Which Bucks team seems better to you?  This past team or the upcoming one?  What is your support?

Perhaps do not factor in Brogdon's injury last year or expected improvement of Giannis this coming year.  My interest is primarily on how Horst has managed personnel.

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I think this upcoming team has more options in terms of lineups. Brogdon is top 5 in the league in catch and shoot, wide open 3s and they are going to miss him there. He's basically Kyle Korver with the ability to play good defense. They can compensate for that with some minutes from Matthews (or more importantly if Bledsoe can even shoot 35% from 3). 

The ability to go ultra-big with a really tough interior defense may end up being critical against the  Sixers (or if they do get to the Finals against the Lakers). 

Giannis-B. Lopez-R. Lopez-Middleton-Wes Matthews with Ilysaova off the bench. 

They can also more easily play small ball against a team like the Celtics. 

Giannis-Middleton-G. Hill-Bledsoe-W. Matthews

They can surround Giannis with a bunch of 3 point shooters by swapping out Bledsoe from the lineup above with any number of other players.

They are much more versatile just from swapping out Mirotic and Brogdon for W. Matthew and R. Lopez. 

They basically have 12-13 guys that would be good enough to be rotation guys for many teams (Connaughton, Sterling Brown, DiVencenzo added to the guys above). Even Leuer isn't a total stiff and DJ Wilson has potential. 

The Bucks are as good as any team in the league with one exception. Barring injury, it will all come down to whether Giannis improves as a shooter or Middleton takes another step. That is when they get into a half court game in the playoffs in critical parts of game and need someone who can hit a shot off the dribble at the end of the shot clock. That's what did them in against the Raptors. They'd go long stretches without scoring because Giannis couldn't do that unless he got all the way to the rim and Middleton is decent, but not great, in those situations. 

The difficult part of this analysis is given his (injury) history I can’t assume Brogdon for a full year in any comparison.  But I get the idea and will offer up my two cents. 

To begin, I’m not sure there was a bigger Brogdon fan on this website than me.  I love his game and in a perfect world would have preferred that he remained a Buck.  

However, the Bucks felt differently and I’m not sure it was just due to luxury tax implications.  Maybe he was pissed he wasn’t the starting PG or that he didn’t get extended like Bledsoe did.   Maybe he didn’t like the city.  Maybe he requested to be dealt.  Not sure.  But I think the Bucks bought low and sold high.  Meaning, if they didn’t have any intention of paying him 20MM+ per year over 5 years they extracted the most they could out of the move in the form of the three draft picks and also diverting less funds to backfill his production with Hill and Matthews.  It also allowed them to add another competent big (Robin Lopez) to add depth to the frontcourt. 

People tend to overlook how Toronto beat up the Bucks physically in that series and Milwaukee could not match their toughness and intensity especially in the paint.  With R Lopez he won’t get pushed around by the likes of the Ibakas or Marc Gasols.  It gives Milwaukee an option to feature a bigger, tougher lineup that they didn’t have in 2018/2019.  It also becomes much more important in the playoffs when the pace slows down and teams get rough and play tackle basketball.  

The other factor is I keep hearing about how important Brogdon was in the playoffs and I would argue the second best player wasn’t Brogdon but rather George Hill.  He shot 42% from 3 in the playoffs and had double digits in 10 of the 15 games he played.   He also played stellar defense and didn’t turn the ball over. 

The biggest question I have is can Brogdon stay healthy?  History is not on his side.  He’s missed 40% of the games he was eligible to play.  That’s a lot.  For this move to work for Indiana he must stay on the court.  I also don’t think he will have as many uncontested 3s because the Pacers have no one that can draw defenders in like Giannis.  34 is the best friend a shooter can ask for because he attracts so much attention and if you collapse on him someone on the arc will be open.  

This years team will be better if nothing else than Giannis is a year older and more mature and likely will show up with something resembling an outside shot and hopefully the ability to hit 70+% of his FT's. 

I thought this was going to be about Lakers vs Clippers. My answer there would be Clippers. 

I would go with the Clippers by a lot.  

Lou Williams is a scoring machine.  Their frontcourt of Harrell and Zubac is underrated.  And what about that defense?  Good luck if they feature Beverly and Kahwi and PG13 at the same time on court.  Not sure any guard or wing player will be able to score. 

Anthony Davis is a fantastic player.  He gets lost in the best player in the league discussion, but you could make a case he’s as good if not better than Embiid.  That being said, LeBron demands the ball and the attention (even at 35) so not sure how that will work out. 

Thanks for the posts.  I feel like I should offer my opinion since I started this topic, but I really don't know.  It is real important to me though.

The Bucks basically added Robin Lopez and Matthews and lost Brogdon and Mirotic, right?  I am thinking the Mirotic loss is not that big of a deal because it turned out his defense is so bad and I think even with the reserves, the Bucks want better than he can offer.  I only know from what others said, but Robin Lopez and the loss of Mirotic means better defense.

As to the loss of Brogdon, I now think it is unfair to not qualify partly on his injury history.  40%?  That's a lot!

With the experience gained by some of the players (Sterling Brown, DD) and the addition of Matthews I am thinking maybe the loss of Brogdon can be close to a wash.

The Bucks had to manage so many salaries that I think it is amazing there was not a larger drop off so I am very glad with how FA turned out.

Finally, even though I did not want to factor it in, if Giannis does develop some shooting proficiency outside the rim, that changes everything.  On that, I don't know what to think, unfortunately, because some of his misses were clearly psychological.  I am mainly thinking of free throws where some were even air balls or close to it.

We'll see.

Thanks again.

