3 lessons the Milwaukee Bucks can use from last postseason this year

MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - JULY 20 (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - JULY 20 (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /
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Milwaukee Bucks: Khris Middleton, Giannis Antetokounmpo
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN – MARCH 06 (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images) /

The Milwaukee Bucks won the NBA Championship last season. It’s a high that fans, such as myself, still haven’t gotten over.

During their run, the team, and particularly head coach Mike Budenholzer, picked up some things that could be helpful to complete more championship runs in the future. With those many lessons learned, here are three that the team could use for this season’s playoff run as well.

Lesson No. 1 – Stars must increase their usage in the playoffs for the Milwaukee Bucks

One of the biggest beefs that Bucks fans had with Mike Budenholzer following the team’s collapse in the 2020 playoff bubble was how few minutes star players such as Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton received. To understand how we got to the point where Milwaukee’s top two stars would get more playoff minutes, we’ll first have to take an unfortunate rewind back to the bubble.

In the bubble, Antetokounmpo received just 30.8 minutes per game during the playoffs, despite being the regular season MVP that same season. It almost seems like I’m being ridiculous by including that number in here, but it’s what actually happened. Middleton, on the other hand, did receive a higher load of minutes as compared to Antetokounmpo’s, as he averaged 35.5 minutes per game during the same bubble playoffs.

Middleton’s numbers are much more reasonable, but in a league where teams will play their stars usually somewhere between 38-40 minutes per game in the playoffs, those numbers were unacceptable. It appears that Bud came to that conclusion as well, as both players received minutes during last season’s playoff run that are comparable to other players of their caliber.

Antetokounmpo saw a sizeable rise in his minutes, as he received 38.1 minutes per game, while Middleton saw a pretty big rise as well, as he went slightly over 40 minutes in the 2021 playoffs.

While it took a couple of disappointing playoff exits for him to come to his senses, Budenholzer finally realized that it was time to put his best players on the floor in the postseason. Your stars will win you games in the NBA and it’s hard for them to do that if they’re not out there.