The season started with pretty high expectations in Milwaukee. Things didn’t go according to plan most of the season. 2nd year player Jabari Parker injured his knee once again, Khris Middleton missed most of the first half of the season, and the Bucks limped into the All Start Break 5 games below .500
The early lone bright spot was the growth of Giannis Antetokounmpo, as he ended up starting for the East in the All Star Game. The Bucks rallied late, at one point winning 14 of 16 games to close out the month of March. They found their chemistry and landed a spot in the playoffs. However, a first round exit Toronto leaves some questions about how this team can take it to the next level.
(1) Stay Healthy – the Bucks under Jason Kidd seemingly have yet to play a full season with a healthy roster. If Parker can come back and be a 17 ppg guy next season that will help tremendously. At the time of his injury this season he was averaging a quiet 20ppg and 6 rebs. The Bucks are in a unique situation heading into next season with Parker. While they need him back, if he isn’t ready and plays a partial season, it could drive down his value as he becomes a free agent after next season. He has already penned in The Players Tribune, how much he loves being Milwaukee.
(2) More Generous Freak – Giannis lead the Bucks in just about every category this season. However, too often late in games Giannis had the ball in his hand over dribbling and the offense just stopped moving. The Bucks can’t become “ISO Giannis” if they want to get out of the first round.
(3) That being said, the Bucks need to add another playmaker. Khris Middleton is nice, but he feels more like a 6th man off the bench in my opinion. Giannis right now is a little too happy with his 3 point shot. His career shooting percentage from beyond the arc is 27%. Either get better at it this summer, or find someone that can hit that shot consistently ASAP. The Bucks don’t need to break the bank in free agency. They should go after a free agent like JJ Redick or George Hill who can create his own shot and be a nice 2nd or 3rd scoring option for the Bucks.
(4) Next Level Maker – Thon Maker is already spending time with Kevin Garnett to improve his overall game. Maker needs to be put in a setting that boosts his confidence. If that means playing in summer league, or spending some time with the Bucks new D-League affiliate in Osh Kosh, than I say do it.
This franchise is trending up. A little dose of patience and maturity will do this team some good. The playoff experience this year definitely helps build confidence. Next season the Bucks goal should be home court in the first round. It’s almost time to Fear The Deer…
Written by Andrew Rosenberg