Milwaukee Bucks: Ranking their star-studded trio among the NBA’s best

Jul 11, 2021; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA; Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 11, 2021; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA; Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /
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Jul 20, 2021; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA; Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 20, 2021; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA; Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /

Ranking the Milwaukee Bucks amongst NBA’s best trios: Team’s 6-4

#6. Utah Jazz: Rudy Gobert, Donovan Mitchell, Mike Conley

A lot of the same playoff failure talk that we had with the Philadelphia Sixers can go towards the trio of the Utah Jazz as well. The difference is they’ll be together beyond this season,n and we’ve seen them have more regular season success. I also think they fit together better.

Gobert and Mitchell have strung together the best seasons of Jazz basketball since John Stockton and Karl Malone, they just need to find success past the second round of the playoffs. Mike Conley has proven to be a great fit with them and should lead to that playoff success. What more is there to say about Gobert? He’s arguably the best rim protector we’ve ever seen, and his playoff failures are overblown, to me. Utah’s lack of lineup versatility and perimeter defense was a bigger issue than anything Gobert could or couldn’t do.

Mitchell has been an absolute force in the last two playoffs, which included playing through an ankle injury in last year’s postseason. He carries a large chunk of the offensive creation for the Jazz and we’ve seen his playmaking improve each year. Finally, Conley brought defense, shooting, and playmaking to a team that needed a boost in each spot before his arrival. I’m a big fan of Conley’s, and he is the missing piece for this team to have playoff success.

#5. Phoenix Suns: Chris Paul, Devin Booker, Deandre Ayton

Regardless of what you may think about their chances in an improved Western Conference, I think it would be silly to rank the Phoenix Suns’ trio outside of the top five after what they accomplished together last season.

Paul came in and immediately made the Suns better — as he does with any team he goes to. But that’s not to take away from what Devin Booker and Deandre Ayton were building together before his arrival. We saw it bubbling in Orlando when they went 9-0 and nearly strong-armed their way into the playoffs. Booker has become a superstar now that the Suns have found team success. He’s an incredible one-on-one scorer, and we’ve seen his passing take giant steps forward the last couple of seasons. I was a doubter of Booker’s early on, but he’s done more than enough to shut me up with his efficient scoring, fast-developing playmaking, and even showing signs of improved defense.

Ayton has a breakout season followed by an even bigger breakout run in the playoffs. It may have ended with a thud in the Finals against the Bucks, but what he showed as a mobile defender for his size was very impressive. I’d like to see him be more aggressive on offense, but last year was a big step forward. And there’s not much more I can say about Paul that hasn’t been said already. He’s one of my favorite players of all time, and I’m very happy he’s getting his due from the public.

#4. Golden State Warriors: Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green

For the recency bias in where I have the Hawks and Suns, I might be overcorrecting with having the Golden State Warriors at number four. But I still believe in these three, even with some of the questions still surrounding them. I mean, we saw them be the foundation for one of the best stretches of basketball we’ve seen from any team, ever. They broke the all-time best record mark together! I have to give them their respect until we see them fail.

Of course, the biggest question is going to be with Klay Thompson’s health and how he looks after two devastating injuries, but I feel pretty confident he’ll look solid when he comes back. It’ll take time for him to get back to anywhere close to what he was pre-injury, but his offensive game should be able to withstand the brutal injuries. Draymond Green was third in Defensive Player of the Year voting last year, proving he still has more than enough left in the tank. He’s still a perfect fit with Thompson and Stephen Curry with his ability as a playmaker, ball mover, and screen setter. He does so much for this team, and it’s a shame people don’t always recognize how great he is.

Steph Curry is still Steph Curry, and it was wonderful to see him back this past season. There’s arguably no more fun player to watch than when he’s rolling. Any team with Curry is going to have a chance at the playoffs and with the right group around him, a chance at a championship.