation to head coach Jason Kidd being fired midseason.At the time, Kidd’s January firing seemed to ignite a spark with the team as the Bucks went 7–1 in the first eight games under interim head Coach Joe Prunty. This was short lived — the team has gone 15–14 since their eight-game hot stretch.March Madness: Villanova, DiVincenzo dismiss Michigan for national titleSitting atop the College Basketball world for the second time in three seasons, Villanova University defeated the University of Michigan Read…If the Bucks remain at No. 6, they will face off against the Philadelphia 76ers in a first round matchup versus a fellow up and coming team. The Sixers are the hottest team in the NBA right now and are currently on a 14-game win streak despite the loss of star center Joel Embiid to a facial fracture and concussion last week. If Embiid is back for round one the combination of him and projected Rookie of the Year Ben Simmons make Milwaukee’s chances look grim in this potential matchup.The Boston Celtics have the No. 2 seed locked up in the playoffs. But after an injury to Celtics point guard Kyrie Irving there is a race for the seven seed at the bottom of the playoff standings. The Bucks would be fortunate to fall one spot in the standings and secure a matchup against an inexperienced team without their best player.The final team the Bucks might play are the Cleveland Cavaliers who are currently at the No. 4 seed but can move up to No. 3. This could be a nightmare matchup for any team in the first round as they will have to go through LeBron James.  Despite the Cavs well-documented struggles this year, James will still be vying for his eighth straight NBA Finals appearance and has proven he can escalate his team to another level come playoff time.Men’s basketball: Badgers look ahead after frustrating yearUniversity of Wisconsin’s men’s basketball team’s streak of 19 consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances ended last Friday with their elimination from Read…Though Antetokounmpo, Khris Middleton and Eric Bledsoe have been reliable options this year, the Bucks have taken steps back in other areas of the roster. Thon Maker, who looked like a future All-Star last year, now sits third in the depth chart behind John Henson and Tyler Zeller. Though he’s been impressive when healthy, last season’s Rookie of the Year Malcolm Brogdon has been out the past two months with a quad injury before returning last night against Orlando.But an interesting move the Bucks made recently was to giving Brandon Jennings a multiyear contract last week. Jennings is probably most famous for making the declaration “Bucks in six” in the 2013 NBA playoffs before facing — and ultimately getting swept by — the Miami Heat super team of James, Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh.Jennings was impressive to begin his second stint with the Bucks, notching a near triple-double with a 16-point, 12-assist and eight-rebound game versus the Grizzlies. But after this hot start, Jennings cooled down, scoring double digits in points only once in the 14 games following his debut.Ohio State ends win streak for Badger men’s tennis, focus now shifts to Big Ten TournamentAfter an up-and-down start to the year, the University of Wisconsin men’s tennis team is starting to find its feet Read…While some may remember the “Brandon Jennings and Bucks in Six” era as one of disappointment, there was also hope. And in a sports year where backup quarterbacks can become Superbowl MVPs, why can’t Brandon Jennings hit a big shot to help the Bucks win a playoff game or series? Maybe even in game six.The Bucks last regular season game will be Wednesday, April 11 against the 76ers from Philadelphia at 7 p.m. CT.last_img read more

Mourinho fires strict new rulebook at star players including Essien

first_imgChelsea boss Jose Mourinho is insistent that he will apply to all his players, even old favourites Michael Essien, Terry and Lampard a new set of strict rule to beat out indiscipline in the team.The Portuguese manager has warned his players that time will wait for no man at Chelsea this season.In a stark message to his squad, ­Mourinho has set out a series of rules that everybody must obey.And at the top of the list is ­timekeeping, with Mourinho stressing he will not hang around for any latecomers – no matter who they may be.But Mourinho promised to relieve the training ground boredom that had set in under unpopular interim manager Rafa Benitez last term.And he has also held a series of ­face-to-face meetings with players about their personal goals for the forthcoming campaign. Under Mourinho’s rules, captain John Terry, Essien, goalkeeper Petr Cech, Ashley Cole and Frank Lampard will suffer the same consequences as Chelsea’s youngsters, if they are not on time.Mourinho instructed his ­players that training will not be delayed for latecomers.The team coach will leave ­without anyone who is not on time. And flights will be ordered to take off even if there are empty seats.A source told Sunday Mirror Sport: “Jose made it clear that it was one rule for all – nobody can be late.“He told the players, ‘It doesn’t matter who you are, we won’t wait for you’. Jose wants the ­players focused and acting as one.” One of the biggest complaints, under Benitez, was that the ­training sessions were too slow and ­repetitive. Terry even clashed with the Spaniard over the matter.But Mourinho quickly addressed that particular issue by promising that NONE of his first 21 training sessions would be the same.Mourinho has confessed to working his players extremely hard, but it is ­understood they have been buoyed by the variety of the sessions.“The players felt that the sessions put on by Benitez were more for him, rather than them,” added the Chelsea source.“Jose changes things up a lot and keeps it very fresh. “Some of the sessions are for him and others are for the ­players. They have ­really enjoyed it so far.”Even before Chelsea had returned to pre-season training, Mourinho had ­phoned a number of his players to ­reassure them about their futures.And since Chelsea have been back, the Portuguese has called individuals in for face-to-face meetings about their personal targets for the season.Mourinho has spelled out to players who they are fighting for places against – to encourage healthy competition – and has also set them goals to achieve, both at club and international level.Our Chelsea source said: “The players know exactly what is expected of them, both as a group and individually. “Jose has spoken to a number of the lads about what they should be aiming for this season.“The players, who have been on the fringes, have been told what they must do to get into the team and the traditional starters have been challenged to keep their places.“With it being a World Cup year, Jose has also used the carrot of international football as an extra incentive for players.“It’s clear he will use anything, if he feels it can get an extra five or 10 per cent out of people.”last_img read more