Bucks NBA Championship Odds: Can Milwaukee Win Back-to-Back Titles?
Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Giannis Antetokounmpo #34 of the Milwaukee Bucks.
Milwaukee Bucks NBA Playoff Odds
Milwaukee Bucks Analysis
The reigning NBA champion Milwaukee Bucks will begin their quest for a second straight title against the Chicago Bulls. The Bucks are heavy favorites in this series after sweeping the season series 4-0, and the Bucks have also won 16 of their last 17 matchups.
Giannis Antetokounmpo put together another MVP-caliber season, Jrue Holiday and Khris Middleton quietly continued to play winning basketball all season, and Brook Lopez, the anchor of their drop defense, returned to action in mid March after sitting out since October with a back injury.
The Bucks defense finished just 22nd in half-court Defensive Rating (97.5), but their defense will look a lot different in the postseason with a healthy Lopez alongside a more motivated group of defending champions.
The Bucks’ weak link lies on the perimeter as they lost P.J. Tucker and traded Donte DiVincenzo to the Kings in return for Serge Ibaka. This means that when the Bucks go small with Antetokounmpo at the center, two of Wesley Matthews, Grayson Allen, George Hill and Pat Connaughton will be on the floor – which leaves something to be desired.
These players may not be needed in the first round, but to beat the potential winner of the Celtics’ series against the seven seed, they could play a key role.