One of the small-market champions who are not given too much attention in the national media, the Milwaukee Bucks are coming out with a vengeance in their 2022-23 campaign. Winning it all in 2021 was inspiring for any NBA fan, but the Bucks deserve more limelight and segments on the regular NBA shows, as they arguably have the best trio in the NBA today with Giannis Antetokounmpo, Khris Middleton, and Jrue Holiday.
When these three individuals are healthy, the Bucks are practically unbeatable because of how they can complement each other on both ends of the court. Antetokounmpo will be one of the legitimate favorites to win his third MVP this year, while Middleton and Holiday will be candidates for the All-Star game. Brook Lopez is fully healthy as the anchor of their defense, while their role players are still a reliable bunch.
As one of the favorites to win it all, these are some predictions for Milwaukee heading into opening night.
Bucks will face the Celtics in the ECF
Last year, the tilt between the Milwaukee Bucks and Boston Celtics was a nip-and-tuck affair as it reached a deciding Game 7 before the Celtics prevailed. Fans were glued to their seats for each game, but that would be more evident when the Bucks and Celtics could face off once again but this time in the Eastern Conference Finals.
These two organizations will be pitted against each other for the next several seasons as long as Giannis Antetokounmpo and Jayson Tatum are still leading their squads. This series will last for six and seven games, but it will still be tough to decide on a winner because there will still be a plethora of changes before May next season.
Giannis wins his third MVP
There seems to be no indication for Nikola Jokic's numbers to dwindle, but voters will have it on the back of their heads that it will be tough to reward him with three successive MVP awards. Other candidates for this award like Luka Doncic, Joel Embiid, and Kevin Durant may have other question marks surrounding their season, but Giannis Antetokounmpo has the path to bag his third MVP award.
The storyline is always a criterion that voters consider, so Antetokounmpo can claim the No.1 seed in the East, which will be a significant boost to his MVP case. Furthermore, the Bucks will force the media and fans to discuss their campaign if they are one of the top teams so tilting the topics from the Lakers or Nets to the Milwaukee Bucks could be another considerable reason why Giannis Antetokounmpo will deserve this prestigious award.
Grayson Allen struggles and gets traded
With the underrated acquisition of Grayson Allen from the Memphis Grizzlies last offseason, he was expected to fit right into the role of a 3-and-D wing alongside the Big 3. Inconsistency has been a major concern for Allen so with two more years remaining on his contract, there will be an organization out there that will be able to utilize his services at a better level.
The next question is who would fill in the role he would vacate on the Bucks, thus the low-key addition of Joe Ingles must not be forgotten. He will return at some point in 2023, which will be the perfect time to prepare for the playoffs. Ingles has a far better playmaking prowess than Grayson Allen, and he will provide another ball handler who maneuvers through pick-and-rolls incredibly. Moreover, putting Allen in the trade market will give them a chance to acquire another outside shooter or even a wing that has a similar style to P.J. Tucker.