With a couple days between games, which in the NBA can sometimes be an eternity with all of the back to backs, two in three days, three in four days and so forth it is as good as a time as any to take a look at a few of the weekly rankings.
In the ESPN Power Rankings the Bucks are currently 15th, but do not think the team is happy about Brandon Jennings participating in the dunk contest.
Something tells me that the Bucks — still waiting to see a full-strength Bogut alongside an unscathed Brandon Jennings — ain’t thrilled that their injured point guard has been lined up to participate in the dunk contest.
In the Hollinger Daily Power Ratings the Bucks are 14th. With six Eastern Conference teams ahead of them. Interesting point of note, the Bucks have had the most difficult schedule according to win % of any team in the NBA. The Bucks win % against is .560, the next highest is the Grizzlies with .540.
Sports Illustrated has the Bucks ranked 17th. The defense is a very impressive 6th while the offense is a pedestrian 30th.
Hollinger also puts together a teams playoff odds and currently gives the Bucks a 75% chance of making the playoffs. The Bucks are seventh in the East. Philadelphia is eighth with a 60% chance of making the playoffs, Indiana is ninth with a 35% chance.
The top four teams in the East are all given a 100% chance, while only San Antonio is given the full 100% in the West.
The Bucks are projected to go 40-42.
Glass Half Full
What most of these rankings and playoff odds tell me is that the Bucks season should be looked at with Glass Half Full optimism. Many people, including me, had a lot higher expectations for the Bucks to this point. Specifically I thought they could rise in the East to be a top four seed and getting a home court advantage in the first round of the playoffs. Those dreams are dead but the team is still likely to make the playoffs. The team is about to get very healthy with Carlos Delfino, Drew Gooden and Brandon Jennings set to return within the next week or so.
The Bucks still play great defense, and defense does win in the postseason so the Bucks can be a pain in the ass for any higher seed to have to deal with.