The Bucks dream season came to a screeching halt with 4 straight losses to the Raptors in the conference finals. Giannis was a world destroyer for almost the entire season, but had his limitations as a shooter exposed by Kawhi in the series. Giannis seems to recognize those limitations and plans to work on his shooting all summer. As for the rest of the Bucks roster, they’ll be heading into this season with all but one of their key contributors from last year resigned. That would be Malcolm Brogdon, who decided to join the Pacers. Losing him is a significant blow, but the Bucks did a good job recovering from his loss and should still be a top team in the league. Still, just like every other team in the league, they do have some questions moving forward about their roster.
|Point Guard PG|
|Shooting Guard SG|
|Small Forward SF|
|Power Forward PF|
|Point Guard PG||
|Shooting Guard SG||
|Small Forward SF|
|Power Forward PF||
For most of the regular season and much of the playoffs, Giannis looked like the best player in the world, and ended up winning the MVP award. It was an award he earned and deserved, but it doesn’t change the fact that there are still steps he needs to take. Against Toronto, Giannis struggled toward the end of the series against Kawhi, who he couldn’t dominate physically like he could with others. Kawhi sagged off at dared him to beat them with the 3-ball, which Giannis was unable to do. Giannis is already one of the best players in the league, but his lack of shooting can hinder him at times in a half court offense. He’s unable to take over games the way some other players in the league can. If he can become a consistent shooter, he could truly become a player that we’ve never seen before. Already his blend of height, athleticism and versatility are one of a kind, but adding shooting to his game would make him one of the most complete players ever. If he can add the 3-point game to his arsenal, the Bucks would probably become the clear favorites to win it all.
The biggest disappointment of the Bucks offseason would probably be their failure to keep Malcolm Brogdon. The optics of it look even worse if its true they didn’t keep him because they wanted to avoid the luxury tax. At times Brogdon looked like the second-best player on the team last year, and he was one of their best options against Kawhi defensively in the playoffs last year. Still, what’s done is done and the team must move forward, and the Bucks did a solid job bouncing back from the loss. They managed to extract a first and two second round picks for Brogdon from the Pacers. They then managed to sign guards Kyle Korver and Wesley Matthews. Neither one are as good as Brogdon but at the very least they can replace the shooting and floor spacing he provided. At the end of the day the Bucks do have the one thing that matters most, and that’s Giannis. The rest of the roster is still important but as long as they have him, they should be contenders for the foreseeable future.
This Bucks team is one of the best in the league but it remains to be seen how they stack up against all the other contenders. They’re one of the few contenders that haven’t undergone significant change in the offseason, so in terms of continuity, they probably hold the most significant advantage. In the East, it would seem it’s between them and the Sixers. When matching them up the Sixers would appear to be more top heavy, but the Bucks would presumably have more depth. With all due respect to Embiid, Giannis would be the best player in that series. Against western powerhouses like the Lakers and Clippers, things are a little different. They probably have more depth than the Lakers but the duo of Lebron and Davis would give the Bucks frontcourt fits. The Clippers might even pose a tougher challenge, as both Kawhi and Paul George are part of the exclusive club of players that could slow down Giannis. The Clippers would also win the depth battle, as Lou Williams and Montrezl Harrell provide a dynamic duo that the Bucks bench would have a hard time matching. This Bucks squad is a championship worthy team, but as of now, calling them the favorites would be an overestimation.