The Milwaukee Bucks had the NBA Finals in their sights last postseason but just fell short against the Raptors. If they had made it past Toronto, they probably would have gone to the finals and beaten the injury-depleted Warriors. So, are the Bucks the favorites for the NBA title this time around?
Last season in the playoffs the Bucks were far too reliant on Giannis Antetokounmpo getting them out of trouble. That worked perfectly in the regular season where Giannis could drive to the basket at will. In the playoffs it was another story, and he was heavily guarded, which blunted the Bucks’ offense. That failure by the team to adapt, and for Giannis to find another way is what cost them in the end. It’s how the Bucks learn from those mistakes last year that will dictate how well they do in the coming season.
The Greek Freak
Giannis Antetokounmpo is the MVP, and it’s hard to argue against that award, but he has to change if he’s going to lead the Bucks to a championship. LeBron James found himself heavily guarded in his early seasons, and he had to learn to make his jumpers a threat to make him harder to guard. Giannis was showing signs that he is becoming more willing to shoot from 3-point range, and that’s promising. If he can continue to develop his shooting game, then he can become virtually unguardable, giving the upper hand back to the Bucks.
They are likely to breeze through their conference this upcoming season, with the exception of Philly and possibly the Celtics. If they use what big games they get during the regular season to improve Giannis’ shooting and stopover relying on him, it could be their year.