Milwaukee Bucks: Best and Worst (March 23 – April 1)

Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports /
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Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports /

Best: Playoffs?!

In mid-February, the Bucks sat 22-30, far outside the playoff picture and seemingly falling further in the standings with every game. To make matters much worse, they had just lost their second-leading scorer in Jabari Parker for the season to an ACL tear.

No one expected the Bucks to even sniff the postseason at this point; most fans (author included) were debating the merits of a full-blown tank job. However, no one was complaining as the Bucks reeled off an unprecedented month, equaling the March win total of the historic 1995-96 Chicago Bulls.

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Of course, the advantages to a playoff appearance far outweigh any potential draft windfall that the team could have received.

Although some Bucks have playoff experience, Giannis Antetokounmpo hasn’t yet gone through a series in which the opposition’s main objective is slowing him down.

One gets the sense that the Bucks are still playing with house money this year, which makes the experience of making the playoffs more important than the actual result.

Should they wind up with the fifth seed, which they currently occupy, the Bucks would most likely face either the Toronto Raptors or Washington Wizards, who at the time of this writing are tied with records of 46-30.

The Bucks are 1-3 against both teams on the year, although they are both having their own issues of late. Toronto has been without star point guard Kyle Lowry since the All-Star Break, and re-integrating him to a roster with new trade acquisitions could prove tricky in such a short time.

The Wizards vaulted into the top half of the East thanks to a major surge around the season’s midway point, but have had troubles defensively since then, ranking just 27th in defensive rating since the All-Star Break.

It goes without saying that neither matchup will be favorable for the Bucks, as there is a clear and steep divide between the East’s top four teams and the rest of the conference. However, if they are able to continue how they’re playing of late, a series victory is certainly not out of the question.