I’m sure many of you were thinking this was going to be a Super Bowl post in this space today. As terribly as the NFL season ended, (nothing was exciting about Super Bowl LIII.) it’s been over for me personally since December. (a Packers season to forget) I’ve been all in on the Milwaukee Bucks. Curiously, there’s a large contingent that hasn’t been.
For a large part of my life, I could understand why. The Bucks were mired in the “chase the eight” direction of then owner Herb Kohl. There wasn’t much to look forward to. You just hoped they didn’t get beat by 50 every night. And if they did make postseason, you knew they weren’t going to make it past the first round.
Ownership changes, roster changes (including the drafting of a generational talent in Giannis), and coaching changes, have brought the Bucks to a point most supporters thought they’d never return to. The best in the NBA. (No, I didn’t stutter.)
You will always hear Giannis’s name mentioned first when you hear about the Bucks. Rightfully so. He’s the MVP in waiting in my opinion and is proving it on both ends of the floor. The Bucks are unstoppable with Giannis, but can beat you without him. This is thanks to what may have been the acquisition of the year in coach Mike Budenholzer.
Budenholzer’s offensive and defensive systems have unlocked the potential of this roster. Something everyone who followed the Bucks saw, but was suppressed by the archaic systems of Jason Kidd. Players like DJ Wilson and Sterling Brown (players who were perpetual DNPCD victims under Kidd) are contributing mightily. Khris Middleton is an all-star. (Finally) Giannis is the all-star captain. (Rightfully) Eric Bledsoe is playing at an all-star level. Malcolm Brogdon is flirting with a 50-40-90 season. I haven’t even brought out the important numbers yet.
The Bucks are having great individual success, while putting together tremendous team success. Owners of the NBA’s best record (38-13), Milwaukee is the only team to not have lost two games in a row. The Bucks are also the only team in the association to be top five in offense and defense. (Ranked third in offensive efficiency and first in defensive efficiency.) This team is more than Giannis and the Let It Fly Experience. They get it done in all facets of the game.
Some of have failed to put eyes and respeck on the Bucks name. (Yeah, I said respeck.) I get it. You were distracted by the NFL and some are counting down the days to the start of the MLB season. (Pitchers and catchers report next week.) There is no excuse now. The Bucks are the NBA’s best team. They are not to be ignored. It’s their time now.