None of us on this board expected the Bucks to be this good this year. I think we all expected that moving on from Jason Kidd would get us a few more wins (I thought maybe 50 wins would be in the cards), but a 60 win pace was beyond any of our expectations.
Now that the Bucks are going to enter the playoffs as either the 1st or 2nd seed, what would be considered a successful season? It will obviously influence who they decide to bring back. Here's how I see it, but I'd be interested to see what others think. Here's the 5 options (all assuming the team is in relatively good health in the playoffs).
1. (5% Chance) First round playoff loss.
A first round exit would be an unmitigated disaster. Winning 60 and then losing to a team like the Heat, Pistons, Hornets, or Magic would basically negate their whole regular season. I'd say this is highly, highly unlikely (less than 5% chance).
2. (30% Chance) Second Round playoff loss.
A second round playoff series loss to the Sixers or Celtics would be a huge disappointment, but I would say they could still call the season a success. It would mean winning a playoff series for the first time since 2001 and for the second time since 1989. Both the Sixers and the Celtics have the talent to beat anyone in a 7 game series. Losing to a depleted Pacers team in this round would be a much bigger blow.
3. (40% Chance). Conference Finals Loss
A loss to the Raptors (or whichever of the Celtics, Pacers, or Sixers may beat the Raptors) would be a disappointment, but a Conference Finals appearance for the second time in 33 years would still be a very, very successful season.
4. (20% Chance) NBA Finals Loss. This would be a wildly successful result for this year, especially if it meant a loss to the Warriors. A loss to anyone else would be a little more disappointing, but still a wildly successful season.
5. (5% Chance). NBA Champions. Go ahead and put Giannis' number in the rafters right now and name a street after Bud.