Arrival of Parker and development of Antetokounmpo gives Bucks hope…
The Milwaukee Bucks finished bottom of the Eastern Conference standings last season, but with some new faces arriving this summer they will hope for improvement.
The Bucks ended the 2013/14 NBA regular season with a 15-67 record, the worst in the league, which left them rooted to the bottom of the Eastern Conference.
Naturally, there isn’t much positivity to come out of looking at their records whether home or on the road, against conference or divisional rivals, and so the franchise will want to quickly forget about their problems.
With a new head Coach in place and new players on the roster, it won’t be difficult for them to improve, and with a trip to London to look forward to in the New Year, they will want to put on a decent showing for their fans abroad when they take on the New York Knicks at the O2 in London.
Young talent to lead franchise forward
Coach Jason Kidd will bring experience and fresh ideas to the Bucks this season, and he also has a point to prove after an ultimately disappointing first year in coaching with the Brooklyn Nets last time out.
While he has added experienced players in the form of Jerryd Bayless and Jared Dudley, when looking at their roster for the new campaign, two names in particular stand out.
One familiar to most NBA fans already is Giannis Antetokounmpo, who continued his development with Greece at the FIBA World Cup 2014 this summer.
The 19-year-old has sensational athleticism, speed and power, and while it is undoubtedly too early to start placing the franchise on his back, the ‘Greek Freak’ promises to be a fundamental part of their progress in the coming years.
In addition, No.2 pick in the NBA Draft 2014, Jabari Parker, will have an immediate effect with many experts suggesting that out of all the talent in this draft class, the young forward from Duke is arguably the most “NBA ready”.
After an impressive college career, Parker will need to adjust and adapt to his new surroundings, and with a promising start in the Summer League, he will be an exciting talent to watch as he matures into a real star of the NBA in the years to come.
Milwaukee has so much depth in their backcourt with the likes of Brandon Knight, Kendall Marshall and O.J. Mayo, while Ersan Ilyasova and Larry Sanders will need to play a role if they are to make tangible progress under Kidd.
However, unless the players from last season suddenly find a new gear or Parker immediately makes a huge impact on the league, it is highly unlikely that we will be seeing the Bucks in the playoffs despite a relatively weak Eastern Conference.
The top six positions are perhaps locked in for the Cleveland Cavaliers, Chicago Bulls, Toronto Raptors, Washington Wizards, Charlotte Hornets and Miami Heat. Given some variations on that prediction, that would leave the Indiana Pacers, Atlanta Hawks, Brooklyn Nets and New York Knicks all chasing the last few spots, with all those mentioned teams possessing stronger rosters than Milwaukee.
While the franchise is moving in the right direction with some youthful pieces that promise to make them a better ball club, this isn’t going to be their break-out year and another season at the wrong end of the Eastern Conference could well be ahead.