November 8, 2020, 5:59 pm
How’d We Get Here?
The Bucks rolled through the regular season again but may have been more affected by the stoppage of the season than any other team. While things might have played out in similar fashion had the season kept on chugging as usual, Milwaukee never looked close to finding its rhythm in Orlando, from the seeding games through the first round to their second-round ouster at the hands of the Heat. Losing to the champs in the Conference Finals in 2018-19 was painful, but many thought it was part of the process for a new contender on their road to eventual triumph. Dropping out of the second round in five games, while showing that they learned virtually nothing from previous failures, was far more problematic.
The Bucks have a year to prove to Giannis Antetokounmpo that they can build a real contender around him. Despite immense pressure, the team got to work quickly, swinging a bold trade for Jrue Holiday (the Bucks could send as many as five future first-rounders to New Orleans) and then trying to make one for Bogdan Bogdanovic before turning to margin-winning adds like Bobby Portis, D.J. Augustin, Bryn Forbes and Torrey Craig. Those aren’t the sorts of moves that teams make without at least a hint of long-term commitment from a two-time MVP. Either way, the Bucks are now somehow better defensively than they were a year ago, with way more offensive firepower and versatility to boot.
Arrivals: Jrue Holiday, Torrey Craig, D.J. Augustin, Bobby Portis, Bryn Forbes, Jaylen Adams, Nik Stauskas
Rookie Arrivals: No. 45 Jordan Nwora, No. 60 Sam Merrill
Departures: Eric Bledsoe, George Hill, Robin Lopez, Wesley Matthews, Sterling Brown, Ersan Ilyasova, Marvin Williams
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