With 24 games remaining of the season for the Oklahoma City Thunder, they’ve got an important time ahead of them.
With a berth in the Playoffs officially off the table, their number one focus right now should be swinging their rest-of-season results in such a way that they’re able to land the best possible draft pick available to them.
They’ll be playing a number of big-name franchises over the coming weeks, including the Milwaukee Bucks on March 9 at Paycom Center, meaning they’ll have to bide their energy and resources if they’re to at least finish the season on a strong note.
Consistency A Bucks Issue
For the Milwaukee Bucks, meanwhile, this season has seen them struggle greatly with consistency.
They’ve experienced several solid winning streaks, including an 8-game winning streak in November, a 6-game victory streak in December, and 8 out of 10 games won more recently. But then again, there have also been challenging stretches, such as January’s 2-6 run.
Notable within the context of both the good and the bad times is the fact that 17 of Milwaukee’s 24 most recent losses were accumulated from games without Khris Middleton, Jrue Holiday, and/or Giannis Antetokounmpo on the hardwood.
Still, even with all three in place at any given time, the Bucks were never really fully healthy this season. With Brook Lopez out for the count all season so far, they’ve had to do what they could with what they had to fill the gaping hole at center.
Despite this and other challenges, however, the Bucks have been building a strong offensive roster. Also, they appear to be winning the battle for quality shots on both ends of the court right now. According to a prominent sports page, this places Milwaukee 6th in the NBA this season in Adjusted Shot Quality Differential.
Future Bright For The Bucks
Owing largely to Giannis Antetokounmpo, the Bucks top the NBA’s rankings in terms of being one of the three teams having the brightest immediate futures. They join the Denver Nuggets and the Phoenix Suns on this prestigious list.
It’s no secret: Antetokounmpo is arguably the best player on the planet right now. Add to his current contract the long-term deals in place with Holiday and Middleton, and the Bucks are basically all set up for winning championships in the future.
Despite the absence of first-round picks to play with, the Bucks have no reason at all not to upgrade their roster around their three main stars.