Just overall, it will be hard to duplicate what they had last year all the way up until Game 3 vs. Toronto.  The chemistry, coaching, and overall depth was so fantastic, it was the highest level of performance I've seen from a Bucks team that I can remember.  I do expect a minor drop off in the upcoming regular season just because it was something that will be very hard to match.

In terms of improvement from within, you hope that Giannis has 1 more step in his development he can take.  I really liked the little bit I saw from DiVincenzo though when you're hurt as much as he was, it's hard to say whether he can truly be an asset.  His high level of athleticism surprised me, and he looked like he had a silky smooth jump shot.  There's a chance he could be a real contributor if he stays healthy, but maybe I'm putting my hopes in something there that isn't realistic.

They took a huge step forward last year, actually a couple of steps.  Just need to find a way to bring it hard a few more games than they did last year come playoff time.  They'll certainly be in the mix again with a chance to win the East, just need to find a way to bring a higher level of play in those final rounds of the playoffs. 

Losing Brogdon hurts, but considering they had a very good record without him, his loss will not be catastrophic and who knows maybe DiVincenzo, Matthews, and a 2nd Lopez will more than make up for his loss.

 

 

fightphoe93 posted:

Just overall, it will be hard to duplicate what they had last year all the way up until Game 3 vs. Toronto.  The chemistry, coaching, and overall depth was so fantastic, it was the highest level of performance I've seen from a Bucks team that I can remember.  I do expect a minor drop off in the upcoming regular season just because it was something that will be very hard to match.  

I don’t know about that. The EC is even weaker now than last year. 2 contenders, a good team (Indy), and the Nets without Durant? 

They could easily win 60 games again...

I seriously think we are better. Locking Brook Lopez in, as well as George Hill, then having the cap space to add Robin Lopez and Wes Matthews, along with another player, hopefully Korver, plus the 3 draft picks... I do think we are a better team.

I loved Brogs, but, it does seem like he was not digging being here. Rather have players who want to be all in. Robin Lopez is going to be a tremendous addition to our team. Hill brings stability, and I believe he is a better shooter, one who takes more 3s than Brogs. His numbers were down from what he did his last year in CLE, where he shot over 46% from 3. Hill is also a better rebounder, better defender and he gets to the FT line more. He's got a new home here, and I suspect his numbers will rise again with more minutes in a good situation here in MKE.

Music City posted:
fightphoe93 posted:

Just overall, it will be hard to duplicate what they had last year all the way up until Game 3 vs. Toronto.  The chemistry, coaching, and overall depth was so fantastic, it was the highest level of performance I've seen from a Bucks team that I can remember.  I do expect a minor drop off in the upcoming regular season just because it was something that will be very hard to match.  

I don’t know about that. The EC is even weaker now than last year. 2 contenders, a good team (Indy), and the Nets without Durant? 

They could easily win 60 games again...

The East is definitely weaker.

The Bucks won last year cause they were jacking 3's at an all time rate, and letting Giannis freak to the hoop. Toronto schemed how to defend us and the Bucks as a whole did a poor job of adjusting.

My hope is that this new roster is more versatile along with an even better Giannis....and that Bud adjusts better this time around. Also gotta have guys like DDV, and Sterling grow into players.

Still thinking Horst is going to use the Leuer and Ersan expiring deals and the new picks to make one final move. 

 

Music City posted:

Well, you could rebuild the B.C. with the bricklaying going on in Vegas right now. That’s not a good sign of the expectation is Brown and DJW are ready for a bigger role...

Giannis, Middleton, Bledsoe, B. Lopez, George Hill, R. Lopez, Ilyasova, Matthews, Connaughton, DiVencenzo. And that's assuming Korver doesn't get added here shortly. 

Right now, Brown and DJW are no higher than 10 and 11 on the depth chart. The Bucks advancing to AT LEAST to the ECF again (to get only that far would still be disappointing but not catastrophic) or hopefully the NBA Finals is not coming down to the two of them. They are likely to see minutes only from injuries or load management games for the top 9. 

Then 12 and 13 will be Thannis and Leuer. 

You have to factor in a full year of George Hill as well.  He’s going to get a fair amount of minutes and he more than picked up the slack when Brogdon was out.   He was really good the 1st two rounds of the playoffs.  

Robin Lopez and Matthews could have helped them a lot v Toronto because Lopez would have challenged their bigs more for rebounds and blocked shots.  In addition, he’s one of the best big men in the league at setting screens.  Certainly that would have helped our shooters like Middleton get more open looks or open things up for Giannis off the dribble.  As for Matthews, his ability to hit the corner 3s would have also forced Toronto to leave the paint area to defend him.   

 

Just saw the details on the Kahwi deal.  3 years, 103MM.  A relative bargain, but he can opt out after 2 years which could be very important as the 2021 free agent class is loaded.  Giannis, Paul George, Bradley Beal, Victor Oladipo, Jrue Holiday, Blake Griffin, Rudy Gobert, CJ McCollum just to name a few.  

Kahwi Leonard is literally reshaping the NBA as we speak.   

Anyone watching Summer League Bucks v. China?

Tschmak, amazing what he’s done. 

Also dig your take Mich, on Robin Lopez. Couldn’t agree more. Thinking Sterling and DJ are better. Had Sterling played more all through playoffs we would have won the whole thing. Sterling is an excellent defender. DJ is too. Thought Bud missed the mark bigtime by not allowing either to really contribute all through playoffs. Had to affected their confidence too, in the opposite direction. To me that was Bud’s biggest miscue aside from not gameplanning better for the wall D. 

This Bucks team will be very special this year. 

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