Do the Bucks Have What It Takes to win the 2020 NBA title?
The Bucks were the best team in the NBA this season posting historical numbers and have the MVP, but will Giannis and his teammates make the NBA fear the deer, winning an NBA championship?
Giannis Antetokounmpo – This year’s MVP
I’m going to start with their best player: Giannis Antetokounmpo, he is the most dominant interior force since Shaq, is a freak athlete and is, in my opinion, the best defender in the NBA and deserves the Defensive Player of the Year award. Is he the best player in the NBA? You have a valid argument if you want to say he is, I think he is undoubtedly the best regular-season player in the NBA, but he hasn’t shown enough in the playoffs for me to grant him the crown he so apparently desires. In last year’s playoffs, he was stopped by an amazing raptors defense that would build a wall in front of him; the question this year is if he can find a counter in these situations, will he be able to shoot the three-ball and the mid-range well enough to be respected? Will he make the right pass to the open teammate?
The other problem for the Bucks in the playoffs is if his teammates will be up to the challenge.
Khris Middleton – Hyper-efficient 2nd option
The second-best player on the team is Khris Middleton, this season has been a marvelous one for him, he’s been hyper-efficient from every part of the field, and an integral part to the Bucks’ success. He’s been so great that I wouldn’t discount him making an All-NBA team and it wouldn’t be without merit; he’s a sniper from three, on and off-ball, a very good defender and has improved his shooting(and it was already great) from last season, especially in the painted area. His biggest qualities are Antetokounmpo’s biggest flaws (3 point-shooting and mid-range shot creation), that’s why they complement each other so strongly. I’m not convinced by his performance throughout the postseason in recent years, but given his astounding year, I think he will come through when it counts.
Eric Bledsoe – Disappearing in the Playoffs
The other notable player for the Bucks is Eric Bledsoe, he is a fabulous defender but isn’t nearly as good on the other end, moreover, in the playoffs, his offensive game is close to non-existent, I think he’s been one of if not the biggest reason for the Bucks defeat against the Raptors; his lack of an outside shot operating besides Giannis is a rather consequential problem, his absence of creation ability makes him a huge obstacle to the team’s playoff success.
Brook Lopez – An amazing standing reach that is essential to the Bucks’ defense
I won’t speak about every player on the team, but I wanted to highlight two players: Brook Lopez and Donte di Vincenzo.
Brook is the second-most-important player on Milwaukee’s defense, he is the reason they can play their style of conceding threes and locking the paint up, more specifically his towering standing reach is a very big, or better very tall impediment to the players funneled to the rim by the Bucks’ excellent perimeter defenders. he also offers another dimension to the Bucks’ offense with his post-up game and although he hasn’t been bombing threes as well as last season he has also been a positive contributor on the offensive side.
Brook is the second-most-important player on Milwaukee’s defense, he is the reason they can play their style
Donte di Vincenzo – Under-the-radar high-level role player
The other player I wanted to mention is Donte di Vincenzo and the jump he has made between his first and second years. After only playing 27 games last year, this season he has been an outstanding defender on the perimeter and has been a tremendous rebounder. on offense, he is not a sharpshooter, but he’s improved significantly. He makes up for his below-average shooting with his ability as a cutter and as a finisher at the rim.
The rest of Milwaukee’s rotation is complementary to Giannis
Players like Wesley Matthews, George Hill, Marvin Williams, Pat Connaughton, and Ersan Ilyasova are part of the rotation, smart veterans, who can shoot and defend, the other player that’s part of the rotation is Robin Lopez, who is very good defensively and can play his brother’s role and gives a different look to the team with post-up-play. Their most important bench piece may be George Hill, as he possesses more of an offensive-creation aspect in his game than the other players on Milwaukee’s bench and he could be essential in the playoffs when Bledsoe is struggling.
Will they win?
I honestly think the Bucks are going to reach the NBA finals, but don’t have what it takes to beat any of the two LA teams, Bledsoe’s playoff underperformance and the loss of perimeter creation with the departure of Brogdon will continue to damage the team’s championship aspirations.