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The Milwaukee Bucks have the NBA’s best record and were on pace to win 70 games before the shutdown. The Bucks were in this position last season entering the playoffs but ultimately couldn’t finish with the championship. Milwaukee has come back this season with every intention of hoisting the Larry O’Brien trophy when it’s all said and done.
Take It From The Top
Giannis Antetokounmpo should be considered the front runner for the league’s MVP and Defensive Player of the year awards. He’s averaging 29.6 points and 13.7 rebounds per game, while shooting over 54% from the field. Antetokounmpo is an absolute buzzsaw on his way to the basket with an array of moves and the athleticism to finish strong.
He’s also a nightmarish defender with the foot speed and hand quickness to stifle any player he’s on. His anticipation, nose for the ball and overall strength, makes it impossible to keep him off the boards. Antetokounmpo has molded himself into the ultimate player for today’s style of play.
Kris Middleton is hardly mentioned when we think of NBA All-Stars but he’s right there when it comes to production. He’s averaging 21.1 points and 6.2 rebounds per game, flanking Antetokounmpo as the Bucks’ second scorer.
He’s shooting just under 50% from the field and just over 41% from three point land. He is a very reliable second scorer and also a guy that doesn’t miss his free throws when he gets to the line.
The efficient scoring Milwaukee gets out of their two main scorers keeps the pressure on opposing defenses: you can’t just game plan to stop one guy.
Milwaukee leads the league in points per game at 118.6. They can pour it on even with only four players scoring in the double digits. Eric Bledsoe (15.4 points, 5 4 assists per game) and Brook Lopez (11.0 points) are the only other Buck players averaging double digits.
This may put a bit more pressure on Antetokounmpo and Middleton to score but Milwaukee can go ten players deep on most nights. Head coach Mike Budenholzer has a slew of players (mostly veterans) he can call on to mix and match his lineups.
Donte DiVencenzo, Ersan Ilyasova, George Hill, Kyle Korver and Wesley Matthews (the fifth starter), all play their role. All are capable shooters and a few of them can really be deadly from long range.
Milwaukee is trying to win their first title since the 1970-1971 season. They play as a team without any envy or spotlight cravings.
With Giannis Antetokounmpo playing lights out every night and the way they feed off of him, they might just pull it off.