When healthy, the Milwaukee Bucks’ Big 3 is dominating this season

Sep 27, 2021; Milwaukee, WI, USA: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 27, 2021; Milwaukee, WI, USA: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports /

When the Milwaukee Bucks are healthy, there are few teams, if any, that are better in the NBA. The biggest problem throughout the first portion of the 2021-22 season is that the Bucks have not been healthy, having battled maneuvered through their share of issues.

The most prominent reason why the Bucks have not exactly looked like the Bucks during the first portion of the season is the lack of playing time with their Big 3 intact. Throughout 47 games, the trio has only played a mere 20 games together thus far. Giannis Antetokounmpo has appeared in 38 games, Khris Middleton in 35, and Jrue Holiday in 34 as each of the three have endured injuries, time in the health and safety protocols, or personal issues that forced them to be out of the lineup for various games.

When the trio has been fortunate enough to share the floor simultaneously, they have certainly made the most of the opportunity as they are a commanding 17-3 in those 20 games. Who could have guessed the Bucks would play better when arguably the best three-man group in the entire NBA is all on the floor together?

The Milwaukee Bucks have looked like world-beaters when their Big 3 plays

It is not hard to understand why the Bucks have thrived with this group all intact.

Antetokounmpo has played like an MVP and Defensive Player of the Year candidate, and it is not surprising in the least that he is the early front runner for both awards. The reigning Finals MVP has been outright sensational in every aspect of the game this season by averaging 28.6 points, 11.3 rebounds, a career-high 6.1 assists, 1.5 blocks, and a steal in just 32.6 minutes per game. Antetokounmpo truly is one of a kind, which he continues proving nightly.

While Antetokounmpo kicked the season off with a bang, it had not exactly been smooth sailing for his running-mate in Middleton. The forward got off to an incredibly tough start to the season but has since bounced back in a big way with a hot stretch in January. After an eventful summer where he won the NBA Finals and then immediately went to play in the Tokyo Olympics during a condensed offseason, he was bound to be tired to start the year to some degree. Thankfully, he looks like he is finally getting back to being his old self.

Holiday has been the most banged-up of the bunch as he has battled through ankle injuries and COVID-19 protocols, but when he has been on the floor, he has been phenomenal. The guard is having a stellar second season in Milwaukee, one that might be good enough to help him earn a spot in the upcoming NBA All-Star Game. He deserves it, given how strongly he has played on the offensive end as well as the irreplaceable presence defensively the three-time All-Defensive guard brings out onto the court every night.

When all three of these players are put together in a single lineup, it is nightmarish for opponents. Both offensively and defensively, the Antetokounmpo, Middleton, Holiday lineups are just outright formidable no matter who is alongside them.

Although they have only played in less than half the games this season, it looks like the Bucks are finally starting to get healthy to the point where these three will play with more regularity. There is just one player currently featured on Milwaukee’s injury report, that being Brook Lopez, who is out as he recovers from back surgery. This is the first time in quite some time that the report does not feature a member of the Big 3, and hopefully it can stay that way.

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The Bucks will look to improve that record with the Big 3 tonight all playing tonight against the Chicago Bulls.