Milwaukee Bucks: NBA Restart 2020 Preview, Prediction, Picks
Photo by Michael McLoone-USA TODAY Sports
Milwaukee Bucks NBA Preview
NBA Returns July 31
Milwaukee Bucks NBA Title Odds: +250
The Milwaukee Bucks hope to finally live up to the expectations that were put in front of them throughout the regular season as the NBA season prepares to restart.
The Milwaukee Bucks entered the pause with a league-best 53-12 overall record, and it wasn’t overly hard to see why the Bucks were doing as well as they were, leading the NBA with 118.6 points per game and sitting tied for 2nd with a 47.7% shooting percentage from the field. The pause may have saved the Bucks, as they were dealing with an injury to reigning league-MVP Giannis Antetokoumpo and had lost 4 games in the month of March. That doesn’t sound bad, but when you think about the fact that the Bucks had only played six games in the month of March and that Milwaukee hadn’t lost more than two games in a calendar month all season long, that speaks volumes. Get NBA Picks and NBA Predictions for EVERY GAME at Sports Chat Place.
Let’s take a look at the Bucks' schedule and preview what to expect from Milwaukee as we prepare playoff basketball in Orlando, Florida in late July.
Remaining games on Bucks’ schedule: vs. Celtics, Heat, Grizzlies, Wizards, Rockets, Wizards, Mavericks, Raptors
In my opinion, the break had benefits and drawbacks for Milwaukee. The break allowed Giannis to get healthy, as he was probably going to miss a handful of games from the point where the league had stopped in mid-March. Instead, Giannis was able to rest up and get healthy for a legitimate playoff push. On the other hand, while guys like Antetokoumpo, Eric Bledsoe and Khris Middleton were able to stay in shape from a physique standpoint working out at home, but the same Bucks also admitted they had no access to basketball rims/courts during quarantine (which sounds odd to me when you get paid as much as these guys do but besides the point.), so you have to wonder if the game shape is still there and if the shots will be falling the way they did before the break.
As far as seeding goes, I’d go out on the limb saying that It’s probably safe to assume that Milwaukee finished the eight-game slate with the #1 seed as Milwaukee was 6.5 games ahead of 2nd-place Toronto when the season stopped and I’m not expecting an 0-8 Bucks/8-0 Raptors swing over the course of those games. Opposition wise, the two most likely matchups for Milwaukee would be the Brooklyn Nets or the Orlando Magic who are only a half game apart in 7th and 8th respectively. There’s also the Wizards in play with the potential of sneaking in for the play-in. I think the Bucks just need to worry about tuning up over the course of these eight games as their fate seeding-wise is almost fully guaranteed in a world of uncertainty right now.
Odds: The Bucks are currently slated at +250 to win the NBA championship, the second-lowest bet on the table behind the Los Angeles Lakers who are at +240. Milwaukee is also slated at -165 to win the Eastern Conference. Looking at this realistically, neither of those lines provide any sort of value to me. The Bucks are talented, maybe as talented as they’ve ever been, but there’s a lack of experience in getting deep in the playoffs. I think the Bucks will want to atone for last year’s exit from the playoffs, but there’s so much quality at the top of the NBA mountain, with the Lakers, Clippers, Rockets and even the Nuggets in the West, as well as the Celtics, Raptors, Sixers and Heat in the East. Seeing the Bucks lift the trophy wouldn’t surprise me, but there’s no value in backing the Bucks at this price.