The Milwaukee Bucks and two-time reigning NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo are built to win a championship this season.
Sound like something that has been said before, right? That’s because it has, on multiple occasions.
The Bucks were the top seed in the Eastern Conference in each of the past two seasons. But they failed to make it to the NBA Finals on both occasions, with opponents clogging the lane and forcing other guys to be playmakers while sending help defenders at the “Greek Freak.”
Milwaukee sought to counteract this strategy by bringing in Jrue Holiday in the offseason. A failed sign-and-trade for Bogdan Bogdanovic made headlines, but this Bucks team should have enough in their arsenal to get the job done, anyway.
Antetokounmpo and head coach Mike Budenholzer are running out of excuses. It’s time to show out come playoff time.
The Holiday factor
There is no mistaking the impact Jrue Holiday can have for Milwaukee in May and June.
Holiday has been superb in his Bucks debut campaign, averaging 17.0 points, 5.4 assists and 4.5 rebounds while shooting over 50 percent from the field and close to 40 percent from beyond the arc.
The latter number is especially important. Opposing guards used to be able to help off Eric Bledsoe and send extra attention at Giannis. That is no longer the case with Holiday on the floor. He can make teams pay by knocking down open looks from the perimeter while also making plays in the pick-and-roll and spotting the open man.