Preview of the NBA 2021-22 season over the Milwaukee Bucks. Data, results from the previous season, a look at their squad and future free agents, the objectives of the course, the player to watch and a forecast on the franchise.
- Market movements: Transfers of George Hill and Rodney Hood (here all movements).
- Backcourt: Jrue Holiday, George Hill, Tremont Waters, Justin Robinson, Grayson Allen, Donte DiVincenzo, Georgios Kalaitzakis, Elijah Bryant y Pat Connaughton.
- Frontcourt: Khris Middleton, Rodney Hood, Jordan Nwora, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Bobby Portis, Thanasis Antetokounmpo, Semi Ojeleye, Brook Lopez, Johnny O’Bryant and Sandro Mamukelashvili.
This is how they face the season
With the tranquility of knowing the path to glory. The Milwaukee project has gone from faltering – including possible firing of Mike Budenholzer – to now riding the crest of the wave. Last season, which began with doubts, ended in style with the first ring in 50 years and a Giannis Antetokounmpo who earned a place in the epic – and in the Olympus – of those few chosen ones who give their best version in the decisive moment; not in vain did he sign 50 points in the sixth game of the Finals against the Phoenix Suns.
Repeating the plan aims to be the most successful, and as such they have understood it in Wisconsin. The foundations are in place and now it is about maintaining them over time. Giannis Antetokounmpo continues to lead a team he opted for when voices whispered that he had to leave if he wanted to win. He renewed without knowing what would happen. Possibly it was about winning now or – who knows – maybe asking to leave sooner rather than later. But his love for Milwaukee, where he has grown up under the hoops, was greater than any hint of doubt or advice in another direction. His decision earned the highest possible reward: ring and Finals MVP.
With The Greek Freak up front, these Bucks introduce themselves to the new season with their Big Three intact; one that perhaps monopolizes less highlights than others, but that performs like almost none. Jrue Holiday, one of the most underrated star point guards in the NBA, gives the team not only scoring ability, but an elite defense that shone in the last playoffs in its own light – how can you forget his Game 5 Finals steal from Devin Booker… -. And if the point guard is reliable, what about Khris Middleton. Since 2012 in Milwaukee, the shooting guard is another who seemed never to get recognition, but winning the championship, with 23.6 points per night with his signing, has completely changed the narrative. Middleton is that player capable of putting a basket when the opposing defense squeezes the most, when the ball burns the most.
Milwaukee has a strong foundation, but it’s not just that. In the 2018-19 and 2019-20 campaigns they were the best team in the regular season with 60 and 56 victories (they played 73 games) respectively. They were years of favoritism. In the city where Harley-Davidsons were born they seemed eager. They started each season by stepping on the accelerator, which was enough to set the pace for months, but when the moment of truth came… they were outmatched by others who had been in the slipstream for the same time. It is true that the case of the Orlando bubble is exceptional – like almost everything since March 2020 – but the result was the same. The favorite poster was hung on them, but they did not even reach the Finals.
That is why we speak and insist on repeating the plan. It is no longer about keeping the rosterRather, the philosophy to face the NBA’s 75th season is the same. The 2020-21 campaign was not so resounding in regular season; What’s more, up to six teams achieved a better balance of victories and losses, and just that may be what made them keep the tank full for series as tough as the one played against the Brooklyn Nets, or to be able to lift a 2-0 down in the finals. Well, that and that Giannis wasn’t stopped by even a knee injury.
Of course there have been changes. No team in the League can keep its squad intact for two years in a row, and the must – however small – is having lost PJ Tucker. The veteran forward provided that point of energy and annoyance for rivals so necessary in any team. You can finish a game without scoring, but your game does not understand statistics. Press, you need some hard fault, your breath hits the back of your neck … In short: having it in front of you is not pleasant. Who has come for him? Well, saving the distances, we can point to Semi Ojeleye. The ex of Boston is physically similar (something less than six feet and corpulent) and does not skimp on efforts either. In addition, he also hits the triples from the corners (he was at 37% last year).
The other sounded casualty of the team has been Bryn Forbes. The shooter has spent only one year in Milwaukee before returning to San Antonio. You may notice their absence at first, but it shouldn’t last long if they involve newcomers Rodney Hood, George Hill and Grayson Allen as expected. The Bucks have said goodbye to a couple of pieces, but it’s not a tragedy. And it is that they have also ensured the continuity of Bobby Portis, a player who came as a bet and who has been revealed as an excellent investment that has also earned the affection of the fans for his intensity on the court.
There is no single compelling reason to doubt Milwaukee. Same pillars, same coach, secondary changes … Of course they must have zero confidence, but while others start the ascent, they already have their base established in the middle of the mountain. If Giannis Antetokounmpo is still hungry – which will for sure – one more year we have to fear the Bucks.
The player to watch
Grayson Allen. The player from Memphis may be more decisive than many expect. If it had to be defined in two words, opting for points and intensity would not be far from reality. With three years of experience in the NBA, which he reached as number 21 in the 2018 draft, he has matured and demonstrated that he has qualities to last a long time in the League. Last season (the best of his short career) he averaged 10.6 points, 3.2 rebounds and 2.2 assists in 25.2 minutes per night, all while nailing 39.1% from the 3-point range. . The Wisconsin guys gave Sam Merrill and two future second rounds of the draft for him. It seems like a success. He is a player who has been growing and who can even be a component of the starting five formed backcourt with Jrue Holiday. We do not know the plan that Budenholzer has for him, but all the ingredients are given so that he contributes a lot to the current champion.
NBA preview 2021-22 Milwaukee Bucks, prediction
Elio Martínez, director of Trends Wide, leaves a personal and subjective forecast on what he thinks each franchise will do during the season in the NBA 2021-22 preview.
As of today I see them first in the East in the regular season and at the same level of favoritism as the Nets in terms of the title. The Brooklyn thing in the first weeks is to see how it will work due to the case Irving, so my bet at the head of the Atlantic conference is on Milwaukee, the current champion and a real team.
Previous team analyzed: New York Knicks. Next team: Denver Nuggets.
(Cover photo: Justin Casterline / Getty Images)