Milwaukee Bucks: The Process Of Learning How To Win

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It’s not the start that most Milwaukee Bucks fans envisioned for the start of the season as the Bucks are still searching for their first win after dropping their first two home games to the Wizards and the Knicks.

Disorganization on defense, lack of energy and lineups that simply aren’t working have been much to blame for the team’s two losses and not just the team, but coach Jason Kidd has even owned up to the fact the some things just simply aren’t working.

Sure, they were missing key players like Giannis Antetokounmpo for the season opener due to a one-game suspension, but the ways they lost both games is still no excuse for this team that’s dealing with greater expectations for the season.

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With that said, the first two games of the season hardly reflect what kind of team the Bucks will eventually become, good or bad, and we certainly should know that coming out of last season.

All of this is part of the process when dealing with a team that’s been reshaping their identity as they have been since the arrival of the Lasry/Edens/Dinan ownership, as well as Kidd and his staff less than 18 months ago.

That’s certainly compounded by the fact that much of the team is still dealing with being in the NBA as the Bucks are the second youngest team in the NBA and much of the team’s weaknesses reflect that.

Undoubtedly, the Bucks have entered this season as a much more talented team. The team’s big free agent splash Greg Monroe reflects that and gives the team something they have rarely had in their arsenal throughout franchise history.

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But there’s a reason why the veterans (Jared Dudley and Zaza Pachulia) that Milwaukee moved in order to free cap space to fit Monroe in the books were such big losses for this young team.

Not only were they great character guys to have in the locker room, but they also knew how to win and the various intricacies that come along with that and those are some pretty big voids to fill.

Kidd has been very consistent about this, even way back in the off-season and his recent comments after the discouraging home opening loss continue the theme of how this young squad needs to learn how to win together:

"I’ve always shot straight; this isn’t going to change. We’ve got pieces that are going to be in and out, playing 15 minutes here and there. For us to grow up, we’re going to have to go through this probably the first 20 games or so. When Jabari comes back, it’s not he’s going to play 30 minutes a night. We can’t say we lost because of Giannis and O.J.  We felt we had enough firepower and talent to win tonight."

It’s understandable that some of the brighter-eyed Bucks optimists that were expecting something close to fifty wins have to be wary after the opening couple of games, knowing where the team is currently at with the season finally here.

But there’s no need to hit the panic button at this time.

Yes, there are concerns that linger.  The biggest being the team’s strong suit from last year. Their defensive efficiency, currently ranks last in the league (per Basketball-Reference.com) and while it’s been only two games, it certainly raises doubt that the team can hold a top-5 defense for the second consecutive year.

But again, it’s all a part of the process as the Bucks figure out their new identity for this year with the new pieces involved as well as the growth from their younger players.

This is still very much a rebuilding team. It may not check all the boxes for a traditional rebuild that other teams around the league may be going through, but the Bucks are still trying to find out if all the puzzles pieces fit together.