The best time of the year is almost here.
The regular season is officially over, and the NBA Playoffs officially begin on Saturday. The regular season is nice and all, but it doesn’t hold a candle to the NBA postseason.
The NBA playoffs are something special because it’s two months of high-level basketball and the race to hold the Larry O’Brien trophy is wide open think of it like a big game of rock-paper-scissors except every team is holding a rock.
The consensus in the Eastern Conference is that it will likely be Milwaukee Bucks, Boston Celtics, and Philadelphia 76ers as the three teams likely to come out of the East.
The Western Conference is more wide-open as no team has separated itself as the undisputed favorite, but the popular picks so far have been LA Lakers, Phoenix Suns, and Golden State Warriors to come out of the West.
Milwaukee right now is the favorite to come out of the East because of what they did in the regular season.
Milwaukee finished the regular season with the NBA’s best record of 58-24 led by MVP candidate Giannis Antetokounmpo, who averaged 31.1 points, 11.8 rebounds, and 5.7 assists in 63 games played. While Milwaukee and Giannis played well, these three guys saw their stock drop in the 2022-23 regular season.
3 Bucks whose stock dropped in the 2022-23 regular season- Pat Connaughton
This was a challenging year for Pat Connaughton.
Sidelined before the season started with a right calf injury, Connaughton missed two months and didn’t see his first action until November 21 against the Portland Trail Blazers.
Throwing out his performances in December, Connaughton turned a corner in January, averaging 10.7 points, 6.3 rebounds, and 1.6 assists while 39 percent of his threes.
What followed after wasn’t pretty. Connaughton only averaged seven points, 5.8 rebounds, and 1.5 assists, and his 3-point shooting in February dropped to 33 percent.
His month of March didn’t get much better as he averaged 6.9 points, 4.3 rebounds, and 1.3 assists. Outside of his performance on March 24 against Utah Jazz in which he dropped in 24 points on 8-of-12 shooting, his two-month-long shooting slump continued hitting 40 percent from the field and 31 percent from three.
Normally, it would be safe to assume that Connaughton will find his stroke in the playoffs, but unfortunately, Connaughton suffered a sprained right ankle on April 4 against Washington Wizards, and his status is unknown for Game 1 on Sunday. It is a welcoming sign that Connaughton was a full participant in practice on Thursday.