3 reasons for optimism midway through the 2022 Milwaukee Bucks season

Dec 10, 2021; Houston, Texas, USA; Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 10, 2021; Houston, Texas, USA; Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports /
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Milwaukee Bucks: Giannis Antetokounmpo, Mike Budenholzer, Khris Middleton
NEW YORK, NEW YORK – JUNE 19 (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /

#3: The Milwaukee Bucks are one of the top teams in the NBA despite their injury and illness adversity

Yes, every team in the league deals with injuries (and illnesses the last couple of seasons), but not every team can handle it and come out the other side at-or-near the same level.

Every player for the Bucks has missed time due to an illness or injury and every one of their starters from last season has missed nine or more games. Despite all of this, the Bucks are still considered by many to be one of the top three favorites to win the title.

They’re top ten in net rating (at around plus-4.0) and top ten in both offensive rating (111.7) and defensive rating (107.9), which is a good barometer for a championship contender.

They’ve missed the backbone of their defense in Brook Lopez for almost the whole season. Jrue Holiday missed time with an ankle injury and wasn’t himself when he returned. Khris Middleton has battled inconsistency throughout the season (but there are signs he may be back). Giannis Antetokounmpo has been playing at an MVP level, but they’ve had to play without him for more than a handful of games.

The roster and rotation have been inconsistent, between having to play inexperienced young players heavy minutes (Justin Robinson, Sandro Mamukelashvili, Jordan Nwora) or playing players who haven’t been effective (Ojeleye, Hood), things easily could look a lot worse right now for the defending champs.

They’ve beaten really good teams while also mixing in inexplicable losses. It hasn’t always been pretty through the first half of the season, but the Bucks have found ways to get it done.

Next. 3 Milwaukee Bucks that need to be traded before 2022 NBA trade deadline. dark

There’s a way to go yet, but the Bucks still have all the makings of a championship contender and they can only get healthier (and better) in the second half of the season.