Earlier last week, it was reported that the NBA plans to resume the 2019-2020 season with 22 teams in Orlando, Florida. Of course, the Milwaukee Bucks are included as the number one seed in the East. When play was postponed, the Bucks had an NBA-best record of 53-12.
Now that play is resuming, speculation is resounding about who will win the NBA Championship. Many people, especially in the larger markets, believe the Los Angeles Lakers will prevail. Here, though, we present you with five reasons why it will be the Bucks who lift up the Larry O’Brian Trophy.
Reason #1- Giannis Atentokounmpo
One player does not win a team championship, but having a superstar of Giannis’s caliber certainly doesn’t hurt. The 2018 MVP was putting up an even better season in 2019-2020. When play ended, Giannis was third in the NBA in points per game and rebounds (29.6 and 13.7). He is still a leading candidate to win the MVP Award this year, as well as Defensive Player of the Year. No player took missing the Finals last year harder than Giannis, and he is determined to get there.
Reason #2- Conditioning
During the hiatus, many Bucks players have stayed in shape despite not being able to get together with their teammates. Bucks’ assistant coach Darvin Ham does not believe the same is true of other players throughout the league. “Our guys are still in shape. I’ve seen some of these of these other players on their little social media accounts look like they’ve been eatin’ a few extra hamburgers,” Ham said in an interview. If this is true, the Bucks will be in a much better position to compete than their opponents.
Reason #3- A Well-Balanced Attack
One reason why the Bucks had such great success is that they are not an offensively or defensively dominant team. They are dominant on both ends of the court. The Bucks lead the NBA in points per game with 118.6 and are third in the league in offensive efficiency. On defense, the team allows 107.4 points per game, good for fourth in the league. Their 99.7 efficiency rating, though is by far and away the best in the league. Clearly, the Bucks can beat any team on both ends of the floor.
Reason #4- Veteran Leadership
Many of the teams that will be competing when the NBA resumes are younger teams. The COVID-19 situation is something that is unprecedented in sports, and it is to be seen how teams will respond when play resumes. The Bucks average length of NBA service time is 7.07 years, the third highest in the league. The two teams ahead of them, Houston and the Lakers, will also be competing in Orlando. It is no coincidence that these two teams are mentioned as serious contenders for the championship. The veteran presence on this Bucks team will be vital to the team’s success, more now than ever.
Reason #5- The Bitter Defeat Last Year
It is a story Milwaukee fans know all too well. Our team built a commanding lead, but ended up on the wrong end of the series. The Bucks blew a commanding series lead and lost the Eastern Conference Finals in seven games. The team came back with a chip on its shoulder, determined to win it all this time. When the season was postponed, it seemed as if the universe itself was against the Bucks. However, now that it is resuming, watch for the Bucks to finish what they have started.
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