3 bold predictions for the defending champion Milwaukee Bucks in 2022

INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA - OCTOBER 25 (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA - OCTOBER 25 (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /
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Milwaukee Bucks: Grayson Allen, Jrue Holiday, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Pat Connaughton, Miami Heat: Duncan Robinson
MIAMI, FLORIDA – DECEMBER 08 (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

2021 was obviously an incredible year for the Milwaukee Bucks. They finished as a top-three seed in the Eastern Conference for the third straight season and then went on to win their first NBA championship in 50 years. It will be hard to replicate what they did last year, but it should still be a fun ride in 2022 for the Bucks. With all that being said, here are three bold predictions for what is to come this year.

Bold Prediction No. 1 – The Milwaukee Bucks will finish as the top seed in the Eastern Conference in 2022

Currently, Milwaukee is 25-14 and third in the Eastern Conference standings. However, they are just two games behind the top spot, and this is without being even close to at full strength for most of this year.

Khris Middleton has missed 12 games, Giannis Antetokounmpo has missed eight games, and Jrue Holiday has missed seven games. That big three has played together in only 19 of Milwaukee’s 39 games, yet the Bucks are still only two games away from being the number one seed in the East.

In those 19 games where Antetokounmpo, Middleton, and Holiday have played together, the Bucks are an impressive 16-3. When that trio is on the court together, Milwaukee is outscoring their opponents by 9.6 points per 100 possessions, according to NBA.com/stats.

Comparing that to other teams in the East when healthy… the Brooklyn Nets outscore opponents by 1.7 points per 100 possessions with Kevin Durant and James Harden on the court, the Chicago Bulls outscore opponents by 6.9 points per 100 possessions with DeMar DeRozan, Zach LaVine, Nikola Vucevic, and Lonzo Ball all together on the court, and the Miami Heat are outscoring opponents by 4.5 points per 100 possessions with Kyle Lowry, Jimmy Butler, and Bam Adebayo on the court. To put it simply, the Bucks at full strength are still really good, even with starting center Brook Lopez missing all but one game this season.

Look for the Bucks to take over the top seed in the East if they are at full strength fairly consistently for the remainder of the season.