Led by Hall of Famers Oscar Robertson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, the 1970-71 Milwaukee Bucks established themselves as the best team in the NBA, winning the championship over the Baltimore Bullets.
That Bucks team is also the best club in Milwaukee franchise history considering it’s the only squad that has won it all.
The 2018-19 Bucks made it all the way to the Eastern Conference Finals but fell to the Toronto Raptors in six games after taking a 2-0 series lead. Bucks superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo has been on record saying he thought he was going to the Finals after taking that 2-0 lead.
The 1970-71 Bucks won 66 games during the regular season. They led the league in scoring at 118.4 points per game and were third in opponent points per game. Milwaukee gave up only 106.2 points a night that season.
The Bucks also had the best offensive and defensive rating. This club had no flaws on either side of the ball. After all, when you have Robertson and Abdul-Jabbar leading the way, your team is going to be elite.
Kareem won the 1970-71 regular-season MVP award. He averaged 31.7 points and 16.0 rebounds for Milwaukee while shooting 57.7 percent from the field. Abdul-Jabbar beat out Los Angeles Lakers legendary point guard Jerry West for the MVP trophy.
Robertson put up 19.4 points, 5.7 rebounds, and 8.2 assists that season. A lot of Bucks news were hailing Milwaukee as the overwhelming favorite to win the championship once the playoffs started.
The Bucks defeated the San Francisco Warriors to begin the postseason. Back then, the playoffs didn’t have a first-round. Also, the Bucks were in the Western Conference during this time, not the Eastern Conference.
The Western Conference Finals saw Milwaukee take on West and the Lakers. They won the series in five games. Kareem averaged 25.0 points and 17.2 rebounds in the series, while The Big O put up 15.2 points and 8.8 assists.
We also can’t forget about Bucks small forward Bob Dandridge, who averaged 17.8 points per game against the Lakers, playing solid defense on West and Earl Monroe.
The 1971 NBA Finals between the Bucks and Washington Bullets was never really a fair fight. Milwaukee swept Washington to capture its first and lone championship in franchise history. Kareem was named Finals MVP after averaging 27.0 points and 18.5 rebounds.
Abdul-Jabbar finished his Bucks career with averages of 30.4 points and 15.3 rebounds. He wound up winning five more titles once he got traded to the Lakers in 1975.
The 1970-71 Bucks team is still celebrated today in Milwaukee. The fans will always appreciate what that team did for the city and franchise.
Now, it’s Antetokounmpo’s turn to lead the Bucks to a championship. If Giannis can lead the Bucks to a title, his team might be able to overtake Kareem’s crew as the best club in Bucks franchise history.
Only time will tell if Giannis can become a Bucks legend like Kareem and Oscar by bringing the championship back to Milwaukee.