5. Milwaukee Bucks
Had it not been for an unbelievable run from Kawhi Leonard, the Milwaukee Bucks may have reached the NBA Finals last year. The reigning MVP, Giannis Antetokounmpo, will certainly be looking to go all the way this time.
To keep it simple, Giannis was an unstoppable force last season. Averaging 27.7 points and 12.5 rebounds a game on 57.8 percent shooting, Giannis rivaled Shaquille O’Neal in terms of pure dominance.
However, once the playoffs began, Giannis was quickly neutralized. In the final four games of the Eastern Conference Finals, the MVP put up just 20.5 points on a decreased shooting percentage of 43.5 percent.
Giannis Antetokounmpo’s final four playoff games:
- 12 points (5-of-16 FG)
- 25 points (9-of-17 FG)
- 24 points (9-of-18 FG)
- 21 points (7-of-18 FG)
This was due to two reasons: His lack of a jump shot and inability to pass out of the double-team. Giannis shot below 30 percent from deep and wasn’t skilled enough as a playmaker to make opposing teams pay for double-teaming him.
With the loss of Malcolm Brogdon, the Bucks will be hurting, even more, to help Giannis offensively. Brogdon was one of the team’s leading scorers and playmakers. His absence will be felt mightly.
Even though the Bucks have one of the most frightening physical prospects of all-time on their team, the Golden State Warriors should be able to spread the floor and pick apart the Bucks in a potential NBA Finals series.