Season Record: 60-22 , 1st in the East
Head Coach: Mike Budenholzer
Most Frequent Starting Five (56 Games): (G) Eric Bledsoe – (G) Malcolm Brogdon – (F) Khris Middleton – (F) Giannis Antetokounmpo – (C) Brook Lopez
16 July 2018 – Signed F Ersan Ilyasova as a free agent.
17 July 2018 – Signed C Brook Lopez as a free agent.
7 December 2018 – As part of a 3-team trade, the Milwaukee Bucks traded Matthew Dellavedova, John Henson, a 2021 1st round draft pick and a 2021 2nd round draft pick to the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Milwaukee Bucks acquired G George Hill from the Cavaliers and F-C Jason Smith from the Wizards.
7 February 2019 – As part of a 3-team trade, the Milwaukee Bucks traded Jason Smith, a 2019 2nd round draft pick, a 2020 2nd round draft pick, a 2020 2nd round draft pick and a 2021 2nd round draft pick to the New Orleans Pelicans; the Milwaukee Bucks traded Thon Maker to the Detroit Pistons; the New Orleans Pelicans traded Nikola Mirotić to the Milwaukee Bucks.
All the feels.
Giannis’ MVP speech was moving. pic.twitter.com/76owfIV9eJ
— Complex Sports (@ComplexSports) June 25, 2019
The story of the Milwaukee Bucks’ 2018-2019 season begins and ends with Giannis Antetokounmpo. Once a raw prospect with little to no technical skill, The Greek Freak has grown into an unstoppable force. Earning his first berth as the All-Star Games’ leading vote-getter in the East, as well as the coveted 2019 NBA Most Valuable Player Award.
Khris Middleton has always been a brilliant complementary piece. However, his season in 2018-2019 ensured that he was, in fact, a deserved All-Star. While he took a step back in scoring, he boasted career highs in rebounds and assists to compensate. He was a viable second-piece, worthy of being the second star to Antetokounmpo.
Brook Lopez signed with the Milwaukee Bucks for a minuscule salary, relative to his worth. Once a pure post threat, the now dubbed Splash Mountain became a unique inside-outside threat. Averaging 2.2 blocks per game to go along with 37% shooting from deep, Lopez more than earned his extension.
Bucks’ Mike Budenholzer on Eric Bledsoe (2-7 shooting in 20 minutes) after Game 4 blowout loss to Raptors: “We’re going to need Bled. … We need him to play better.” pic.twitter.com/IQQ3weISLG
— Ben Golliver (@BenGolliver) May 22, 2019
Few things can take away from a spectacular season, but the post-season performance of Eric Bledsoe was one of those things. Almost an All-Star in 2019 due to his improved playmaking and defensive ability, Bledsoe made many forget that narrative due to his abysmal play in the playoffs. Particularly against the Toronto Raptors, where he could not hit the broad side of a barn with his jump shot.
Rookie Donte DiVincenzo was expected to make a relative impact on the Bucks season this year. The athletic wing player unfortunately struggled through a number of injuries, limiting him to only 27 games in the 18-19 season.
Nikola Mirotic was brought in to be an additional floor-spacer and perimeter threat for the Bucks. While he was recovering from an injury going into the playoffs, he failed to be clinical when it mattered most.
— TSN (@TSN_Sports) June 30, 2019
Malcolm Brogdon was an absolute class for the Milwaukee Bucks. Not only was he a passable secondary playmaker on the court, but he was the pinnacle of efficiency. Shooting 43% from three and owning a 3:1 assist-to-turnover ratio, Brogdon’s play created a price too high for the Bucks to pay. He was traded to Indiana this summer in a cap-saving move.
Not long ago it seemed that Thon Maker would be the next in the Bucks stable to take a leap. After two and a half seasons though, the Bucks didn’t have the patience. With minimal improvement across the board, Maker was shipped off to Detroit.
With the emergence of Khris Middleton and Malcolm Brogdon, Tony Snell seemed surplus to requirements for the Bucks. Going from 27 minutes per game in 17-18 to 17 minutes per game in 18-19, Snell doesn’t look to be involved in the Bucks’ present or future.
