Milwaukee technically lost the NBA Lottery, but ended up with the player they wanted, Duke’s Jabari Parker. Also, the nation was the real winners of the NBA Lottery. We were introduced to the Bucks co-owner’s daughter, Mallory Edens.
Jason Kidd is now in charge in Milwaukee. How will he fare with young talent?
Do the Bucks play hard all season or will they once again tank to speed up the rebuilding process? That’s the biggest question in Milwaukee.
Here is the 2014-15 NBA season preview for the Milwaukee Bucks.
2013-14 Win/Loss Record: 15-67
Key Additions: SF Jabari Parker, PG Jerryd Bayless, SG Jared Dudley, PG Kendall Marshall, PF Michael Eric, SF Damien Inglis & PF Johnny O’Bryant III
Key Losses: PG Ramon Sessions, PF Ekpe Udoh, SF Jeff Adrien & C Miroslav Raduljica
Projected Starters: Larry Sanders, Jabari Parker, Khris Middleton, Giannis Antetokounmpo & Brandon Knight
Fantasy Sleeper: C John Henson – If you just look at Milwaukee’s depth chart, you’d be underwhelmed at the aspect of owning Henson on your fantasy team. He stepped up last season and delivered. If Milwaukee can find a team willing to take on Ersan Ilyasova’s contract, he’s gone. That is a lot to ask for, since his shooting percentage has dropped year after year. I want to see Parker and Henson play side-by-side. It would help Parker by having defensive-minded players in the paint (Henson & Sanders).
Team Analysis: When you look at Milwaukee’s roster, it doesn’t look like a basement-dwelling team. You have some former college All-Americans mixed with second and third year players with potential. They dealt with some injuries and a ownership/coaching/arena situation that wasn’t ideal. The arena situation is still up in the air, but Jason Kidd and the front office have a good relationship.
Milwaukee realized they made a huge mistake by signing O.J. Mayo last season. They tried to upgrade the back-court by signing Jerryd Bayless and Kendall Marshall. Brandon Knight is also healthy, so Mayo will now collect dust at the end of the bench.
I expect a breakout year from Giannis Antetokounmpo. He’s long with huge hands. I’d love to see a consistent jumper from him, but I’m fine watching him dunk and block shots at the moment.
Milwaukee holds its own destiny. If they really went for it this year, they could end up with 35 to 40 wins. They would probably be a fringe playoff contender. I don’t see them ‘going for it’ this season. Finishing in the middle-of-the-pack doesn’t do anything for their rebuilding process. Kidd and the front office have long contracts, so there is no immediate need to win. I expect a lot of Milwaukee starting lineups to include Nate Wolters and Zaza Pachulia in March and April.
2014-15 Wins Over/Under Betting Line: 24.5 (Prediction: UNDER)
2014-15 Projected Win/Loss Record: 23-59 (14th in Eastern Conference)
Bobby Roberts (otherwise known as Sweetbob) is the creator of ‘America’s White Boy’ and contributor at Project Shanks. His writing has been featured on ESPN’s ‘SportsNation’, Sports Illustrated’s Hot Clicks, Guyspeed, and various other sites. You can follow him on Twitter at @Sweetbob.