1 New Year’s resolution for every team in 2024: Central Division

Indiana Pacers v Milwaukee Bucks
Indiana Pacers v Milwaukee Bucks / Patrick McDermott/GettyImages
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It is that time of the year again. Everyone everywhere is thinking about their New Year’s resolutions and what they need to do to better themselves as the calendars switch over. The National Basketball Association is no different, as players, teams, general managers, and franchise owners all look at their NBA needs and to-do lists, entering 2024. Here is perhaps the biggest need for each NBA team in the Central Division:

Bucks Resolution: Find some semblance of perimeter defense.

Milwaukee needs… To figure out how they will defend elite guards and perimeter wings in the playoffs. Jrue Holiday is no longer around and Khris Middleton has not been a high-level perimeter defender as he has aged and been impacted by injuries. The elite defensive team that won the Bucks the title in 2020-2021 is no more, especially since Milwaukee acquired star guard Damian Lillard this offseason.

The Bucks are currently ranked 17th in defensive rating this season. They are much more dynamic offensively now, which makes up for a lot of concerns on the defensive end, but Lillard has also historically been someone that teams can target during the playoffs. Where can a boost in perimeter defense come from?

Well, Jae Crowder is still on the roster and at age 33, he may still have enough juice left for one more run. Outside of that, there is not a lot of promise unless the Bucks intend on making another trade this season.

You have to go back in time over two decades to find a team with a below-average defense that won the NBA Championship (2001 Los Angeles Lakers, 21st ranked defensive rating). Some may argue that this season is not championship or bust for the Bucks, but it won’t be a great look if the Bucks traded Holiday just for him to win a title in Boston while they are eliminated in the Eastern Conference Finals or earlier.