Heading The Pack: The Milwaukee Bucks

Rohan M, Columnist

In the past five years, the Milwaukee Bucks have been one of the most entertaining teams in the NBA. With a high-powered offense supported with an unbreakable defense, the Bucks have perched atop the league for what feels like an eternity now. Obviously, no team is good without superstar power. 

Giannis Antetokounmpo, the Bucks’ starting power forward, was the fifteenth pick in the 2013 NBA draft. For the first two to three years of his time, Giannis struggled on the big stage. Then came 2018. During a two year period, Giannis developed, transforming from an average NBA player into a superstar. Not only did Giannis become better, the Bucks became a stronghold. However, after a crushing defeat to the Celtics in the 2018 playoffs, the Bucks dropped a 60-22 record the next season. Giannis continued to evolve into an unstoppable force this season, beating out James Harden and winning the Most Valuable Player award.While his role is critical to the team’s success, the Bucks cannot credit everything to Giannis, as the likes of Jrue Holiday and Kris Middleton round out the roster.

One of the Bucks’ main sources of their success points is their defense. For almost four years, the Bucks have been at the top of the league defensively. The Bucks’ defense is disciplined and controlled in zone defenses. This defensive success is manned by Jrue Holiday, arguably the best perimeter defender in the league, and Giannis, who has won Defensive Player of the Year twice. Some other noteworthy players on defense are Grayson Allen, Bobby Portis Jr, and Brook Lopez. Currently, Lopez has the most shot blocks a game with 2.9 as well as the most total blocks. One major flaw in the Bucks defense though is three pointers. During the 2021-2022 season, the Bucks were league last in giving up three pointers. To make matters worse, the Bucks gave up 22 three pointers in the postseason loss to the Celtics, which dug the Bucks into a hole that they couldn’t climb out of.

While defense wins championships, no good team is complete without a functioning offense. Besides letting Giannis run to the hoop half the time, the Bucks still have a well-rounded offense powered by finding open three pointers outside of the arc. While he was injured for the start of the season, Kris Middleton is a valuable second punch for the Bucks offense. The Bucks also maximize second chance points, scoring off of rebounds harvested mainly by Giannis, Brook Lopez, and Bobby Portis. In the 2021-2022, the Bucks ranked third in offensive rating, a stat to measure the quality and effectiveness of your offense, and to start this year, the Bucks have remained around the same efficiency. 

One other big thing that the Bucks have going for them is the community. The whole city of Milwaukee is behind this team, and everybody wants them to bring home another title. Considering it’s a small market team, the Bucks do not have as much luxury as other bigger markets do. Even without this though, the Bucks still manage to produce quality teams year in year out. Even with the great defense and offense mentioned before, one of the Buck’s biggest success points is their heart. No matter if they are 10-0, or 0-10, the Bucks will still give 100% every night. That’s what makes the Bucks Milwaukee’s team.

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