Tue 18 Nov 2014
The Milwaukee Bucks have been one of the NBA's biggest early surprises , riding strong play from guard Brandon Knight (one of just three players averaging at least 18 points, six rebounds and six assists per game), a penchant for creating and cashing in on looks at the basket and a shockingly elite defense (94.7 points allowed per 100 possessions, the league's second-best mark ) to a 5-5 record. Things aren't perfect — Ersan Ilyasova still looks sort of broken, No. 2 overall pick Jabari Parker hasn't hit gotten going yet, and the offense has been nearly as awful (94.9 points-per-100, 28th among 30 NBA teams) as the defense has been impressive — but through 10 games, they're worlds better than they were last year. [ Yahoo Sports Fantasy Basketball: Sign up and join a league today! ] Much of the credit has gone to new head coach Jason Kidd, who joined the Bucks following a messy bit of business that reportedly featured a failed attempt to wrest control of the Brooklyn Nets' basketball operations just one season after being hired to lead the Nets. The ordeal left sour tastes in lots of mouths, headlined by the deposed Larry Drew and Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov, who recently turned to a "nice proverb" to say good riddance to bad rubbish. Kidd comes back to the Big Apple this week, following a Tuesday home matchup with the New York Knicks with a return to Barclays Center for a Wednesday date with the Nets, whose fast start has been short-circuited by allegations of selfish play , a tough road trip and ominous questions of "identity." While Kidd has tried to downplay the meeting — “Everybody keeps talking about it [...] But it’s time to move on,” he told Michael Lee of The Washington Post — his players sound eager to get their coach a win over his old club. Not nearly as eager, though, as @DavidDunn21 , who saw the impending Bucks-Nets tilt as a perfect opportunity to cast Kidd and the Bucks as Rocky Balboa, and Prokhorov as Ivan Drago, a la "Rocky IV," in the amazing video above. Because if you want to go from a beginner to a pro, you need a montage . Sure, it's a bit over-the-top to imagine the eternally climbing Kidd as a pure hero and the eternally entertaining Prokhorov as a pure villain, especially a couple of decades after the Cold War thawed. Plus, a Nets team that's dropped four in a row, including a Monday loss at home to a Miami Heat squad playing without Dwyane Wade and Luol Deng, doesn't exactly seem like a heretofore indestructible foil. On the other hand, though, we can never have too many opportunities to watch clips of Prokhorov kickboxing, doing jet-ski tricks and practicing his heli-skiing, or too many reminders of the soaring highs and crushing lows of the Bucks' franchise. (Including that weird Larry Sanders nightclub fight , which seems like ages ago now that the big man's back to locking down the paint .) And hey, anything that drums up excitement for a mid-November game between 5-5 and 4-6 teams is a bonus, right? Consider me sufficiently hyped up and prepared for anything to go down on Wednesday, up to and including an American-flag-trunks-wearing Giannis Antetokounmpo (attire unexplained but also unquestioned) suplexing Andrei Kirilenko during a stoppage in play. If we're going to do this thing, let's do it right. Hat-tip to Jeremy Schmidt at Bucksketball . - - - - - - - Dan Devine is an editor for Ball Don't Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @YourManDevine Stay connected with Ball Don't Lie on Twitter @YahooBDL , "Like" BDL on Facebook and follow BDL's Tumblr for year-round NBA talk, jokes and more.
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