Milwaukee Bucks: Comparing retooled 2021-22 roster to title-winning team

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JUNE 19 (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
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Milwaukee Bucks: Donte DiVincenzo, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Khris Middleton, Jrue Holiday
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN – MARCH 20 (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /

The Milwaukee Bucks have certainly not shied away from making some massive roster changes over the past year or so.

Of course, they kicked off the 2020 offseason with a blockbuster trade for Jrue Holiday to give the team a much-needed upgrade at point guard. They tried to follow that up with another top-heavy move in a sign-and-trade for Bogdan Bogdanovic, but that fell through, of course. However, the team pivoted and added several role players throughout free agency, and bolstered their defense with a midseason trade for P.J. Tucker.

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Ultimately, the massive roster turnover that the Bucks endured managed to pay off as the team would win their first title in 50 years. Despite that success, they did not hesitate to make some notable moves this past offseason to shake up the team’s roster once again.

The question that everyone is asking is if the new Bucks are better than the team that just went and won the title. On paper, it is a valid claim, but let us give it a closer look before the 2021-22 season begins.

Milwaukee Bucks: Comparing 2021-22 starting five to last season’s unit

The Bucks will be returning with all five starters from the 2020-21 regular season, so there will not be much changed there in all likelihood.

For continuity purposes, let us say that Donte DiVincenzo will be back at full strength by the time next season begins after suffering a season-ending injury in the playoffs. While the discussion of whether DiVincenzo should start over the newly acquired Grayson Allen is certainly entertainable, the former will likely get the starting nod due to his previous experience with the team. The Bucks also lost Tucker – who filled in for DiVincenzo in the starting five during the playoffs – during free agency, so he will not be reclaiming that spot.

DiVincenzo’s hopeful return means that the Bucks will have their promising backcourt with him and Holiday back in action. Giannis Antetokounmpo, Khris Middleton, and Brook Lopez will be in the mix as well, giving the Bucks the exact same five-man lineup that they ran last season. While that leaves little to analyze after seeing them together for an entire regular season, having that trial run out of the way could make this unit only better. The chemistry should only continue to grow stronger, and fans will remember that Antetokounmpo highlighted the importance of trust during the team’s playoff run. After the run they just went on, they undoubtedly trust each other.

Looking at last season and this upcoming season, the biggest difference will be the familiarity the players have with one another. Of course, DiVincenzo’s health could be the ultimate wild card here, but if he returns to full strength after the surgery, the young guard could be even better than he was during his career year last year.