The renaissance of the Milwaukee Bucks has been one of the most enjoyable spectacles in this early part of this NBA season. But is it all temporal or a sign of things to come?
The truth is probably either, and both. After starting 10-7 – a winning record, wow! – the Bucks have dropped four out of five going into tonight’s visit from the Los Angeles Clippers.
And it’s been defensive disasters which have stopped the Green Machine in its tracks, giving up 125 to Dallas before blowing 114 to Oklahoma City in their last two outings.
It’s been enough to take Milwaukee over the average of 100 points conceded – and the bad news is that Ersan Ilyasova is going to be out for a while yet with a broken nose and their pre-New Year schedule of 10 games includes seven opponents with .500 records or better.
Yet there’s lots of promising in Beer Town, despite the ongoing traumas of securing an upgrade to the decaying Bradley Center.
Number two draft pick Jabari Parker is living up to his favourite tag to be Rookie of the Year by averaging 15.5 points during his last six appearances.
While Giannis Antetokounmpo, still just aged 20, is showing rapid improvements to contribute 12.2 per night.
Their team is still a work in progress, especially with Larry Sanders challenging for the Most Overpaid award with increasing time on the bench and a passive approach in the paint.
All of which leaves the Bucks 2.70 to beat the Clippers, whose nine-game winning run came to an end in Washington on Friday.
And while LA is favoured by -5.5 on the handicap at 1.98, and deservedly so, it’s not beyond Milwaukee to pull out the victory. Changed times indeed.
Best bet: Go over 215.5 total points in Milwaukee – LA Clippers at 2.95