3 areas the Milwaukee Bucks must improve to repeat as NBA Champions

Dec 25, 2021; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA; Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 25, 2021; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA; Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports /
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Milwaukee Bucks: George Hill, Pat Connaughton
Dec 28, 2019; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports /

No. 2 – The Milwaukee Bucks must get more from their bench

The Bucks have needed to tap into their depth a lot this year with guys going in and out of the lineup constantly, and that has in turn created a very inconsistent bench unit.

The trade for Serge Ibaka has helped some, but he is not the same impact player he was during his time with the Thunder and Raptors. The Bucks have time and time again been forced to turn to players such as Lindell Wigginton, Greg Monroe, Javonte Smart, and others just to have bodies out there to relieve the starters.

The bench has recently taken a massive hit as both George Hill and Pat Connaughton are out indefinitely. This spurred the Bucks to make some noise on the buyout market, as they signed both Jevon Carter and DeAndre Bembry off of the Nets’ scrapheap. Like Ibaka, they are serviceable NBA players but lack the consistency or talent to be true impact guys for a contending team. This is a major concern heading into the playoffs, especially against a team like Miami or a healthy Chicago where they have endless bodies to throw out there and give them productive minutes off the bench.

Some people might retort with the fact that the Bucks were running with a six man rotation at times during last year’s playoffs, and were comfortable giving Jeff Teague critical minutes both in the Conference Finals and NBA Finals. Although that might have worked last year, there are more obstacles in the Milwaukee Bucks’ way this year.

First, quite simply, the East is miles better than it was last year, and teams at the top of the conference have depth that last year was not present. Another obstacle in the Bucks’ way this year is wear and tear on their stars. The Bucks’ Big 3 have played a ridiculous amount of basketball in the last 365 days, and you can’t expect them to play 40-42 minutes every game come playoff time. It’s unrealistic. The bench must at least be serviceable in place of their stars, or the Bucks will have an even harder path than it is expected to be currently.