3 Milwaukee Bucks who need to have a strong 2024

Indiana Pacers v Milwaukee Bucks
Indiana Pacers v Milwaukee Bucks / Patrick McDermott/GettyImages
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The Milwaukee Bucks currently sit in second in the Eastern Conference with a 25-10 record. The team has performed as expected, but the defense remains an issue. According to ESPN, Milwaukee is currently ranked 18th in defensive efficiency across the league.

Milwaukee's offense has performed as expected, with Damian Lillard, Giannis Antetokounmpo, and Khris Middleton being the players we thought they would be heading into the season. The other guys, such as Malik Beasley, Bobby Portis, and Cameron Payne, had a solid first quarter of the season, but now this is the time they have to play their best basketball. This also includes Pat Connaughton and MarJon Beauchamp, who struggled in the first few months. This is the time for them to have a massive impact on the team.

Now is the time that the Milwaukee Bucks will be judged more harshly. The first quarter of the year is a team finding its footing. Now is when every game will be looked at with a microscope, and these three individuals need to have a key 2024 season.

1- Bobby Portis

As much positivity and adulation the fans give Bobby Portis, this next month will be key to see if he will be in the team's plans long-term.

Over the deadline, the team might look to trade the fan favorite in exchange for more defense. Sure, Bobby Portis brings energy and toughness to the team, but if those are the only two attributes that he brings to a team, it might be time for the Bucks to make a tough business decision.

Portis' numbers aren't bad as in 35 games, he's averaging 12.3 points, 6.7 rebounds, and 1.1 assists while shooting 50 percent from the field and 34 percent from three.

But this is about the postseason, and in the last two postseason runs for Milwaukee, Portis hasn't played well, particularly on the defensive end, so would Milwaukee consider making a move to help solidify their bench defense?

The other factor that comes into play is the expected return of Jae Crowder. That should help Portis stay in Milwaukee the rest of the season because without him, the bench defense hasn't been great, and Crowder's return should help improve that area.

The future of Bobby Portis in Milwaukee will be something to watch as the trade deadline approaches.