It appears that all Bucks fan can see, when they look back at last season, is a 42-40 record and a sixth seed in the Eastern Conference Playoffs. Even though it is a great step in the rebuilding process, it’s not really a fair assessment of the Bucks 2016-17 season at all. Last year, Milwaukee went basically a full season without one of their star players. K-Midd missed the first half, and Parker missed the rest.
After Middleton’s return on February 8, the Bucks recovered from a 22-28 record, and finished the season 20-12 in their last 32 games. Now if you take that alone, it projects out to 51 wins for the Bucks, in a season in which they have their star guard for the full schedule. Then throw Jabari Parker back in the middle of it all and things could get really interesting.
That’s without considering that the Bucks lost a few of those games when “Kash Money” had just gotten back and was still shaking off the rust from his injury. When he was finally back in his groove, they went 18-6 for a stretch that lasted for a few games in February and all of March. That means the Bucks were winning 2/3 of their games at one point without Jabari Parker. That projects out to 55 wins over a full season without one of the team’s best players.
The moral of the story is, the Bucks don’t need to go out and sign big name free agents. They already have ridiculous talent in house. Plus, you can’t even begin to put a price on the experience and confidence gained by destroying the Raptors in two different games in the playoffs. What they need, is to continue to grow, mature and get healthy, and then take that with them into the season.
Not only is this team’s starting five going to be fairly stacked, but it may be the deepest team in the league going into next season, depending on who the Bucks decide to part with in the offseason to avoid the luxury tax.
We haven’t yet seen this team at full strength for a full season, when we do, it might just make us all…
Fear the Deer!