The Milwaukee Bucks are soaring high and preparing to make another NBA title run.

At 52-20, they hold a 2.5 game lead over the Boston Celtics for the top seed in the Eastern Conference and the best record in the NBA. The Bucks have been on an absolute tear lately, going 23-3 in their last 26 games, including a 16-game winning streak that lasted from late January to early March. With arguably the league's best player in Giannis Antetokoumpo leading the charge, the Bucks look like title favorites once again.

However, what if that doesn't turn out to be the case? What if Milwaukee ends the season on a cold streak, falls down the standings and gets a tougher draw in the playoffs? It's not terribly likely, but not entirely out of the question, either.

With so much unknown heading into the last two weeks of the regular season, let's take a look at the Bucks' nightmare scenario in terms of seeding and matchups for the 2023 NBA playoffs. We've already gone over what the Bucks' best-case scenario would be, but what about the worst-case scenario? Let's find out.

Bucks' nightmare seeding scenario, matchup for 2023 NBA Playoffs

The Bucks have a nice 2.5-game cushion for the top seed in the Eastern Conference, but they aren't home free yet. Milwaukee has a 79% chance to finish first, a 17% chance to finish second and a 3% chance to finish third, according to It's unlikely they would finish third, but finishing second is still a real and less than ideal possibility.

Of course, this means the Bucks would get the seventh seed in the first round. Or, more accurately, the team that wins the first game of the play-in tournament between the seventh and eighth-place teams. This opens up a whole host of possibilities, both good and bad, for who their opponent would be.

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Ideal opponents would be the Toronto Raptors or Brooklyn Nets, who the Bucks are a combined 6-1 against this season. They've gone 4-4 combined against the Miami Heat and Atlanta Hawks, but shouldn't have too much problem against either team. However, one potential opponent has given the Bucks some problems this season, and it isn't one many expect.

Of all teams, the Chicago Bulls have strangely given Milwaukee fits in 2022-23.

The Bucks have lost two of three meetings with the Bulls, but it goes deeper than just that. Chicago has held Milwaukee to just 42.4% on field goals and 30.2% on three-pointers. Among teams the Bucks have played multiple times, that is their worst three-point percentage and third-worst field goal percentage against any single team.

If the Bulls can limit the Bucks like they have, then they could cause problems in the playoffs. However, Milwaukee still has much more talent and experience, and thumped Chicago in the first round last year, so they should still win. The second round is where things start getting really interesting.

If the Celtics get the first seed, then the Bucks would likely play the Philadelphia 76ers in the second round. The Sixers have two wins in three games against the Bucks this season, including a win in Milwaukee. Even more importantly, they are arguably the hottest team in the league right now, winning nine of their last 10 games.

If the Sixers can carry that momentum into the playoffs, they will be a very tough out for any opponent. It would be in Milwaukee's best interest to avoid them, and the Celtics, for as long as possible. As long as they get the top seed, though, Antetokounmpo and company will avoid this nightmare scenario entirely.