Bucks need help to gain playoff berthWisconsin Sports
-- The final week of the NBA regular season begins tonight.
The final week of the N-B-A regular season begins tonight.
And the Milwaukee Bucks will be eliminated from playoff contention unless they beat Toronto at home, and Philadelphia loses at New Jersey. If both don’t happen, Philly will nail down the eighth-and-final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. And then an off-season of more changes could begin in Milwaukee. In fact, the speculation’s already underway. Portland president Larry Miller told his hometown paper that he’ll target Bucks’ general manager John Hammond as a candidate for Trail Blazers’ vacant G-M post. Hammond refuses comment. He and coach Scott Skiles have spent four years in Milwaukee, and both have a year left on their contracts. There’s been some talk about Skiles’ future as well, as the Bucks could face a second straight losing season. Milwaukee went downhill last year at 12 games below .500, following a playoff season in which Hammond was named the N-B-A’s Executive-of-the-Year. Also, Bucks’ forwards Ersan Ilyasova and Carlos Delfino are nearing the end of their contracts. The only way the Bucks can avoid a second straight losing campaign is to win all of their final three games this week. They’re 11-and-9 since Hammond traded Andrew Bogut and Stephen Jackson to Golden State for Monta Ellis and Ekpe Udoh.