This story is part of ESPN The Magazines Oct. 31 NBA Preview Issue. Subscribe today!Milwaukee BucksOverall: 72 Title track: T90 Ownership: 61 Coaching: 59 Players: 67 Fan relations: 72 Affordability: 38 Stadium experience: 113 Bang for the buck: 81 Change from last year: -7Last year, it all seemed to be going well for the Bucks after an impressive, 55-spot jump in these standings. But just when we thought it was headed for the top half, the team slipped back into old habits and dropped seven spots from last year. Under head coach Jason Kidd, the teams future remains cloudy, but the leadership on the team will have to step up if the Bucks want to compete against the best NBA franchises.Whats goodAlthough the Bucks remain in a rebuilding phase, fans can enjoy attending games for a low price and little hassle. With among the most affordable tickets in the game (ranging from $9 to $178) and ranking 38th in affordability, the BMO Harris Bradley Center should draw big enough crowds to create hype and help the Bucks to more wins this season. Of course, with ownership set to open a new arena in the next few years (which is sorely needed -- see that 113th-ranked stadium experience), whether ticket prices stay affordable remains to be seen. In the meantime, PR Director Mark Rosenberg says improvements are coming to the Bradley Center: In the past year weve opened three new club spaces and partnered with multiple local restaurants to expand our concessions offerings. Weve also upgraded our public in-arena wifi network, added in-seat ordering capability through our Bucks mobile app for merchandise, and invested heavily in customer service training programs for our frontline staff.Whats badWhen the Bucks didnt make the playoffs last season, it didnt come as a shock to most fans (the Bucks got bounced in six in the first round in 2014-15). But there were signs of promise throughout the regular season: back-to-back wins over the Pacers and Timberwolves, not to mention victories over the Warriors and Cavaliers. Call us crazy, but it almost seems like this team has serious potential to break free from a 90th-place title track ranking this year. A few more wins would go a long way to helping that 83rd-place bang for the buck finish too.Whats newLast year, fans of Milwaukee embraced the young Bucks. Giannis Antetokounmpo, Khris Middleton, Jabari Parker and Greg Monroe increased optimism in the roster and gave fans hope for playoff contention and a long-lasting season. But after a 33-49 season and the teams 12th-place finish in the Eastern Conference, fans are growing less certain about the Bucks players and coaches. The roster lands at 67th overall (down 37 spots), so Kidd (down 40 spots to 59th) still has his sights set on rebuilding. In 2016-17, the Bucks hope new signee Matthew Dellavedova and top draft pick Thon Maker will bring more depth and talent to the group.?Were very excited about the direction of our team on the court, says Rosenberg. We have a future Hall-of-Famer as a coach in Jason Kidd and a nucleus of young talent in Giannis Antetokounmpo, Jabari Parker and Khris Middleton that is as promising as any group in the league.Next: Minnesota Timberwolves?| Full rankings Matt Cullen Jersey
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.Y. -- Bills receiver Stevie Johnson has a bone to pick with the NFL schedule maker. MILWAUKEE -- Once Zach Davies got going, the Arizona Diamondbacks didnt have much of a chance.Davies pitched 6 1/3 effective innings, Hernan Perez hit a two-run homer, singled and scored the go-ahead run in the sixth and the Milwaukee Brewers beat the Diamondbacks 6-4 on Thursday.Davies is now 3-0 with a 1.71 ERA with four walks and 17 strikeouts in four starts in July.Hes had a bunch of starts like this, Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. When he gets into a groove, he runs through the lineup pretty good.I was making sure I settled down a little bit and focused more, Davies said. Once the first inning is over, you let it go.Davies got some key run support for Perez, who started at shortstop for benched Jonathan Villar. Perez crushed Robbie Rays first pitch 458 feet off the facing of the scoreboard in deep center for the two-run homer in the third.That was huge, but I knew I had to keep it there and keep making pitches, Davies said of Perezs sixth home run this season.Davies (8-4) allowed three runs -two earned- on six hits. Facing the Diamondbacks for the first time, he walked one and struck out five.Jeremy Jeffress pitched the ninth for his 24th save in 25 chances.The Brewers added a run when Kirk Nieuwenhuis homered off Tyler Clippard leading off the eighth.Ray (5-10) cruised through the first five innings, then struggled in the sixth with the game tied at 2.Diamondbacks manager Chip Hale was none too happy with the bullpen.I took him (Ray) out after he gave up the lead and our bullpens got to be able to hold it, Hale said. Burgos has got to be able to get that guy out and get us in the dugout.If the bullpen doesnt get squared away, Hale hinted at some changes.We have got to find some guys out of our bullpen that are going to stop the bleeding, shut it down, Hale said. Its imperative. If we cant find them here, were going to have to go elsewhere and give other guys a chance.Ray struck out five straight batters, including the side in the second and fifth innings and set a career high with 11 strikeouts, one better than in his previoous start, a 1-0 loss at Cincinnati on July 23.ddddddddddddVILLAR SITSBrewers SS Jonathan Villar was benched for a baserunning blunder in the first inning of Wednesday nights 8-1 loss to the Diamondbacks. Known for his aggressiveness, he tried to steal third with two outs, but catcher Welington Castillo nailed him with a perfect throw. Villar also made two errors in the top of the first.I think it is a good day for him to just take a step back in general, Counsell said. It is a good spot to just step back and watch the game.TRAINERS ROOMDiamondbacks: 3B Jake Lamb struck out as a pinch hitter in the seventh and stayed in the game at third. He missed the previous two games with a bruised left hand. Hale said that Lamb would start Friday. ... OF David Peralta (lower back strain) is scheduled to join the Diamondbacks on Friday. Hes been on a rehab assignment at Triple-A Reno. ... OF Socrates Brito (fractured right toe) has gone 1 for 7 two rehab games with the AZL Diamondbacks.Brewers: The Brewers have been very cautious with Braun and have given him several scheduled days off to rest. Braun had a tough May. He missed four games with right wrist soreness, two games with lower back soreness and two with neck soreness. ... C Jonathan Lucroy had a scheduled game off to rest. ... INF Will Middlebrooks has shown some improvement. He was placed on the 15-day disabled list July 25 with a lower right leg strain. Will has made some nice progress, manager Craig Counsell said. He was actually able to get on the field yesterday and play catch, which is a good sign. Hopefully, were on the short end.UP NEXTDiamondbacks: RHP Zack Godley (3-1, 5.88 ERA) makes his second career appearance and first start against the Los Angeles Dodgers.Brewers: RHP Junior Guerra (6-2, 2.85) aims for his 11th quality start on Friday when he faces the Pittsburgh Pirates for the second time this season. He is 0-0 with a 2.57 ERA in two career games. Jerseys NFL Cheap Cheap Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys NFL Cheap Cheap Jerseys Jerseys Wholesale Cheap NFL Jerseys Wholesale
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