The Milwaukee Bucks enter the 2022-2023 NBA season looking for their second championship run in the last three seasons. Last season, the Bucks finished the regular season with a 51-31 record the third best in the Eastern Conference.
Their playoff run ended prematurely losing to the second round against the Boston Celtics in seven games. This came despite losing all-star forward Khris Middleton in the first round due to a wrist injury.
With Middleton’s return imminent, Milwaukee will be a team at the top of the food chain in the East as they have always been. They have made the playoffs in six consecutive seasons tied for the second longest active streak in the NBA with the Utah Jazz.
It is very likely that this streak will remain alive but Milwaukee is striving for more than that. The question is
Best Case Scenario
The best scenario for the Milwaukee Bucks in the 2022-2023 season is simple…championship. Even without many roster changes this offseason, they are a team good enough to win a championship.
They are a team with great size that can make an impact on both ends of the floor. Milwaukee was the third best scoring team in the league last season averaging 115.5 points per game. They were also very efficient ranking third in three-point percentage (37%) and 11th in field goal percentage (47%).
On defense, the Bucks were the second-best in the NBA in rebounding and the best in defensive rebounds. In addition, they were great at defending without fouling committing the third fewest fouls in the league.
On top of being a great team, they have one of the best players in the NBA in Giannis Antetokounmpo. The former MVP had another banner season ranking 2nd in points, 6th in rebounds, and 11th in blocks. He stepped his game up in the playoffs 31.7 points, 14.2 rebounds, and 6.8 assists (all career-highs).
He along with Khris Middleton and Jrue Holiday is easily a top 10 trio in the NBA. Their supporting cast includes Bobby Portis and Grayson Allen who each had career years last season. Other notable players such as Brook Lopez, Pat Connaughton, and Joe Ingles will also have critical roles in a potential championship run.
If all these players remain healthy, they can certainly make it out of the East on their way to a championship.
Worst Case Scenario
Worst case scenario for the Bucks is they lack the depth to compete in the East and are eliminated from the playoffs early. Several teams in the East got better in the offseason that could possibly make things interesting in the East.
The Cleveland Cavaliers traded for multiple time All-Star guard Donovan Mitchell to their backcourt. Meanwhile, Atlanta Hawks traded for rising star guard Dejounte Murray.
The reigning Eastern Conference champion Boston Celtics added depth in the form of Malcolm Brogdon and Danilo Gallinari. The Philadelphia 76ers added frontcourt veterans P.J. Tucker and Montrezl Harrell.
This does not even include the Miami Heat, Chicago Bulls, and Toronto Raptors that made the playoffs last season. All of these teams could conceivably be a player in the East this year.
Even if the Bucks remain fully healthy, it will be an uphill battle for them to make it back to the NBA Finals.
Projected Starting Lineup: Jrue Holiday, Grayson Allen, Khris Middleton, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Bobby Portis
Record: 52-30, 3rd in Eastern Conference, 1st in Central Division
Awards: First Team All-NBA- Giannis Antetokounmpo; First Team All-Defense- Giannis Antetokounmpo; Second Team All-Defense- Jrue Holiday
Playoff Finish: Eastern Conference Finals