Milwaukee Bucks: History of good starts could be key when season resumes

ORLANDO, FL - FEBRUARY 8: (Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images)
ORLANDO, FL - FEBRUARY 8: (Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images) /

The Milwaukee Bucks have been fast starters under Mike Budenholzer’s guidance, and that could be key when the NBA season resumes.

The NBA season is usually a marathon, but when the Milwaukee Bucks and the rest of the teams headed for Orlando resume play in late July, they’ll be facing little more than a sprint to the finish line.

Over four months on the sidelines, and what’s like to be considerable rustiness, will undoubtedly complicate and influence how the remainder of the season plays out from that point, but there’ll be an obvious onus on teams to start fast and then aim to hold on to that momentum over what will be a condensed finale.

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With the Milwaukee Bucks returning as one of the leading championship contenders, if not, in fact, the outright favorite, that particular shape to the remainder of the season will give them reason to feel upbeat.

With just eight regular season games on the agenda, followed by a burst of postseason action that will include less days off between games and series than what would usually be typical, there’s more room than usual for a team to get hot and ride out such a spell a long way toward picking up a championship.

Mike Budenholzer has unlocked the Milwaukee Bucks’ ability to start strong after lengthy layoffs.

The good news for Milwaukee on that front is that not only are they extremely capable of putting such a run together, but they’ve also got a strong track record of returning to play after a long break and racking up victories at an impressive rate.

Slow starts to the season were something of a staple in Jason Kidd’s time with the Bucks, but the arrival of Mike Budenholzer and his coaching staff certainly changed that ahead of the 2018-19 season.

In Budenholzer’s first season in charge, the Bucks started 7-0 before then kicking on and maintaining their good play from there.

Through their first 36 games in 2018-19, in other words the maximum number that the Bucks could end up playing in Orlando to finish this season, they rolled off a stellar 26-10 record to establish their position at the top of the East and set up what would finish as a 60-win season.

The current campaign has been even better again. Although the Bucks found themselves at 2-2 through four games, by the time they’d played 36 games in 2019-20, they boasted an outstanding record of 31-5.

That segment of the season also included one of the franchise’s all-time longest winning streaks, with the Bucks winning 18 consecutive games before the Dallas Mavericks brought that run to a halt.

In other words, Budenholzer and his staff have generally excelled at getting their players ready to hit the ground running coming out of training camp and preseason. Therefore, they can justifiably hold similar hopes of getting the Bucks ready to perform coming out of a mini-camp ahead of the current season’s resumption.

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With the season set to be completed in a very different environment to what players are accustomed to, there will be no shortage of variables to overcome between the season’s restart and completion. At the very least, though, the Bucks will know they’re capable of regaining their rhythm and kicking on straight from the restart.