Bucks Lead

5 Reasons Bucks Fans Should Be Excited for This Season


My last article took up a skeptical tone on DJ Wilson’s rookie year production and potential to improve in the future. This article will be more positive in nature, however. Although the Bucks did not make any big-splash player acquisitionsthey made several moves that set this off-season apart from recent ones. Smart acquisitions and the debut of their new arena pave the road for an exciting 2018-19 season for the Bucks.

Reason #1: The Premiere of the Fiserv Forum

The Bucks are leaving the Bradley Center after almost 20 years of action and will now host their home games in the state of the art Fiserv Forum. Bob Holland’s article showcases the beauty of the building’s exterior. However, what’s even more intriguing than a squeaky-clean basketball court and massive jumbotron is the prospect of the Fiserv Forum becoming “The House that Giannis Built.”

Giannis was adopted into the long-standing Bradley Center legacy. Being one of several Bucks stars that have called the Bradley Center home, he was merely a house-guest of the arena and its legacy. This will change next season in the freshly fashioned Fiserv. Giannis has an opportunity to elevate the Bucks to the next level. A level the Bucks haven’t reached since the time of Lew Alcindor. Aptly labelled a Demigod in ESPN and Kobe Bryant’s “The Book of Antetokounmpo,” Fiserv will be Giannis’ building… his Pantheon.

Reason #2: The Brook Lopez Signing

In signing Brook Lopez to a 1-year, $3.4 million deal, the Bucks acquired an all-star stretch-5 with elite post moves at an astonishingly low price. To give perspective, Lopez earned $22.6 million last year with the Lakers. Only considering Lopez’s skill and the discounted price at which the Bucks obtained him, this deal is one of the most underrated of the summer. Lopez’s fit with Giannis takes the merit of this signing to another level. All these years, Giannis has lacked a center who can consistently knock down threes. Lopez, who shot 35% from three last year, fits this bill. His effectiveness outside the paint will allow Giannis an easier path to the basket. The mutually beneficial relationship could very well propel Milwaukee’s offense into the top-5 and revitalize Lopez’s career.

Reason: #3: Rookie Donte DiVincenzo

After scoring 31 points in Villanova’s National Championship win over Michigan, Donte DiVincenzo began flying up draft boards. His rise continued after a standout combine performance, which culminated with the Bucks selecting him 17th overall in the 2018 draft. For the past several years, the Bucks used their first-round selections on raw, high-upside players like DJ Wilson and Thon Maker. Unfortunately, to this point, both of these picks have not panned out, which led the Bucks to a change in strategy. Instead of a raw prospect, DiVincenzo is a ready-now rookie who will be able to contribute.

The former Wildcat is a sharpshooter who plays high-energy, efficient basketball and has the athleticism to create his own shot. DiVincenzo exhibited this athleticism with a combine-leading 34.50 inch standing vertical. Many rookies experiences a drop off in their three-point shooting percentage during their rookie years because of the NBA line’s increased distance from the basket. Last season, DiVincenzo shot a healthy 35% (via The Stepien Shot Chart)  from NBA range indicating he may not suffer from the typical rookie decline. These attributes suggest DiVincenzo will immediately contribute to the Bucks as spark-plug off the bench.

Reason #4: New Coach Mike Budenholzer

The Bucks addition of Budenholzer ranks as one of the most influential transactions of this past summer. Milwaukee has become accustomed to former coach Jason Kidd’s head-scratching personnel decisions and flawed schemes. In contrast, Coach Bud is known for his ability to maximize player potential and effective offensive scheme known for its fluid ball movement. During the 2014-15 season where he won Coach of the Year, Budenholzer led the superstar-less Hawks to the number one-seed in the Eastern Conference, largely because he was able to make each player better. During the previous seasons, the Bucks have been an underperforming team with massive potential. The exceptional Budenholzer will give the Bucks a chance to unlock their potential, wreak havoc upon the Eastern Conference, and break the streak of first-round playoff exits.

Reason #5: Giannis Inevitably Being Giannis

There is absolutely no surprise here. Last season, while putting up an MVP-caliber stat line of 26.9 points, 10.0 rebounds, 4.8 assists, 1.5 steals, and 1.4 blocks, Giannis emerged as a bona fide superstar. Almost every game, he made an absurd, jaw-dropping play. From jumping over the 6’6″ Tim Hardaway on an alley-oop dunk, to putting up a career-high and blocking Blazers center Yusuf Nurkic to win the game, The Greek Freak entertained Bucks fans on a nightly basis.

In addition to Lopez, the Bucks added shooters Pat Connaughton and Ersan Ilyasova that will space the floor and take pressure off Giannis in the post. As if he wasn’t already trucking through defenders on his drives to the basket, Giannis has added more muscle to his already robust frame. He is noticeably bulkier in this Instagram post (below) with his brothers. With another off-season of hard work and a better supporting cast, Giannis looks to sustain his meteoric rise throughout the 2018-19 NBA season and establish himself as a top-tier MVP candidate.


After a productive off-season of adding a former all-star center, drafting a promising rookie, and an award-winning coach to their roster, the Bucks are trending upward. Consequently, this is by far the best coaching staff and roster of the Giannis era. Furthermore, an improved supporting cast and an off-season to bulk-up will allow Giannis to take his game and team to the next level. On top of this, the opening of the Fiserv Forum creates a blank slate on which the new age Bucks can carve their legacy. Bucks fans should be enlivened by the convergence of these factors. Maybe, just maybe, this is the year the Bucks become a playoff contender.




About Jacob Katz

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