The NBA season is almost upon us, and here in Wisconsin, that means Bucks basketball. Considering the circumstances, the Bucks had a very good season a year ago, finishing the year with a record of 42-40, and made it as the sixth seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs. Sadly, they lost to the Toronto Raptors in six games. The Bucks accomplished all of this without star forward Jabari Parker, who injured his leg for the second time in his young career. The team better be careful with Parker’s minutes going forward, perhaps even turning him into the team’s 6th man, so he doesn’t turn into the next Derrick Rose.
As far as the rest of the team is concerned, the pecking order has been established. This is Giannis’ team going forward, and the towering forward from Greece has become one of the NBA’s prized young players. Giannis is just 22, and it looks like he will only get better. It would help Giannis significantly if small forward Khris Middleton built upon his play from a year ago, when he averaged nearly 15 points a game. The bucks will also continue to look to get something out of former first round draft choice power forward John Henson, and center Greg Monroe. Both players have fallen short of expectations to this point. Speaking of first round draft choices, the Bucks were 17thoverall, and focused on power forward D.J. Wilson from Michigan. He may not start the year with the team, but expect him to be called up sooner rather than later.
Looking at the Bucks early season schedule, right out of the gate, they get the Boston Celtics and the Cleveland Cavaliers, the two teams involved in that mega-swap this off season of all-star point guards. The game against Cleveland is the first of four straight at home, with the next three opponents being Portland, Charlotte, and Boston. After that the Bucks play five of their next six on the road, with the sole home game in between all of that coming against the new look Oklahoma City Thunder on Halloween. If the Bucks want to compete with Cleveland and Boston this season, they need to get off to a fast start.