The 2021-22 NBA season is set to tip off on Oct. 19 (ET). In preparation for the upcoming season, we're dedicating one day between now and the start of the season to each team in the league.
Next up: the Milwaukee Bucks.
2020-21 season record
46-26, 3rd in Eastern Conference
George Hill, free agency
Rodney Hood, free agency
Grayson Allen, trade
P.J. Tucker, free agency
Bryn Forbes, free agency
Jeff Teague, free agency
|PG||Jrue Holiday||George Hill||Justin Robinson|
|SG||Donte DiVincenzo||Pat Connaughton||Grayson Allen||Elijah Bryant|
|SF||Khris Middleton||Rodney Hood||Georgios Kalaitzakis||Jordan Nwora|
|PF||Giannis Antetokounmpo||Thanasis Antetokounmpo||Semi Ojeleye|
|C||Brook Lopez||Bobby Portis||Sandro Mamukelashvili||Mamadi Diakite|
3 key storylines
Can the Bucks defend their crown?
With a banner hanging in the rafters, the Bucks will go from the hunter to the hunted, getting everyone's best shot on every given night.
It's one thing to get to the mountain top, but staying there is an entirely different task.
We haven't seen a team defend their title since the Golden State Warriors in 2017-18 and before that the 2012-13 Miami Heat - two dynasties led by generational talents. Can Giannis Antetokounmpo add his name to that list?
The race in the Eastern Conference alone will be even tighter this season with the Brooklyn Nets, Miami Heat and Philadelphia 76ers all vying for the top spot, and the New York Knicks, Atlanta Hawks and Boston Celtics just in the tier below.
Will it be a championship hangover or will the Bucks earmark themselves as a dynasty? This season is going to tell us a lot about this group.
Giannis on track for history
Antetokounmpo's resume is already Hall of Fame-worthy with an NBA championship, Finals MVP, two regular-season MVPs, a Defensive Player of the Year and Most Improved Player of the Year award, five All-Star selections, an All-Star Game MVP and five All-NBA nods to his name.
This is your reminder that he's still (somehow) only 26 years old.
Antetokounmpo enters the season with the confidence of a champion and less pressure on getting over the hump, which could result in a free-wheeling season where he takes his game to another level.
Expect him to be firmly in the conversation for MVP and DPOY once again this season - one that could be his best.
New supporting cast
P.J Tucker, Jeff Teague and Bryn Forbes all played a big role in the Bucks' championship run last season and in their place enter George Hill, Rodney Hood and Grayson Allen.
While their offseason moves haven't lit up the headlines, the front office has added even more shooting around Antetokounmpo - a formula that proved successful last season as they were one of the best 3-point shooting teams, finishing the regular season eighth in the NBA in attempts and fifth in 3-point percentage.
In his last stint with the Bucks, Hill led the NBA at 46.0 percent from deep, while Allen connected on 39.1 percent of his triples last season with the Grizzlies. Meanwhile, Rodney Hood, who is coming off a couple of injury-riddled seasons, is a career 36.7 percent shooter.
The Bucks are going to let it fly this season and create even more space for The Greek Freak.
5 games to watch
Oct. 20 vs. Brooklyn Nets
What better way to tip off the season than against the star-studded Nets on opening night?
Kevin Durant's sneaker was the difference in Game 7 of the second round last season, that could have ended the Bucks campaign in an alternate universe. With James Harden and Kyrie Irving healthy, the Bucks will face a full-strength Nets on the night they raise their championship banner.
Expect plenty of fireworks in this one
Feb. 9 at Los Angeles Lakers
A primetime blockbuster under the bright lights of LA.
A matchup between two of the league's best Big 3s, this will be the second meeting of the season between the Bucks and Lakers, featuring the star trio of Russell Westbrook, LeBron James and Anthony Davis.
Feb. 11 at Phoenix Suns
The Bucks will have to wait until midway through the season for an NBA Finals rematch against the Suns, with the first game coming on the road.
Antetokounmpo turned the Finals on its head with two huge 40-point games in Phoenix and will no doubt be looking to make a statement once again when these two teams square off.
Jan. 22 vs. Chicago Bulls
This division rivalry has been rather one-sided in recent seasons, but the Bulls have put together a squad this season with the additions of Lonzo Ball, DeMar DeRozan and Alex Caruso joining Zach LaVine and Nikola Vucevic.
Both fan bases will be hyped for this one.
March 13 at Golden State Warriors
Stephen Curry vs. Giannis Antetokounmpo - two of the league's biggest stars going head-to-head will be must-see TV.
The Warriors haven't been at full strength for the past two seasons, but with Klay Thompson back from injury, this matchup of the Warriors' high-octane offence and the Bucks' lockdown defence will no doubt be one of the games of the season.
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