With the offseason complete and the NBA regular season rapidly approaching, it is time to preview each team and set our expectations. Next up, we take a look at the Milwaukee Bucks.
Regular Season: 56-17
Eastern Conference: 1st
Playoffs: Lost to Miami Heat in Second Round 4-1
- Jordan Nwora (45th Overall Pick)
- Jrue Holiday (Pelicans)
- Bobby Portis
- DJ Augustin
- Torrey Craig
- Bryn Forbes
- Jaylen Adams
- Nik Stauskas
- Marvin Williams
- Eric Bledsoe (Pelicans)
- George Hill (Pelicans)
- Sterling Brown
- Ersan Ilyasova
- Kyle Korver
- Robin Lopez
- Wesley Matthews
Three Key Questions
How will Holiday and others fit in?
The Bucks were obviously in panic mode this offseason to bring in talent or risk losing the reigning back-to-back MVP in Giannis Antetokounmpo. There was a significant amount of player turnover in Milwaukee and Jrue Holiday is the headliner. The Bucks traded a massive amount of their future assets in order to get Holiday and many are wondering if it will be worth all the trouble. Holiday is an incredibly talented defensive guard who can bring some shooting and veteran experience to the team and the other additions to the bench will certainly give the Bucks a fresh feel. While the front office did reshape the roster, they may have lost a fair bit of depth which may make a difference down the stretch. So, is Holiday enough of an improvement to help the Bucks when push comes to shove?
Can the Bucks make another major move?
While the Bucks did move a significant amount of assets in the Jrue Holiday trade, they still have some pieces they can offer in order to improve their starting lineup should they look concerning towards the deadline. Their major problem is the salary matching and salary cap. If they are willing to part with several young pieces, the Bucks can bring in a solid starter like Bogdanovic, but they are quite limited due to their cap space issues so ultimately the short answer is yes but it’s complicated.
Can the Bucks make it to the NBA Finals?
Last season, the Bucks seemed certain to reach the finals after being dominant throughout the regular season, but they were met with disappointment once again, falling to Miami in the second round. After two seasons of disappointment and a retooling of the roster, the pressure is on for the Bucks to make the Finals at least. Mike Budenholzer needs to run a shorter rotation; Giannis needs to play like a superstar in the playoffs and the supporting cast will need to step up, but I believe this may be the year we finally see the Bucks in the NBA Finals which would break their 46-year finals drought.
It is almost pointless to talk about the Bucks throughout the regular season as it does not matter until the playoffs come around. Expect them to be slightly weaker in the regular season due to their reduced depth but potentially stronger during the playoffs with more top-end talent. The future of a lot of the Bucks roster and coaching staff hinge on a successful season so look for a championship or bust attitude from Milwaukee this season.
Regular Season Record: 53-19
Eastern Conference: 1st