The Milwaukee Bucks (finally) have a chance to build a rhythm together
This is more of a big picture thing than a “game against the Raptors” thing, but this game is a part of it. Now that basically every one of significance on the roster has gone through health and safety protocols, nothing is standing in the way of the Bucks having a relatively healthy roster that can start to play some games together.
Sure, Holiday won’t play tonight, but that’s beside the point. The large majority of the rotation will be available tonight and going forward, so there is a chance for the Bucks to string a few games together with a healthier roster to work on things as a unit.
It couldn’t come at a better time as they are in the midst of a five-game stretch against some quality competition. They passed the first test with flying colors (without their starting point guard) and tonight will be another test against a team that plays a funky style that the Bucks will have to adapt to.
One of the biggest keys for the Bucks’ championship run last season was their adaptability to playing different styles when needed. They worked on it all through the regular season and it paid off when the games mattered most.
They’ve been forced to do some of that this season by playing different lineup combinations so that head coach Mike Budenholzer can have a sense of which lineups he can go to later on. They’ve played nearly 20 different starting lineup combinations and that’s played somewhat into their adaptability, but now they need time to work with lineups that will play when the games matter. Ideally, that closing lineup that looked so good on Christmas Day.
Knock on wood that no one picks up an injury but I’m tentatively excited that the Bucks are finally going to be somewhat whole and can show how good they are when fully healthy for an extended period.
The Raptors are a team that always plays the Bucks tough and will be a great test for their nearly-healthy roster tonight.