Home » Season preview: Milwaukee Bucks, Detroit Pistons, Miami Heat: One major weakness of the Bucks remains

Season preview: Milwaukee Bucks, Detroit Pistons, Miami Heat: One major weakness of the Bucks remains

by archyde

The preview series continues in the Eastern Conference a good three weeks before the start of the season. Today we’re taking a close look at two title contenders, the Miami Heat and the Milwaukee Bucks. Also, what about the Detroit Pistons rebuild?

In the weeks leading up to the October 19 season start, we take an in-depth look at each of the 30 NBA teams. Here you will find an overview of all the previews that have already been published.


Milwaukee Bucks: The Transactions


  • Draft: MarJon Beauchamp (Nr. 24), Hugo Besson (Nr. 58)
  • Free Agency: Joe Ingles (Blazers)


  • Free Agency: Jordan Nwora, Rayjon Tucker (Melbourne United)

Milwaukee Bucks: Key Stats 2021-22

Record Regular SeasonOffensive RatingDefensiv-RatingNet-Rating
51-31 (3rd place in the east)114,3 (3.)111,1 (14.)3,2 (8.)

Milwaukee Bucks: Strategy in the offseason

After the championship came the end in round two, but it was a comparatively quiet offseason in Wisconsin. The reasons are understandable. Missing part of the Big Three in the series with the Boston Celtics, Khris Middleton (who will miss the start of the season) still had Milwaukee a chance to knock out the eventual finalist in a home game. It didn’t work, also because Jayson Tatum played the game of his life for Boston.

This is how the status quo was preserved at the Bucks. New contracts were agreed with Jevon Carter, Wesley Matthews, Pat Connaughton, Serge Ibaka and Bobby Portis, whereby the extension for Portis in particular (4 years, 49 million dollars) was quite expensive. That left just one real tool for the offseason and that was the Mini-MLE.

Somewhat surprisingly, this went to Joe Ingles, who tore his cruciate ligament at the beginning of the year and will not be there for a few more months. The Aussie is now 34 but is expected to help out with playmaking and shooting off the wing once he’s fit again, giving some relief to the Big Three.

Giannis Antetokounmpo, Jrue Holiday and Middleton have had to shoulder a lot of burdens in the past two years, and the somewhat broader squad should provide some relief, especially in the regular season. However, the Ingles signing is also a sign that the regular season is not the top priority again and that everything is subordinate to success in the postseason. As a team in a rather small market, the Bucks pay almost 60 million dollars in luxury tax, Giannis’ Prime should be exploited as best as possible at all costs.

Milwaukee Bucks: The Weak Spots

Despite a $170 million payroll, the roster is far from perfectly balanced. A lot is built on the star power of the Big Three, which was also evident in the playoffs and crumbled when a pillar broke away in Middleton. Milwaukee ended up having trouble finding lineups that were offensively strong and defensively unassailable. The offseason hasn’t changed that.

A good backup for Holiday is still missing, especially since George Hill (36) is a year older. Carter did a decent job, but is offensively limited. It looks similar on the wing, where with Ingles there is now more offense in theory. Whether he can keep up defensively is questionable. But wings are needed if the Bucks want to play their best lineup with Giannis on the five. Grayson Allen wasn’t the answer at this point.

NBA Preview: The Milwaukee Bucks roster

Point GuardShooting GuardSmall ForwardPower ForwardCenter
Jrue HolidayGrayson AllenChris MiddletonGiannis AntetokounmpoBrook Lopez
George HillWesley MatthewsPat ConnaughtonJoe InglesBobby Portis
Jevon CarterMarJon BeauchampThanasis AntetokounmpoSerge Ibaka

Milwaukee Bucks: The beacon of hope

Maybe it wouldn’t have mattered with Middleton either. Here are the numbers again Giannis Antetokounmpo hung up against the Celtics. 33.9 points, 14.7 rebounds, 7.1 assists in an average of 40 minutes. It was a demonstration of the strength of the Greek, who only ran out of breath towards the end.

It still showed the development of the double MVP. Since the bubble in Orlando there has been no defense that can take the 27-year-old out of the game. Antetokounmpo can always put pressure on the ring and now also has a solid arsenal of floaters, small hook throws and turnaround jump shots that any defense must respect. It’s not bad at all that the threesome doesn’t fall any further. Giannis already has enough counters for every defense in the association.

Milwaukee Bucks: The Bottom Line

As long as Antetokounmpo is on the field, the Bucks are a serious title contender, possibly even the top favorite for the championship. While the team, with the exception of Giannis, is not particularly athletic and is not as deep as other contenders, Antetokounmpo is the NBA’s ultimate trump card at the moment.

The core of the Bucks has been together for a few years now, the mechanisms fit and Coach Mike Budenholzer could mostly rely on the stars. The age of some role players such as Brook Lopez (34), Matthews (35), Hill (36) or Ingles (34) worries that there could be a regression here. But since the Bucks won’t give much to the regular season, the oldies should get enough breaks. The second title in three years is possible.

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