It was not that long ago that the Milwaukee Bucks were top of the NBA ladder and Giannis Antetokounmpo was being lauded as one of the 20 best players of all time. That Finals-winning Game Six performance against the Phoenix Suns in 2021 is something that will be remembered forever.
Yet somewhere along what has been a very short path since that moment, the Bucks were once again pushed back into the surrounding pack by fans and media members alike. Despite having no real roster turnover and Giannis only appearing to get better, the Bucks have been too often overlooked going back to last year when they were defending champions.
The Milwaukee Bucks are still the top team in the evolving Eastern Conference.
The untimely injuries of Khris Middleton have always been annoying, but there is likely no other player in the entire league who is as suited to the role that he currently occupies. Middleton is the second-best player on the roster, but also somebody trusted to be a closer of sorts to diversify the offense when the opponent is terrified of Antetokounmpo.
Head coach Mike Budenholzer, the man who got the Bucks over the hump and came within one game of the Eastern Conference Finals, is still here. And that was with Middleton missing part of that entire series In other words, the Bucks are close — really close — to reclaiming the throne. Here is how they can do it this season.