On April 4th, the Milwaukee Bucks defeated the Philadelphia 76ers to claim the best record in the NBA. The last time the Bucks clinched the best record in the NBA was 1974. Their current record is 59-20. The Bucks have a chance to reach 60 wins. Their last three opponents are the Brooklyn Nets, Atlanta Hawks, and Oklahoma City Thunder. All three games are at home. The Bucks will have home-court advantage throughout the playoffs, including the NBA Finals. Many fans and experts expect the Golden State Warriors to repeat as champions. Other popular picks are the Houston Rockets and Toronto Raptors. But, the Bucks have proven they are the unquestioned number one team in the NBA. They should be the favorites to win the NBA Finals. Here are the reasons.
The Milwaukee Bucks are the Favorites to Win the NBA Finals
Outstanding Record Versus Top-Tier Teams
The Bucks have beaten tough competition consistently. They are 7-3 against the top three teams in the Eastern Conference (Raptors, 76ers, and Celtics). Also, they are 5-1 against the top three teams in the Western Conference (Warriors, Nuggets, Rockets), averaging 114.6 points against them. The Bucks are the only team in the Eastern Conference who did not lose three consecutive games throughout the entire season.
Dominant on Both Sides
The Bucks are the most complete team in the NBA. They are ranked in the top ten in the major categories on both offense and defense. On offense, the Bucks lead the NBA in scoring average (118.1 points per game) and in total rebounding (49.6 per game). They are fourth in the NBA in field goal percentage (47.6 percent). The Bucks are a disruptive team on defense. Opponents do not shoot well against them, averaging a league-low 43.2 percent. Also, they are tenth in points allowed. Opponents average 108.8 points per game against them. Opponents attempted a league-high 35.8 threes against the Bucks. That speaks volumes to their strong defense inside the three-point line, which eliminates free throws. Teams only attempt 15.3 free throws per game, which is second in the NBA.
The big reason for the Bucks’ success this season is their size. The length and strength of their team at the forward and center positions have been problematic for their opponents. Opponents cannot keep up with the physicality of the Bucks inside the three-point line. MVP candidate Giannis Antetokounmpo can take away his individual match-ups on both sides of the ball, punishing them on the inside and using his size to bother them. Also, there are other players who have contributed to their success. For example, Brook Lopez has extended his shooting range this season to positive results. This allows the Bucks to stretch the floor, making their balanced attack potent.
The Bucks are the most dangerous team in the NBA. They have proven to be almost unbeatable at various points in the season. The only question is health. Players such as Malcolm Brogden and Nikola Mirotic are suffering from injuries. If they can come back healthy for the playoffs, the Bucks will be the undisputed favorites to win the NBA Finals. If the Bucks win the championship, they will shift the culture in the NBA, proving mid-market teams shouldn’t be ignored.
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