Milwaukee Bucks All-Decade Team

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The 2010s consisted of both breathtaking highs and mind-numbing lows for the Milwaukee Bucks. It’s hard to find a word to describe how much of a roller-coaster this decade has been for the team.

Milwaukee Bucks All-Decade Team

Recapping the 2010s

From 2010 to 2018, the Bucks didn’t win a single playoff series, nor did they win more than 46 games. On the other hand, the Bucks did unearth a franchise cornerstone in Giannis Antetokounmpo, who led the team to a 60-22 record in 2019. Thus, even though the Bucks remained a fringe playoff team for much of the decade, they ultimately came out stronger than before behind a well-assembled roster that looks ready to compete for years to come.

Milwaukee Bucks All-Decade Team Starting Five

Guard: Brandon Jennings

Though he played well enough in four seasons to warrant a spot on the Bucks All-Decade team, Brandon Jennings never seemed to live up to the considerable expectations placed upon him. Coming out of high school, he was the number one recruit of his class, and he was drafted top 10 in the 2009 NBA Draft. His first year in 2009 was greatly successful, as he led the team to the playoffs. From a 55 point outburst in his seventh game as a pro to breaking Kareem Abdul-Jabbars rookie scoring record, Jennings looked like the future of the franchise. However, he suffered injuries in his second and third years that seemed to sap his signature explosiveness. Ultimately, the Bucks traded Jennings to the Detroit Pistons in 2013.

During his time with the Bucks, which included a brief fourteen game stint in 2018-19, Jennings averaged 16.5 points, 5.6 assists, and 1.4 steals per game. While he never became the high-flying All-Star that he seemed destined to become, Jennings was still a productive point guard that led the Bucks to the playoffs twice. His confidence and scoring prowess were seminal to his offensive identity, and they were a big reason why he was a fan favorite in Milwaukee.

Guard: Malcolm Brogdon

The 2016-17 Rookie of the Year had a great career with the Bucks, though it ended before most fans would have liked. In three seasons with the team, Malcolm Brogdon averaged 12.8 points, 3.6 assists, and 3.5 rebounds while shooting 40.8 percent from downtown. Though his tenure was cut short due to injuries, he still managed to play a major role in the Bucks’ resurgence. This is especially true in regards to his high value despite a low-volume role.

Brogdon’s time with Milwaukee will be remembered for his unexpected rise to stardom, as well as his extreme efficiency off-ball. Coming out of the University of Virginia as a four-year senior, Brogdon had extraordinarily low expectations at the relatively old age of 24. However, he emerged as a solid role player, and only improved from there. In his third season, he completed a rare 50-40-90 season, and his free throw percentage led the league. Though his low-volume, high-efficiency role was perfect alongside Giannis Antetokounmpo, Brogdon was ultimately too expensive for the Bucks. He eventually signed with the Indiana Pacers, where he has taken on a greater role with success. Despite this, Brogdon’s achievement-laden tenure with the Bucks will always hold a special sort of significance.

Forward: Giannis Antetokounmpo

This one should not be a surprise to anybody. Giannis Antetokounmpo is undeniably the best player of the decade for the Milwaukee Bucks. In seven years with the Bucks, Antetokounmpo has risen from late lottery afterthought to arguably the best player in the league. He’s won a plethora of awards, including the 2017 Most Improved Player, 2019 MVP, and appearances on the All-Rookie Team, All-Defensive Team, and All-NBA Team.

On the court, Antetokounmpo has a virtually unguardable skillset. On the defensive end, he’s among the best in the league, as seen by his 2019 All-Defensive First Team nomination and 2019 Defensive Player of the Year finalist status. Offensively, Antetokounmpo is somehow still improving at an exponential rate, and consequently, so has his team’s win total. His remarkable athleticism allows him to score and rebound at will, as there are very few players in the league that can effectively prevent him from going to the rim. The persistent double and triple teams that he receives allows him to create opportunities, especially on the perimeter, for his teammates. Given his vast potential, Antetokounmpo’s presence on the Bucks ensures that the team will be competing for years to come.

Forward: Khris Middleton

Khris Middleton has simply outperformed anyone’s expectations since he arrived in Milwaukee. He was an afterthought of the Brandon Knight trade, but his hard work and perseverance have culminated in stardom. Throughout his seven years with the Bucks, Middleton has averaged 16.8 points, 4.8 rebounds, and 3.4 assists. As a testament to his Mamba-like work ethic, Middleton has greatly improved each year. As a result, he’s been an All-Star in 2018 and 2019.

