The Milwaukee Bucks are currently one of the top teams in the East right now, sitting third with a 35-20 record. They’re also first in scoring and rebounding, fourth in field goal percentage, second in three-point shooting, sixth on defense, eighth in steals and 11th in assists in the league this season.
|20-21 Stats||Points||Rebounds||Assists||Field Goal||3PT-FG||Steals||Defensive Rating|
They’ve won six of their last 10 games and are on a three-game winning streak.
They’re recently took a game over the fourth-seeded Atlanta Hawks, 120-109, with seven guys scoring double-figures.
Despite the strong run this season, it seems that the fans now have zero faith for them after years of disappointment in the playoffs.
In the past four seasons, the Milwaukee Bucks only reached the conference Finals once and were bounced out of the first-round for two-consecutive seasons.
It doesn’t help that in the last two seasons, Giannis Antetokounmpo won the MVP title back-to-back.
|Playoff Years||2016-17||2017-18||2018-19 (MVP)||2019-20 (MVP)|
|First-Round||L – Raptors (2-4)||L – Celtics (3-4)||W – Pistons (4-0)||W – Magic (4-1)|
|Conference Semi-Finals||W – Celtics (4-1)||L – Heat (1-4)|
|Conference Finals||L – Raptors (2-4)|
Antetokounmpo didn’t just win the MVP title, he also joined Michael Jordan and Hakeem Olajuwon as the only players in league history to win MVP and Defensive Player of the Year award in the same year.
The Bucks had the first seed in the East in those two seasons, and was heavily picked as the team that will come out in the East and compete in the NBA Finals.
They never came close to that elusive goal.
For the past two seasons, the Greek Freak showed that he can dominate the regular season but has been exposed in the postseason. Despite having a comparison with the great Shaquille O’Neal in terms of dominating one area, he doesn’t look like he’s able to live up to that comparison as he was repeatedly outplayed by the defense of their opponent in the playoffs.
This year, Antetokounmpo is once again averaging MVP type numbers with 28.5 PPG, 11.2 RPG, 6.1 APG, 1.2 SPG, 1.3 BPG in 56.5% FG, while Khris Middleton is right behind him with 20.2 PPG, 6.1 RPG and 5.5 APG.
However, there now three factors that could be the reason why the Bucks finally get over the hump: Jrue Holiday, PJ Tucker and Bobby Portis.
Holiday is averaging 17.2 PPG, 4.6 RPG, 5.4 APG, 1.7 SPG and fits perfectly with Giannis with his defense and playmaking ability. Tucker on the other hand will give veteran leadership and toughness despite only averaging 2.2 PPG and 2.4 RPG and Portis will be that dominant presence in the paint but can also be a reliable shooter from the mid-range averaging 11.4 PPG and 7.2 RPG.
The Bucks have made an upgrade but people won’t believe in them unless they prove them otherwise. As harsh as it may sound, it’s the truth. After whiffing so badly in the playoffs in the last couple of years after having the league’s best record, they’ve got to show that they’re more than a great regular season team.
If they can’t at least make it to a tough conference finals battle, then they’re going to lose even more credibility. Unfortunately, they’ve got even more tough opponents this time around.
What do you think about the Bucks this season? Do you think they can finally get over the hump in the Playoffs? Sound off in the comment section!