NBA Central Preview: Milwaukee Bucks

By Robert Magobet

The Milwaukee Bucks are ready to begin their second season under head coach Jason Kidd. Here’s a brief overview of the team:

  • Odds to win the 2015-2016 NBA Championship: 60:1
  • 2014-2015 Record: 41-41 (Lost in game 6 to Bulls in first-round of playoffs)
    • 2015 draft results
      • Rashad Vaughn, University of Nevada, Las Vegas (17th overall)
      • Norman Powell, University of California, Los Angeles (46th overall)
    • Key Offseason Additions: Greg Monroe, Greivis Vazquez
    • Key Offseason subtractions: Brandon Knight
  • Projected starting lineup:
    • PG: Michael Carter-Williams
    • SG: Kris Middleton
    • SF: Giannis Antetokounmpo
    • C: Greg Monroe
    • PF: John Henson

Season in review:

The Good: From a bottom-feeding playoff perspective (6th in the East in last year), there’s only one way to go – up! The good news is the Milwaukee Bucks are tactfully adding onto a young nucleus, commandeered by a young coach in Jason Kidd. The Bucks signed center Greg Monroe in the offseason. Monroe averaged 15.9 points and 10.2 rebounds last season with the Detroit Pistons. The southpaw, low post anchor carries on the Georgetown tradition of skilled big men. He has an assortment of low post moves and a soft touch around the rim. To say Monroe is a nice addition to the Bucks would be an understatement—this is a power move hands down—grandiose, if you will.

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In addition, newly drafted Rashad Vaughn looked very good in the summer league averaging 17 points. He looked to have a little bit of Richard Hamilton in him by the way he moved off the ball; however, he shot the ball at just 36 percent. Still, with his scoring ability, and Greg Monroe, this should add to the Bucks scoring production, which will in turn increase their winning percentage from a year ago. In the 2014-2015 season, the Bucks averaged 100.2 points in wins and 95.1 in losses.

It will be interesting to see how these new additions fair with high flying, athletic Giannis Antetokounmpo, a very good defender in John Henson, and good decision making point guard Michael Carter-Williams.

The Bad: Highly coveted small forward Jabari Parker is still not cleared by doctors to participate in games after tearing his ACL in December. However, Parker has been in practice and looking good according to Jason Kidd.

“He looks great. If you were able to watch practice, I’m sure you guys would probably question why he’s not playing,” Kidd said to ESPN. “Because he’s done everything. He looks great. But again, he hasn’t been cleared by the doctors. But when you watch him out there in his warm-ups, you can see his body has changed and you can see in practice his voice has changed. He’s talking a lot more.”

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Parker was the number 2 draft pick in 2014. At Duke, he averaged 19.1 points and 8.7 rebounds for his career. In 2013, he won the McDonald’s National Player of the year award. NBA pundits compared him to the likes of Carmelo Anthony; however, just 18 games into his rookie campaign, Parker tore his ACL.

The Ugly: John Henson says he experienced racism at a Milwaukee jewelry store. Employees at a jewelry store wouldn’t allow Henson in after growing suspicious. Employees claim there have been multiple armed robberies in the recent weeks, and once they saw Henson’s vehicle, that’s when their suspicion heightened. When authorities arrived, they told jewelry employees Henson is a Milwaukee Buck, in turn, the employees finally allowed Henson in. However, jewelry employees still asked authorities to wait around while Henson looked for Rolexes. Authorities refused and left the scene.

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Far from mundane, expect this team to be entertaining to watch—with an incalculable mixture of inside talent, raw talent, and smart decision making; this team should win more than 41 games this season. There is a lot to look forward to because of Monroe, Vaughn, and last year’s nucleus of the Bucks. O.J. Mayo and Vasquez are two playmakers who add stability to a Milwaukee bench. Let’s not forget the return date for Parker. The NBA enthusiast should have an eagle-eye out for this team.

  • 2015-2016 Season Projection:
    • 49-33
    • Top 5 in East
    • Playoffs

Stats taken from http://www.vegasinsider.com/nba/odds/futures/

Stats taken from http://www.si.com/nba/standings?season=2014&grouping=division

Stats taken from http://www.basketball-reference.com/teams/MIL/draft.html

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