The Milwaukee Bucks currently sit atop the Eastern Conference with a record of 50 wins and 8 losses, on track to becoming the third team in NBA history to reach 70 wins in a single season. Some could argue that the Bucks’ overall roster got worse since last year since they lost a borderline All-star in Malcolm Brogdon to the Pacers in a sign and trade and didn’t add a player of his caliber to make up for his stats. Defending MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo is playing 2 fewer minutes a game this year compared to last, but is averaging 2 more points and 1 more rebound per game than last year, while two-time All-star Khris Middleton is playing the best basketball of his career, averaging 21 points and 6 rebounds a game on 51% shooting. Along with these two players significantly leveling up, the Bucks’ supporting cast can all stroke the three efficiently.
This Bucks team is different than other historic, 70-win teams, such as the 2015–16 Warriors. The Bucks don’t go on crazy 35–4 runs in 5 minutes, like the Warriors, but they methodically blow-out every opponent night in and night out. Milwaukee has a 12.2 Margin of victory (MOV), whereas the 15–16 Warriors team had an 11.5 MOV. Milwaukee also gives up the most 3PT attempts of any team in the league. That is not a result of poor defense, but a result of their outstanding interior defense forcing opponents to shoot contested shots from deep. Just the other night the Bucks gave up an astonishing 22 pts in the paint to the defending champion Raptors on their way to an 11-point victory.
With all these record-breaking, never-before-seen statistics many people are still skeptical of this team as a powerhouse in the playoffs. Some doubt their ability to take down teams like the Lakers or Clippers. Although this is an unpopular opinion, I think the Bucks are an NBA powerhouse with a real chance to win the 2020 NBA finals. While the Clippers have such a strong roster and are arguably the deepest team in the NBA, they have also featured 28 different starting lineups and their two superstars, Kawhi Leonard and Paul George have been in and out of the lineup battling injuries. Not to mention that the Clippers are still trying to acclimate new acquisitions Marcus Morris and Reggie Jackson into their rotation. I don’t think that the Clippers have a switch that can turn on and assure chemistry and health during their playoff run. Now don’t get me wrong, I think the Clippers talent along with their elite coaching is unmatched. But there is something to say for the Bucks continuity and the fact that they know how one another plays. I think that will transfer into a magical playoff run for them. As for the Lakers, the Bucks are the only team from the East that has the talent and length to defend the Lakers. They also can shoot them out of a basketball game because Giannis draws so much attention and their role players are all knockdown shooters.
With a combination of their statistical greatness, talent across the board, a reigning MVP, and elite coaching I believe the Bucks have a real chance to cap off this historic season with a championship run and a ring to bring back to Milwaukee.