The Milwaukee Bucks did not have a pick in the 2019 NBA Draft. They also made no moves to acquire a draft pick in 2019.
The Milwaukee Bucks have a number of interesting pieces in their youth set up. Unfortunately, they’ve sacrificed a number of draft picks in order to win as soon as possible. Development is not in their short-term plans.
Do you think Robin Lopez’s three-point celebration can catch on? ?
— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) November 25, 2018
The Milwaukee Bucks looked to add a bruising center to complement the finesse game of Brook Lopez. Amazingly, they were able to find such in his twin brother Robin. Robin Lopez is an excellent finisher in the paint, as well as a tenacious rebounder. His skills will spell Antetokounmpo defensively, who was significantly fatigued as the playoffs wore on.
I was not expecting Wesley Matthews at 5 pic.twitter.com/IojNjdNriG
— Lance Smith (@LanceSmithTPC) August 21, 2019
Wes Matthews had an interesting 18-19 campaign. After beginning the season with the low-ambition Dallas Mavericks, he found his way on to the Indiana Pacers’ playoff roster. At 32 years old, Matthews has slowed down, however, he is still a capable defender and more than a passable shooter. Expect Matthews to play a big role going forward.
— Milwaukee Bucks (@Bucks) July 29, 2019
There is absolutely no expected drawback to having a shooter the caliber of Kyle Korver on your roster. At 37 years old, the scouting report on Korver is out. He will knock down threes at an impressive rate. While his individual defensive ability has always been suspect, Korver will have the likes of the Antetokounmpo and Lopez brothers available to cover for him. It is a perfect situation.
— Marco A. Munno (@MarcoAMunno) August 18, 2019
Were one to look at Thanasis Antetokounmpo’s statistics during his last NBA season, they wouldn’t be inspired. However, the older Antetokounmpo brother had a solid season with Panathinaikos and is looking to reinvigorate his career. He isn’t the talent that his brother is, nor is he the offensive role player that most of Milwaukee’s summer acquisitions are. What Antetkounmpo brings to the table is impressive physicality on the court, something they lack at the wing.
The former fourth overall pick in 2016 has failed to live up to expectations. Bender came into the league projected to be one of its premiere stretch bigs. Instead, he has struggled with health and consistency since. Phoenix gave up on him, but the pressure is off in Milwaukee. With The Greek Freak drawing all the attention, Bender will be free to do nothing more than convert on open opportunities.
|Point Guard||Shooting Guard||Small Forward||Power Forward||Center|
|Eric Bledsoe||Wesley Matthews||Khris Middleton||Giannis Antetokounmpo||Brook Lopez|
|George Hill||Pat Connaughton||Kyle Korver||Ersan Ilyasova||Robin Lopez|
|Donte DiVincenzo||Sterling Brown||Thanasis Antetokounmpo||DJ Wilson||Dragan Bender|
The Milwaukee Bucks are still the cream of the crop. Sure they failed to make the NBA Finals last season, despite having the league’s most valuable player in Giannis Antetokounmpo. However, the only reason for that was that they came across a transcendent Toronto Raptors team boasting one of the NBA’s greatest ever defenders.
This year the Eastern Conference is wide open. The Toronto Raptors lost their star and there is no definitive quality standing in the way of the Milwaukee Bucks. While power rests in the Western Conference, the Bucks are set to dominate the East.
The Bucks are the odds on favorite to win the Eastern Conference. However, they still ride behind both Los Angeles franchises in odds to win the NBA Championship. They seem primed to make the Finals, but the regular season will define whether or not they have the quality to win it all.
If you are in New Jersey you can bet on NBA futures on 888Sport and FoxBet NJ. Find the latest odds for the Milwaukee Bucks below. Good luck!
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Christian Jope is a writer, social media strategist, and data analyst. A Queen’s University Alumni, Christian is an author and social media strategist with Raptors Cage, while also working closely with MLSE and Canada Basketball through community-driven events.
Email: [email protected]More info on Christian Jope
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