One of the most intriguing storylines of the 2018-2019 NBA season is the emergence of the Milwaukee Bucks. In recent years, the Bucks have often been overlooked by the basketball community, partly due to both poor play and residing in one of the smallest markets in the league. The once great success the team found in the 70s and 80s seemed to have been all but forgotten from everybody’s minds. However, the Bucks are putting the league on notice, as through more than a third of the season, they find themselves with the 2nd best record in the NBA at 19-9.
Under the direction of new head coach Mike Budenholzer, Milwaukee’s years of mediocrity since their 2001 eastern conference finals trip seems to be fading fast. Through 28 games, Brew City leads the league in total net rating, as they sport the 3rd best offensive rating and 5th best defensive rating, despite playing through the 4th hardest schedule in the association (behind Utah, Phoenix, and Portland). Leading the charge for the Bucks is MVP favorite, Giannis Antetokounmpo, who is putting up monster numbers at 26.6ppg, 13.2rpg, and 6.1apg.
Yet, this is not the same team that fans have watched the last three years, with the success of the team all determined by the Greek Freak’s performance each game. The Bucks now sport one of the deepest rosters in the league. Giannis now has the supporting cast he has been waiting for, as his fellow starting lineup features all star hopefuls Khris Middleton and Eric Bledsoe, 2017 ROY Malcolm Brogdon, and free agent signing Brook Lopez. The roster is rounded out with great bench players in Pat Connaughton, Sterling Brown, Ersan ILysova, as well as other solid role players.
Despite a fantastic start to the season, many basketball analysts discredit the Bucks championship aspirations in favor of more high profile teams, such as Toronto and Boston. Regardless, it is clear the Bucks are on a mission. Leading the league in points per game, rebounds per game, and three pointers made, while having the most wins against teams at .500 or better (11), Milwaukee does not seem to be going away any time soon.