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12.08.2019 12:09

Bucks NBA season preview

The Milwaukee Bucks had an extremely good season last time out. They won the Eastern Conference and almost managed to make it to the NBA finals. It was their most successful season in a long time, even if they did fall just before the final hurdle. Last season was one with minimal expectations for the Bucks. They had a head coach who was new to the job and a roster full of young players who had plenty by way of potential but not much in terms of actual achievements. All of that was thrown right to the back as the Bucks exceeded expectations and finished the season with the best regular-season win record in the whole of the NBA.

Will they be able to match their performance from last season now that there are a whole load of new expectations surrounding them? We have taken a look at their roster changes to see how the new season should pan out for the Bucks.

Free agency

The Bucks made the most of their free agency period with very few players leaving. This was vital as the Bucks needed to keep the core of their side together. One of the biggest reasons why they were so successful last season was that the players around Giannis Antetokounmpo played to his strengths. When you have a player of his quality, it is important to make sure that you are getting the best out of him, and the Bucks did that. What they have managed to do on top of this is add new players who will increase their strength in depth while also increasing their experience levels. One thing that could be levelled at them last season was that a lack of experience cost them in the Eastern Conference finals. The Bucks have added experience, with Kyle Korver and Robin Lopez both over the age of 30, which should help the relatively young team to improve on their 2018/19 performance.

They have also added some more youth to their ranks, with Dragan Bender coming in from the Phoenix Suns. This is seen as a risky move in most places due to his underwhelming season with the Suns, but there is undoubted potential there. He improved as the season went on, recording a number of career highs over the season. At over seven feet tall, he adds a physical presence to the side, and if he can bring consistency to his game, then he could be an inspired signing for the Bucks.

If you think that the Bucks can go a few steps better this season, then the odds of 6.10 at Sportsbet are too good to resist.

Middleton and Giannis

One of the most important factors during the Bucks’ offseason was ensuring that Khris Middleton re-signed with them. As he was without a doubt their most important player (after Giannis) last season, losing him would have made a big dent in their planning for this coming season. While he may not grab the headlines, he manages to complement Giannis’ style and brings out the best in him. He also provides important aspects to the team himself, so it would be unfair to claim that he was only there to make Giannis better. By managing to keep Middleton with them this season, the Bucks have kept hold of someone who not only makes their best player better but also provides individual quality on the court.

Part of the offseason was also about keeping Giannis happy. While he came out publicly saying that he wanted to remain at the Bucks and win trophies there in the long term, if they did not live up to his expectations or did not treat him right, then this attitude could quickly change. As such, the Bucks have pulled off a master stroke by signing his older brother, Thanasis. There are a lot of rumours about his signing, most of them surrounding his lack of top-level playing time and his overall mediocre performances in leagues of a lower standard. However, there is a level of genius to his signing. Giannis will be hitting free agency in two years. By signing his older brother, the Bucks have shown that they are not just willing to look after him but that they will also look after his family in the process. The relatively small salary paid out to Thanasis could pay for itself if it helps to bring out even more from Giannis and if it persuades him to sign on for more than his two-year deal. A player of Giannis’ ability is not easy to replace, and the Bucks are well aware of this. By giving themselves the best chance possible of retaining his services in the long term, it means that they are hoping that their young team will all grow together.

If you think that the new signings combined with the retention of the core of the roster will help Giannis go on to achieve even more greatness this season, then the odds of 3.85 that are on offer at Sportsbet will be sure to grab your attention. As a player who has still not yet hit his peak, the sky is the limit for what Giannis can achieve this season and beyond.

Wagering on the NBA this season

The NBA promises to be a hugely exciting season this year. With some big players having made some big moves and a wide range of new players coming up from the NCAA, it should be full of thrills over the whole year. The best place to catch all of the NBA action this season is right here at Sportsbet. We offer the best range of markets to players combined with the best selection of odds. You can stream a huge range of games too, so no matter what wager you have placed, you will not miss out on the action while waiting for it to come in. If you intend to keep up to date with the NBA this season, then Sportsbet is the place to do it.

Words: Josh Dixon

Images: PA