The Bucks faithful, still licking their wounds after a heart-breaking conference finals
exit, have another winning season to look forward to. The balance of power may
now clearly be back in the Western Conference, but Milwaukee has the inside track
to making it to the NBA Finals, and- from there- it’s anyone’s title.
While the Bucks have lost Brogdon, they still are ranked #1 in the East in most
current projections- with the 76ers coming in right behind them. The most
important add for the Bucks has been the subtraction of Kawhi Leonard- the man
who single-handedly beat the Bucks and then also Golden State. Leonard was a
man on a mission, and nobody in Milwaukee will miss him.
Many people ask: Is there enough talent on this team aside from Giannis to win
the NBA title? I argue that there is. Giannis needs to have a repeat, or slightly
better year, than his 2019 MVP season. There is no reason to expect anything less.
The surrounding teammates include Middleton, Bledsoe, and then several other
“bit” players that are each good for 10-12 PPG. That said, there are a couple
players with some relevant upside, including Pat Connaughton- who had a couple of
excellent games in the recent playoffs.
Defensively, Milwaukee should continue to be one of the best teams in the East.
Some of this has to do with having an excellent offense and constantly putting
pressure on the opposing team to score over 100 points.
Losing Brogdon, an excellent shooter, will hurt. There is no question about that.
But Coach-of-the-Year Budenholzer will do all he can to shore up the rest of the
offense, by giving his players their best chance on the court.
Barring a significant GM-directed upgrade, Milwaukee is poised to win the East and
take their chance against an excellent team from LA- be it the Lakers or the
Clippers. It would not surprise me if the Bucks are forced to get past Leonard
again, but this time in the NBA Finals. Let’s hope for a little better series from Antetokounmpo, and a much better series from Bledsoe. That coupled with a non-
Herculean few games from Kawhi could very well spell the first Bucks championship in 49 years.
By: Ken Lambert