On paper, the Milwaukee Bucks should be the favorite to win the title inside the NBA’s Orlando restart, but they need to address these x-factors first.
For a team having such a momentous season on the back of the reigning MVP’s immeasurable growth, the Milwaukee Bucks sure do seem to be underrated by the masses. They have the tools to go up against any other contender using their depth, coaching, versatility and star. Even with that being the case, many don’t believe they can win a title this year.
Can you really blame them for being skeptical? Milwaukee went 60-22 last season — a record that this year’s group was on track to beat in a full 82-game season. They put the world on notice last year but were ultimately bested by the eventual champion Toronto Raptors in six games.
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It was viewed as a failure while in reality, it showed a leap of progress for this franchise with the MVP in his first season in a new system. That growth is amplified when you consider that they won seven of their eight playoff games before that series.
However, there were some serious concerns about how ready the Bucks were when the pressure turned up. Now they’ll try to redeem themselves while living inside the competitive environment of the Orlando Bubble.
Milwaukee is playing for way more than just their checks in these eight games heading into the playoffs. Getting the team back into the flow of things could help build momentum for a group full of question marks heading into a playoff that could dramatically change the way Giannis Antetokounmpo is viewed in the pantheon of NBA lore.
These are the five X-Factors that are going to decide whether the Bucks can ascend to NBA champions or fail with their ultimate goal just barely out of reach.