The Milwaukee Bucks are the defending champions but are currently in a tailspin. Is this a blip on the radar, or are they in serious trouble?
Are the Bucks in Trouble?
However, they are no longer the scrappy hunters fighting for their claim at the top of the NBA. They are the hunted champions with everyone gunning for them. As of today, that might be too much for them.
They entered the season with the third best odds to win the title at +850. However, they are 3-4 after seven games. Is it time already to say the defending champions are in trouble?
Injuries are a Concern
One of the biggest keys for their title run was health for them and not for their opponents. Granted that their superstar, Giannis Antetokounmpo, was hurt for two games. However, their second-round and Conference Finals opponents had injuries that put them in trouble.
Now in the opening part of the season the Bucks are dealing with several injuries. Bobby Portis just came back from his injury. Donte DiVincenzo is still not back from his foot surgery yet.
Brook Lopez has only played one game thus far, while Jrue Holiday has only played in two. The bench is not as deep as it has been in years past. Their chemistry has been all over the place due to this.
The offense is in the middle of the pack, but the defense has been putrid. Their defensive rating is ranked 24th in the league. Opponent’s field goal percentage has them ranked 26th.
The plethora of injuries has Coach Mike Budenholzer scrambling for options every night. This should be a concern for a team that tends to use the bench a lot for the early portions of the year. However, the injuries are forcing the end of the bench guys to get a larger role.
Giannis is Still Giannis
A lot of bad has happened in this early part of the season for the Bucks, but one thing has not changed. That thing is the greatness of the reigning Finals MVP in Giannis. Despite the team’s struggles, he is still amazing.
He is currently averaging 27 points per game with 11 rebounds and six assists per game. There has even been an improvement with his free throws, as he is shooting 71%. The records do not matter as much right now, so he is still in position to compete for the MVP award.
Most teams can potentially panic or have a negative outlook on the season. However, the Bucks are the champs and have one of the best players in the league; maybe now of all-time. Giannis is still playing at a high level.
The team needs to get healthy and put it all together. It might be too early to consider that they are in trouble for now.