It’s crunch time now in the NBA season and teams are hoping to make a last minute attempt at a playoff run. With less than three months left to go in the regular season, the stakes have suddenly become much higher, especially for teams that are on the bubble. The Milwaukee Bucks are a team that has been struggling to prove themselves this year. With injuries to key players and defensive struggles, the Bucks have been unable to earn a spot in the top five in the Eastern Conference after this much of the season has passed.
Milwaukee is currently ranked seventh in the Eastern Conference, maintaining an overall record of 39-34, with an in-conference record of 24-23. They sit 14.5 games behind the first place Toronto Raptors, so it seems very unlikely that they will be able to qualify for a playoff spot based on where they stand.
Giannis Antetokounmpo, one of the team’s best defensive players, sprained his ankle early last week causing him to sit out for one game. The injury did not seem to affect him too much, however, as he bounced right back in this past Sunday’s game against the San Antonio Spurs. He led his team in scoring in that game, picking up 25 points, along with 10 rebounds, 3 assists, and 1 steal.
Other strong athletes on Milwaukee’s roster include Eric Bledsoe and Khris Middleton. Bledsoe has had an impressive season, as he typically picks up 4.9 assists per game and 2.0 steals. He is the team leader in both of those categories. Bledsoe is very quick on his feet, and can make smart decisions on the court when put on the spot. His offensive abilities have stood out among this program this season. Middleton has also played a large part in the Bucks’ offense this year. He scores 20.1 points on average per game, and picks up 5.2 rebounds typically. His diversity on the court and ability to excel in multiple aspects of the game has set him apart from his teammates and other players in his position.
Besides the standout players that Milwaukee has, they have failed to find a spark among the entirety of their roster. We have not seen them fully work together to win games. The strongest players tend to take over when it is game time. If this team can strengthen the skills of the weaker half of their roster, they could potentially be a very dangerous team going into next season. The connection between the men on the court and the men on then bench could be improved to create a more well-rounded lineup.
The next time you can catch the Milwaukee Bucks in action Thursday, where they will travel to Oracle Arena, where they will face the Golden State Warriors. Tipoff is at 10:30 p.m. EST.