So far, the Milwaukee Bucks are looking like a real force to win another NBA championship under Giannis Antetokounmpo, or, as we all say, the Greek Freak. Right now, Milwaukee sits at 11-3 following their dominant win over a rebuilt yet formidable Cleveland Cavaliers squad. While Antetokounmpo only scored 16 points in the win, the night belonged to Brook Lopez with his 29 points.
That said, it doesn’t take away from what’s happening in Deer Land. Antetokounmpo is averaging 29.9 points per game, 11.8 rebounds, and 5.5 assists. Of course, that can change at any moment and might change after their next game against Philadelphia. Still, there is something special happening. After the Milwaukee Bucks won the NBA title and trolled Stephen A. Smith and his biased self, the idea of a small market winning big and developing a superstar has taken on a life of its own.
That gives those areas hope that having a superstar or a couple of them might be enough to win over the big cities. In the past, small markets have won big; see the 2004 Pistons; but afterward, there were more excuses about why the more prominent names lost, which reeked of pettiness and epic blasphemy. Milwaukee isn’t like that. It’s not a one-year shock; moreover, when they won the title, they beat Phoenix to do it, and oh, in case anyone forgot, the parade was held in “warm weather” despite what Smith whined about on First Take (cold weather in June and July).
But back to Antetokounmpo for a moment. These statistics make it hard to say he’s not in the lead for league MVP. If this season continues on a positive trend, it’s highly likely that the city of Milwaukee might find itself with some new hardware come June, again when the weather is warm and welcoming.
Milwaukee Bucks: Antetokounmpo is on a pace that warrants MVP consideration and the eventual award.
The Eastern Conference is very fluid at the moment, and there are several teams worthy of being in contention for the conference crown and a berth in the NBA Finals. Last season, Antetokounmpo and the Bucks lost to the Boston Celtics, who went on to capture the conference title before falling to Golden State in the big dance 4-2.
Besides Boston, Miami still exists with its core, and the Brooklyn Nets, at least on paper, are still there. The Cavaliers aren’t a pushover and can make a statement of their own. Philadelphia can play. The list is quite expansive. One team won’t be a part of that mix: the New York Knicks. Why did we mention them, then? Force of habit and obligatory requirements.
Again, back to Antetokounmpo. He is on a tear at this point, and given what he’s done for the city of Milwaukee, another championship would not only separate him from those with merely one ring but put him in a class above so many and enhance his status among the greats.
He’s already a champion, but two rings? That’s elusive, and that’s rare. He might get it this year and win league MVP as well. Hopefully, he’s got enough room on his shelf for that hardware.