Middleton has developed into the ideal teammate alongside Giannis. He’s shooting more and more long-range shots, and he commands more defensive attention. In addition, he is a solid creator that can get the ball the Giannis or the shooters around him. Because he poses a threat to defenses on and off-ball, he lessens the defensive pressure around Giannis, which is beneficial to the team’s success. His invariable improvements as a player should mirror the Bucks’ continued improvements, and he’ll likely end his career as one of the best Bucks players in history.

Forward: Jabari Parker

Ultimately, Jabari Parker‘s time with the Bucks will be remembered more for the injuries than for his outstanding play. Though he failed to meet expectations as the number two pick out of Duke, Parker still had a solid tenure with the Milwaukee Bucks. In four seasons, he averaged 15.3 points, 5.5 rebounds, and 2.0 assists per game. His offensive contributions were especially critical on the 2016-17 Bucks squad, which he helped lead to the 6th seed while averaging 20.1 points per game.

Parker is arguably the biggest what-if in the NBA right now. Given his explosiveness, polish and offensive firepower, Parker was expected to be the Bucks’ savior. However, after a series of crippling ACL tears, Parker was never the same player. Sadly, he’s now an NBA journeyman without a true offensive identity.

Milwaukee Bucks All-Decade Team Bench

Guard: Eric Bledsoe

Shipped from the Phoenix Suns, Eric Bledsoe has been an invaluable contributor for the Bucks. In three seasons with the team, he has averaged a solid 16.4 points, 5.3 assists, and 1.5 steals. Bledsoe is especially important to the Bucks because of his value on both ends of the floor. Offensively, he’s a great scorer as he shoots 48 percent from the field. He effectively spaces out the floor, averaging about five three-point attempts per game. Defensively, Bledsoe is elite. He’s among the defensive guards in the league, as seen by his All-Defensive First Team selection in 2019. While he currently comes off the bench, expect Bledsoe’s talent and grit to shine through in any potential Bucks playoff run.

Guard: Monta Ellis

Monta Ellis only played two seasons in Milwaukee, but those two seasons encapsulated the phrase “fast and furious”. In two seasons with the Bucks, Ellis averaged 18.9 points, 6.0 assists, and 1.9 steals per game. While Ellis wasn’t efficient or even serviceable on defense, he gave it his all in every single game. This was particularly evident during the 2012-13 season when he averaged a whopping 37.5 minutes. Monta Ellis was a sight to behold, and it would be criminal to leave him off the Bucks All-Decade team.

Forward: Ersan Ilyasova

Ersan Ilyasova‘s time in Milwaukee is characterized not by mind-blowing skill or elite ability, but by longevity and consistency. He’s played a stunning nine seasons with the Bucks, averaging 9.9 points, 5.8 rebounds, and 1.0 assists per game. He’s a serviceable shooter and rebounder that can guard multiple positions. This was especially evident in 2012, when he averaged 13.0 points, 8.8 rebounds, and shot an incredible 46 percent from deep. Though Ilyasova’s role has lessened over the years, his steadiness in the face of change exemplifies his overall importance during the decade.

Center: John Henson

Similar to Ilyasova, John Henson has been a remarkably consistent contributor for the Bucks. Before his trade to the Cleveland Cavaliers, Henson played seven seasons with the team, averaging a solid 7.8 points, 5.4 rebounds, and 1.5 blocks per game. He didn’t have many highlight-reel plays, nor did he have a major role during his time with the team. He was, however, a player that could provide a bit of everything off the bench. Rather than playing selfishly, Henson embraced his role with the Bucks, and he always seemed to energize his teammates. Ultimately, it’s the little things, like his selflessness and hustle, that made Henson valuable. It’s a big reason why he’s on this All-Decade team, and it’s why Henson has managed to carve out a respectable NBA career.

Center: Andrew Bogut

Andrew Bogut, like Jennings and Parker after him, failed to live up to his high expectations. Bogut indisputably had a good decade with the Bucks, especially from 2009-12, but injuries limited him from reaching his potential. In particular, it was his offensive capabilities that never reached the heights of his defensive prowess. During his time with the Bucks, the former first overall pick averaged 12.7 points, 9.3 rebounds, and 1.6 blocks. Though he was never an All-Star, Bogut made the 2010 All-NBA third team. Additionally, he led the NBA in 2011 with 2.6 blocks per game. Overall, Bogut may not have lived up to expectations, but he still established himself as one of the greatest centers in Bucks history.

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