Entering their second year with Jason Kidd at the helm, the Milwaukee Bucks are a team that’s left basketball fans wondering about their ceiling this time around. After shocking the association by finishing with a 41-41 record after winning just 15 games the previous year, the Bucks’ management has taken strides to not only retain their roster that finished 2nd in defensive efficiency, but improve it.
Locking down Khris Middleton to a multi-year deal was crucial early on in the offseason for the Bucks and it set the stage for a number of different moves. Greivis Vasquez, acquired via trade, and Greg Monroe, signed through free agency, are two key additions that will help Milwaukee’s bottom-5 offense almost immediately. This should particularly help come playoff time, should the Bucks lock down a spot in the Eastern Conference again. In their series against the Chicago Bulls last April, the Bucks saw their offensive stats take a serious dip. They only scored 88.5 points through 6 playoff competitions, down from 97.8 in the regular season. Their overall field-goal percentage dropped from .459 to a disappointing .388. While it was fun to watch this young Bucks roster get after it on one end of the ball, their inability to produce baskets was equally as frustrating. Monroe gives this offense a pivot point and proven go-to scorer, who still has time to develop. Vasquez should give that well-needed spark off of the bench, similar to that of Jerryd Bayless.
Heading into last season, Milwaukee had virtually no expectations to succeed. This time around, they are expected to take the next step forward and solidify themselves as a solid team in the Eastern Conference. Their youth is recognized league-wide as 13.8% of GMs chose Giannis Antetokounmpo as the most likely player to break out this season. Teammate Jabari Parker, who is still recovering from a torn ACL, tied with Bradley Beal for 3rd in the poll at 10.3%.
The Milwaukee Bucks are scheduled to play 18 games throughout October/November, half of which will be at the BMO Harris Bradley Center in Wisconsin. The Bucks have a seemingly favorable schedule, as 12 of these competitions are slated to come against opponents who finished with a total of 38 wins or less in 2014-2015. This includes two matches against the lowly New York Knicks, who the Bucks swept last season by a margin of 10.8 points through 4 matches.
Courtesy of Bleacher Report