For the most part Milwaukee Bucks hoops have served as good filler for Wisconsin residents between Green Bay Packers seasons. The team has made the playoffs just twice in the past 8 years but the hoopla around Milwaukee could be at an all-time high for the 2014/15 season. The team has a new coach in Jason Kidd, a new superstar in Jabari Parker, and new goals to make the playoffs in the top-heavy Eastern Conference. It could be time to ‘buck’ the trend of lackluster seasons.
One of the main reasons for Bucks fans to be optimistic about the 2014/15 season is just a breath of fresh air starting at the top. Larry Drew took the Atlanta Hawks to three straight playoffs berths in each of the years spent with the team but mustered just a 15-67 record in his first year in Milwaukee. The brief Drew era served a purpose though, getting the Bucks the 2nd pick in the draft and provide an opening for Marc Lasry and Wes Edens to buy the team. After kid strong-armed his way out of Brooklyn by demanding control over personnel decisions the new Bucks owners granted him that power, putting all their eggs in the basket of one of the best hoops minds of the past 20 years.
The Bucks are going to bank on Kidd being out of the league as a player for only two years as a good thing. The style of today’s game is fresh in Kidd’s mind and he showed the ability to adapt in his 1st year as head of the Nets. At the turn of the calendar Brooklyn was 10-21 before Kidd helped orchestrate them to 34-17 the rest of the way and into the Eastern conference playoffs.
Kidd’s legacy in Milwaukee will be directly attached to the development of 2014 #2 draft pick Jabari Parker. The 19-year-old small forward is from nearby Chicago and holds high hopes for returning Milwaukee back to glory. Parker is considered to be a humble player with Mormon roots who may not be done growing on his 6’8” frame.
Surprisingly Solid Rotation
The Bucks won just 15 games in 2014 but expectations for the upcoming season are very high. The Bucks feature one of the brightest young frontcourts in the league with Parker and 6’11” forward Giannis Antetokounmpo. The ‘Greek Freak’ enters his second NBA season after reportedly growing almost two inches since being drafted by the Bucks. Only 19-years old himself Antetokounmpo and Parker could be formidable in the Eastern Conference for the next decade or more.
ZazaPachulia, O.J Mayo, Larry Sanders, and Jerryd Bayless give Milwaukee depth and experience to bring the youngsters more up to speed on the NBA game. Maybe 2015 is too soon to look for a resurgence but with new management, coaching, and talent the Bucks could be drawing ‘Wisconsin Wows’ before we know it.
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