The Milwaukee Bucks had an uphill battle to defend their title following the 2021 championship. It is extremely difficult to win a championship and even harder to repeat. The Bucks’ chances were ultimately squandered due to the injury to Khris Middleton and the team being unable to overcome this. The team has retooled this offseason and will have its sights set on contending once again.

While Middleton getting healthy is the biggest step the team can take, there have been some other notable additions this offseason. Milwaukee drafted MarJon Beauchamp and re-signed Grayson Allen and Wesley Matthews this offseason. They also inked Pat Connaughton and Bobby Portis to long-term extensions. The Bucks’ main free agency additions were Joe Ingles and Serge Ibaka, although Ibaka also finished last season with Milwaukee as well.

While all these were solid moves, teams around the NBA must constantly be focusing on getting better. There have been notable additions across the NBA that improved other teams’ chances. While there is reasonable optimism about how the Bucks could fair when fully healthy, they must be sure not to become content with how they currently stand. Here are three potential directions they could still go to ensure their best odds at another championship.

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Bucks: 3 biggest needs Milwaukee must still address to win 2023 NBA Finals

Second-Unit Shot Creator

The Bucks have a solid collection of role players to surround their Big Three of Giannis Antetokounmpo, Jrue Holiday, and Khris Middleton. However, looking beyond this there is not a ton of instant offense. Grayson Allen has taken some notable steps forward in his development. Bobby Portis is also good for a scoring spark at times but is at his best when doing the dirty work.

Adding a sparkplug scorer off the bench would be an intriguing addition for the Bucks. A true sixth man such as Lou Williams or Jordan Clarkson would provide the second unit with a spark it has not previously had. Having a guy who can pick up the offensive slack would go a long way to taking pressure off the Bucks’ top players. While there are some solid surrounding shooters on the second unit, the roster lacks guys with shot-creation ability. Shooters are also extremely necessary, but having a guy that can create for himself is very useful.

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Upgraded Backup Big Man

As things currently stand, Brook Lopez, Bobby Portis, Serge Ibaka, and Sandro Mamukelashvili are the only big men on the Bucks’ roster. It also is worth noting that Giannis is more than capable of playing center in certain lineups. Ibaka is a key re-signing who will play some solid minutes for the team. The two-time block champion finished last season with Milwaukee. He averaged 7.0 points and 5.3 rebounds in his 17.8 minutes per game. The 32-year-old has come a long way as a shooter throughout his career. The Bucks have a unique system due to Giannis’ style of play which requires big men to be capable shooters.

However, adding another versatile big man option could help the Bucks a great deal. Both Lopez and Ibaka are on the downside of their careers. Portis is also at his best when playing power forward. Injecting the second unit with some youth could go a long way to helping the roster both in the short and long term.

Jrue Holiday, Milwaukee Bucks

Jesse Cinquini ·

Two-Way Role Players

The Bucks clearly feel confident in their rotational pieces, but there are some concerns with the options. Every weakness in a player’s game is magnified in the playoffs and teams look to capitalize on each. When looking at the Bucks’ current group of role players there are several guys who have weaknesses on one side of the ball.

Joe Ingles will provide great shooting ability to the team. However, he lacks on the defensive end and will be targeted in the postseason. MarJon Beauchamp will be an excellent defensive glove, but he is only a rookie and is a work in progress offensively. Grayson Allen has grown into his role in a major way but is still limited in who he can hang with defensively.

While these concerns will mostly be a non-issue in the regular season, the Bucks must keep the playoffs in mind. Flipping a combination of these players for more defined two-way bench pieces is something Milwaukee should consider. Milwaukee has currently has options for who to play, but having a smaller pool with set roles can often produce better postseason results. The smallest weakness can ultimately end a team’s season in the postseason, and the Bucks should be sure to have their bases covered.