Well it is officially that time. The 2020-2021 Bucks’ season is here and we couldn’t be more excited (unless we actually acquired Bogdan but that’s a whole other story). Let’s have some fun and throw out some predictions for this upcoming journey. We’ll dive into player, team, and a bold prediction as well.
Considering all of the changes to the roster this year there’s only a few true candidates for this category. The returning players are Donte, DJ Wilson, Giannis, Middleton, Brook Lopez, Thanasis, and Pat Connaughton. To me the one player who clearly has the biggest opportunity to show growth is Donte DiVincenzo. Donte has shown flashes of brilliance on defense by getting in passing lanes and guarding very well on the perimeter. On the offensive side he has shown a great nose for cutting to the hoop along with some great passing. With all of that being said, he has left much to be desired shooting-wise.
If Donte can smooth out his game just a little bit and bolster his shooting numbers he will be a very important piece to this team. The Bucks don’t need him to perform as well as Bogdan might have, they just need the defense to respect his shot a little. Prior to the bubble Donte showed some promise from the three point line but he seemed to have significantly regressed in Orlando. Hopefully that was just a matter of being in the strange environment. I believe that being thrown into the starting lineup will bolster his confidence and won’t disappoint. I foresee Donte shooting north of 35% from three this year and get consideration for the All-Defensive team. Watch for a big year from him!
Best Sixth Man:
The Bucks bench might not be as deep as it was last year, but I believe they improved the talent on it overall. The best player to come off the sidelines this year will likely be a two man race. I think it comes down to Bobby Portis and DJ Augustin. But when it’s all said and done I believe Portis will be the most impactful. In the abbreviated preseason, Portis showed an above average ability to run in transition for a big man along with some solid post scoring. His addition might allow Milwaukee to run a small ball lineup with Giannis playing center as well which could be huge. Augustin will likely fill in very well for George Hill’s absence but I think Portis will bring a whole other dimension to the team.
By far the biggest addition to the team this offseason was their trade for Holiday with the Pelicans. Many people wondered if Milwaukee gave up too much to get him, but if he helps the Bucks win a championship nobody will question it. I believe once Jrue gets acclimated to his new teammates and system he will make a huge impact for Milwaukee. Being longer and a better shooter than Bledsoe means a few things. For one, they will be able to have him switch on defense when needed without having a glaring mismatch. They can also have faith that he will be able to create and knock down his own shots when called upon at times. I predict Jrue will make his 2nd All-Star team this year and be named to the All Defensive team. Two things he’s been deserving of for a long time.
Team Season Predictions
Taking the shortened offseason and preseason into consideration, I don’t believe the Bucks will start out very hot. After a few weeks of play however I see them hitting their stride and winning a lot. By the end of the regular season, I think they will finish with a record of 50-22. A very respectable record and likely good enough for a top-three seed in the East.
During the season I predict we see Coach Bud tinker with new lineups and strategies in preparation for the playoffs. Unlike the past two seasons, Bud knows management wants playoff success more than anything and he knows they expect him to make adjustments when needed. With that knowledge, it’s time for the post season predictions!
After blowing past their first opponent for the third year in a row, the Bucks will come head to head with a formidable foe in the second round. The East has become much better at the top this past offseason so whoever they play will be no easy task. However, as I alluded to earlier, I believe Bud finally makes some adjustments. In doing so they get to the Eastern Conference Finals in six games.
For Eastern Conference Finals, I think they will go head to head with the Brooklyn Nets. In a back and forth series, I see Milwaukee moving on after seven games. Jrue shuts down Kyrie in the game clinching game and Giannis comes through with some big time scores late. The Bucks move on to the Finals!
So far in this article I’ve been very optimistic for this upcoming season. But in this paragraph I’m going to be realistic. If The Finals ends up being a matchup of the Bucks and the Lakers, the Bucks are going to win in six games. I know what you’re thinking, “Bucks in six? Really?” I hear you, but the facts are simply that the Bucks don’t have the firepower to sweep the Lakers. So on the side of caution, I must convince myself that Lebron will steal a couple games from them. Bringing the Larry O’Brien trophy to Milwaukee for the first time since 1971!
As previously discussed by Robin Adams on our site here, I also believe Giannis will win his third consecutive MVP this year. However that wouldn’t be bold enough to be the grand finale of this article. That would be too obvious.
My bold prediction here is that Giannis will become the first player in NBA history to win MVP, DPOY and Finals MVP all in the same year. If there’s any player who has a chance of doing this in the next 10 years it is for sure Giannis. I believe after this year the majority of people will agree that Giannis has dethroned Lebron as the best player in the league.