They me be inconsistent, and even downright awful at times, but if the Bucks have proven anything in this roller coaster ride of a season, it’s that when they are focused, they can hang with anybody.
It seems a long way out, and maybe even improbable, but I know the Golden State Warriors don’t want to be locked up with them in a 7 game series.
When Greg Monroe came to town this fan base was in a frenzy. To listen to fans in Wisconsin talk after free agency, you would have thought this team was headed for an undefeated season, and a championship.
Then reality struck. Turnovers, poor communication and bricks rained down on Milwaukee like cats and dogs.
All of a sudden, the conversation turned from trophies, to tanking, lottery picks, and trading away stars.
But then, like what happens with most young franchises that are built on a solid foundation, one player started to find his groove, then another, and then the team started to look like a young squad should in the second year of rebuilding.
They began to gel and play defense and now this team who individually looked like world beaters but together seemed like a circus, has started to find chemistry.
Khris Middleton has rediscovered his shot and his place as the leader of this team, the one that everyone else can use to help define their game and build around.
“We’re getting back to our principles,” Middleton said. “We’re starting to figure out these rotations and how we need to play defense and getting back to stuff we were doing last year. It’s been great these last couple games.”
Greg Monroe is finding his place as the stabilizer. Realizing the team is better when he just relaxes and let’s the game happen, instead of trying to carry everyone.
Giannis Antetokounmpo is the wild card on this team. Just like any forward who has the moves and agility of a guard, he presents a matchup problem for opponents. The problem is, no one, including the “Greek Freak” knows just how good he can be or exactly where he fits on this team.
Michael Carter-Williams is the one caught in the middle of this inexperienced team. How is a facilitator supposed to figure out his role when the rest of the team is still defining theirs?
That is why he can look so on point some nights and so discombobulated on others. He has shown the talent to be a great leader but will need the most patience to find his niche.
Jabari Parker has very high exactions to live up to after being a high draft pick but is also the least experienced of this young crew due to missing a major portion of his rookie season with an injury. Because of this, he may take some time to reach his full potential but with the flashes he’s shown I’m sure it will be well worth the wait.
“I know what skills I have,” Parker said. “I’m just playing my role. It’s there. It’s always been there.”
John Henson is another player that could turn out to be a star in this league, but Milwaukee has been ultra “patient” with him. However, it looks like he is starting to come into his own as a defensive monster and when he does they will have no choice but to find minutes for him.
The major negative I see for the Bucks at this moment is that they are too versatile and unorthodox.
They have tall guards and very athletic forwards, which makes it sometimes hard to define positions and duties.
If they are ever able to find were everyone fits and learn to gel these talents,they will create unthinkable match ups and these problems will quickly become positives.
The front office is dedicated to bringing Milwaukee not only a good team, but one that is built to last for years to come.
That takes patience, not only with the players, but from fans.
This young team has already shown talent and maturity beyond their years, and I can guarantee one thing. Even though this team is built for the future, if they continue to progress at this rate…
Nobody will want to meet these young Bucks in the playoffs this year!