Record: 42 – 40 (6th in the East)
Season Ended: Lost to Toronto in the First Round (6 games)
DJ Wilson (PF), Sterling Brown (SF)
Gerald Green (SG/SF), Joel Anthony (C)
Projected Starters (Last year averages)
PG: Malcolm Brogdon (10 pts, 3 reb, 4 ast)
SG: Khris Middleton (15 pts, 4 reb, 3 ast)
SF: Giannis Antetokounmpo (23 pts, 9 reb, 5 ast)
PF: Jabari Parker (20 pts, 6 reb, 3 ast) *Projected February return*
C: Thon Maker (4 pts, 2 reb)
Greg Monroe (C), Tony Snell (SG/SF), John Henson (PF/C), DJ Wilson (PF)
Major Story lines
Giannis an MVP Candidate? – As everyone around the league has watched Giannis’ meteoric rise over the past 4 seasons they expect him to take the next step this year. Having been an All-Star last year while leading his team in every statistical category nobody knows what the ceiling is for the Greek Freak. With Jabari Parker missing at least half of the season Giannis will again need to carry the team and if he worked on his shot any during the offseason… Watch out.
Jabari Parker recovery – As briefly mentioned above Jabari Parker is currently in the rehab process of his recovery from an ACL tear last season. He was initially projected for a February return but is apparently way ahead of schedule. According to Jason Kidd he is already dunking and looks to him like he could suit up tomorrow. However, the team is playing it safe and keeping February as the target. It would not surprise me to see him in January if things continue to go well. So the question is if this helps or hurts their momentum going into the postseason.
Mike Predictions (52 – 30) (4th in the East)
- Giannis makes NBA History – If Giannis increases his output in the big 5 statistical categories (points, rebounds, assists, steals, blocks) he would become the first player in NBA history to ever do so. The only stat that is questionable here is assists but I think he just barely gets the increase in that category. (Dennis Schroder can also accomplish the feat and I believe he will as well.)
- Bucks get out of the 1st Round – If you are keeping track I have the Bucks meeting the Heat in the first round and though I’m pulling for both, Giannis is the best player in the series and the best player tends to win when the teams are fairly evenly matched. I do expect the series to go to 7 games.
Josh Predictions (50-32) (4th in the East)
- Giannis Antetokounmpo averages 25/11/8 – This would be a decent jump from the Greek Freak’s 23/9/5 averages last season, and would make it his first time averaging a double-double for a full season. The only players who averaged at least those numbers in all 3 of those categories last season were Westbrook and Harden — the two front runners for the MVP. I think Giannis has an even bigger coming out season this year than he did last and will emerge as a favorite for the MVP this season.
- The Bucks win their first playoff series since 2000 – The Bucks have the reigning Rookie of the Year (Malcolm Brogden) and Most Improved Player (Antetokounmpo). They’ll also get Jabari Parker back from his leg injury this season and will hopefully see guys like Khris Middleton and Thon Maker get better as well. With Giannis leading the way, I think this team outperforms in a weakened Eastern conference and wins a playoff series against [insert name of any team residing outside of Boston or Cleveland].