It’s championship or bust for our last team that we preview in the Central Division, the Milwaukee Bucks
Opening night is tonight which means Basketball is officially back! We save our last preview for one of the favorites to win the NBA Championship. You can read my preview for the Indiana Pacers here, Detroit Pistons here, and Cleveland Cavaliers here. For the Milwaukee Bucks, it’s business as usual with eyes on a second NBA championship in three years.
Record: 51-31 (3rd in Eastern Conference)
Lost to the Boston Celtics in seven games in the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals
vs Bulls: 4-0
Memorable moment: Jrue Holiday locking down Marcus Smart late in a Game 5 victory.
Signed Forward Joe Ingles
Re-signed Forward-Centers Bobby Portis and Serge Ibaka, Guards Wesley Matthews, and Jevon Carter
For the Milwaukee Bucks and superstar Forward Giannis Antetokounmpo, there’s a clear goal to achieve: win an NBA Championship.
Some would say that if Forward Khris Middleton doesn’t sprain his MCL in the first round vs. our Chicago Bulls, Milwaukee would have repeated and been gunning for a third straight title. Injuries and luck are a part of the game and Milwaukee finished their season with little of either. Middleton had wrist surgery in July, and he’s expected to miss at least the first part of the regular season. Luckily for basketball fans around the world, this means Giannis takes on more responsibility early on and creates a strong campaign to potentially win his third NBA MVP.
Giannis, Giannis, Giannis
The consensus best player in the world, the Milwaukee Bucks go as far as Antetokounmpo will take them. Even in defeat against the Boston Celtics in the 2022 playoffs, Giannis became the first player in NBA history to record 200 points, 100 rebounds, and 50 assists in a single playoff series. With no Middleton on the roster, Boston was just a bit too much, even for Giannis.
Now entering his 10th season and still in the heart of his prime, we see if Giannis expands his game and come back an even better version of himself. Last season, he improved to become a 72% free throw shooter. This season, the hope for Bucks fans would be getting his three-point percentage closer to 35% instead of his career average of 28.8%.
He had a lot of memorable moments playing for his native Greece in Eurobasket 2022.
The addition of Forward Joe Ingles is an added playmaker to try and make life easier for Giannis and Guard Jrue Holiday. Ingles, coming off a Torn ACL suffered in January, won’t be ready for the start of the season, but will be a welcoming presence when he is ready.
Jrue Holiday should also see a nice uptick in stats early on and his on-ball defense remains one of the best in the entire league.
Besides the addition of Ingles, Milwaukee kept their roster much of the same from last season, a clear sign that they thought they were the best team in the league a season ago. My only gripe with this roster is that Grayson Allen will still be their starting shooting guard. That’s a spot where I think they need to be active in the trade market in the coming months. A better backup point guard would be a good addition as well.
The leaders in load management the last couple of seasons, don’t expect much to change. The Milwaukee Bucks are known for being extra cautious when it comes to Giannis Antetokounmpo (don’t blame them) and their other stars, so there will be games in the regular season that simply don’t matter to them. When you’re this good consistently, it’s a luxury you can afford.
As loaded as the top half of the Eastern Conference is, it’s hard to go against the Milwaukee Bucks as being the favorites to be back in the NBA Finals come June. Let’s see if lady luck leans more on their side this season.
Let’s get ready for six months of fun Bulls fans!