Milwaukee Bucks: Chemistry slowly building for retooled roster

Jan 1, 2021; Milwaukee, WI, USA Nick Monroe/Handout Photo-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 1, 2021; Milwaukee, WI, USA Nick Monroe/Handout Photo-USA TODAY Sports /

The Milwaukee Bucks brought in a handful of fresh faces this offseason, and the lack of chemistry has been on full display early.

It has been a hit or miss start for the Milwaukee Bucks throughout the first six games of the 2020-21 NBA season.

Milwaukee has some nice wins but also some treacherous losses throughout their 3-3 start. Sometimes the Bucks look like a well-oiled machine firing on all cylinders, but they also have their share of moments where they look discombobulated as a unit.

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Milwaukee’s recent back-to-back matchup with the Miami Heat was a perfect example of this. The Bucks looked fantastic in the first game, having steamrolled the Heat by 47 points thanks to an NBA record 29 3-pointers.

While hardly anyone expected them to replicate that same amount of success, they relinquished a double-digit lead the very next night and lost by 11 points.

These inconsistencies can undoubtedly be partially attributed to the team’s roster makeover this offseason.

Trying to get everyone acclimated throughout training camp and the shortened preseason never seemed realistic, and the Bucks have shown that in the early going. However, speaking after the loss to the Heat, Jrue Holiday spoke on the team’s commitment to forging chemistry among one another as relayed by ESPN’s Eric Woodyard:

"“I can speak for my team and for myself: I really feel like us having this different variety of teams and games really helps us. You get to see a lot of different things early,” said Holiday, who ended with 13 points on 4-for-15 shooting on Wednesday.“Even just having a back-to-back in a playoff-type atmosphere, early, is very, very good for us,” he continued, “so just being able to grow from this, go back and watch film and see the things we did wrong. But most importantly, it’s gonna be the teams that can grow quickly and fast together and get this started from the beginning.”"

Conjuring up chemistry and consistency will be crucial for the Milwaukee Bucks, and they have a golden opportunity ahead of them to do just that.

It has been a turbulent start to the season for Milwaukee, taking trips to Boston, New York, and Miami. Including Friday night’s game against the Chicago Bulls, the Bucks are in the midst of a five-game homestand at Fiserv Forum. Although home-court holds little advantage than what it once did without fans in attendance, it still gives Milwaukee some much-needed consistency.

They started the homestand with a dominant 126-96 victory over the Bulls and showcased their progression as a unit. The Bucks tallied 27 assists on the night, making sure to get everyone involved, particularly from 3-point territory, where they connected on 20 triples for the third time in six games. Giannis Antetokounmpo, who finished with a game-high eight assists, also made sure to play the floor general role in addition to his 29 points and 12 rebounds.

The chemistry looked great in the win, particularly from newcomers Bryn Forbes and Bobby Portis. Forbes looked comfortable as he had a breakthrough performance as he logged 18 points, having shot 4-of-6 from behind the arc. Portis joined him in bringing some firepower off the bench as he scored 13 points and hauled in 12 rebounds in the win.

These two, along with the rest of the newcomers, building up chemistry with the rest of the team will be crucial in Milwaukee’s success this season, and they started 2021 off on the right track.

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Things will continue to come together for the Milwaukee Bucks as time progresses, but they can only take it one game at a time.