When I was a little kid, I used to love Disney’s Bambi. A cute and cuddly deer frolicking in the forest with other young animals. What a life! As I got older and more hip to the world, I realized it was a movie that showed the perils and dangers that life had to offer.
Prior to last season, the Bucks had been the Bambis of the NBA. They had one season over .500 in the past 13 years. But similar to how Bambi grew into the Great Prince of the Forest, a transformation has also been taking place with the Milwaukee basketball team. FEAR THE DEER!!!
2016 record: 42-40
- D. J. Wilson via draft
FEAR THE DEER! This team is going to be nasty. I so wish Jabari Parker was healthy, as he’d provide them with a bonafide scorer for the second unit. Anyways, there’s length at every position. Rather than a deer, this team is like an octopus with a bunch of tentacles flailing all over the place. There’s also outside shooting everywhere, which complements the Greek Freak perfectly. Lack of depth and rebounding are issues and there are question marks at center. With that said, this team took the Raptors to six games in the playoffs. I’m a firm believer in having to beat each lower-level boss before getting a chance to square off against the final boss. The exception to the rule is when a franchise altering trade happens. The Bucks took that first step last season. Barring health, I think they take that next step, primarily because I think Giannis takes a next step in his development. Finishing as a top four team in the Eastern Conference seems very viable to me.
PG – Malcolm Brogdon, the 2016 NBA Rookie of the Year, is the starter. He has a high IQ on both sides of the ball. He’s always in control, can shoot, defend, rebound, and assist. He’s 6′ 5″ so he’s able to switch and guard multiple positions. He shot 40% from three-land, collected 1.1 steals, and dished out 4.2 dimes a game last season. I’d expect his minutes to increase from the 26.4 he received. Matthew Dellavedova is the backup. He’s not flashy but will do what needs to be done. At 6′ 4″ with a tough and gritty mentality, he can switch and guard multiple positions. He’s an adequate, not great shooter. He will run the second unit and provide quality minutes.
SG – Tony Snell was re-signed to a four-year, $46 million contract. At 6′ 7″, Snell provides another tentacle for the Milwaukee Octopi. He doesn’t provide many ancillary stats, as he’s there to shoot. And shoot he does. 45% from the field and 40% from three-land. Behind him is Rashad Vaughn, a 21-year-old guard from UNLV. Would it surprise you to know that he’s 6′ 6″? This will be Vaughn’s third year in the league, but he’s never received more than 15 minutes per game. He did ball out in the Summer League, which is good considering he shot much better. With that said, it doesn’t mean much. As a third year player, that’s to be expected. Now, if he didn’t perform well? That’d be something. You believe me now about the depth issue?
SF – Khris Middleton is the starter. 6′ 8″. I’m telling ya. Tentacles all over. Anyways, I love Middleton’s game. He can shoot (43% from three-land), but is not a straight spot up shooter. He can create off the dribble and has a bevy of moves to get his shot off. Whenever I watch him, he’s so smooth in his movements. He missed a big portion of the season last year due to injury. When he returned, the Bucks were a much better team. Mirza Teletovic is the backup. He’s 6′ 9″ 242 pounds, so he’s a big boy. He’s more of a stretch big man, though. He’s 31 years old, so there’s not much upside. Still don’t believe me about the depth?
PF – Giannis Antetokounmpo. He’s my #1 rated player for a reason. I love him so much. Not in that way, but in a fantasy sort of way. Hmmm, that doesn’t sound right but you get my point. If you want to know how I truly feel about Giannis, I present you with some clickbait. Jabari Parker is behind Giannis. He’s going to be out most of the year due to injury. D. J. Wilson is an athletic big man that can shoot, but he’s a rookie and probably won’t get too much time. Depth? Did someone say something about depth? Bueller?
C – Thon Maker will probably start. The 7′ 1″ 216 pound Maker is an athletic stretch 5. He shot 37% from three-land and will both clean and defend the glass. Per 36, he put up 14.5 points, 7.3 rebounds, 1.7 blocks, and 1.8 3s. He did only get 10 minutes per game last year and is still very raw at 19 years old. He is the future and quite possibly could be the present. 20+ minutes seems like it’s going to happen. Greg Monroe will get some minutes coming off the bench. Monroe has been mentioned in trade rumors, so there’s a chance he is no longer on the roster. While he provides an inside presence for the Bucks, he just clogs the lane for Giannis. John Henson is an athletic big man that boards and and blocks. He’s also been mentioned in trade rumors. He did get 19 minutes last year, so he and Monroe may split the backup minutes. There is some depth at center. Yipee!