A good time to be a Bucks fan
NBA BUZZ - Bobby Motus (The Freeman) - December 4, 2019 - 12:00am

After Toronto frustrated them last season during the Eastern Conference Finals, Milwaukee is definitely going full throttle. Not since the 1970-1971 season had they been rolling to a league best 18-3 start. The Raptors meanwhile still continue to be their biggest challenger this early in with a 7-game win streak of their own.

Reigning league MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo, only 24-years old, is on a mission.  His 30.9 point per game is second to James Harden’s 38.9 points. A 6-11 power forward with handles of a guard, Giannis is willing an almost intact Bucks team to victory, with Malcolm Brogdon the only significant player changing locations.

Milwaukee is the only team in the NBA today that has two sets of brothers on the roster - twins Brook and Robin Lopez and Giannis and elder brother Thanasis.

Giannis admittedly is the face of the Milwaukee franchise and his numbers prove his worth.  But the Bucks have a deep bench and coach Mike Budenholzer had shuffled well the talents at his disposal to get the job done.

For ten games, the Bucks missed Khris Middleton due a thigh injury and likewise George Hill who was out for two games with back issues.  In their absence, high energy guys Donte DiVincenzo and Pat Connaughton had stepped up, alternating at the backcourt.  Both don’t have the most attention-getting stats but they get things done with their hustle and defense.

With their 12th consecutive win over the Knicks, the Bucks tied the 5th best streak in franchise history and their best winning run since 1982.  Between 1970 to 1973 with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Oscar Robertson, Milwaukee recorded 16 in a row twice and one 20-win streak, along the way earning their first and only NBA title in 1971.

Only four other teams had winning streaks of more than 20 - Houston with 22 games in 2008, Golden State with 24 games in 2015, Miami with 27-game run in 2013 and the LA Lakers in 1972 with 33 consecutive games.

They will meet Detroit tomorrow and if they prevail, the 13 straight would be their first since 1973.  They then face the LA Clippers and surely, things won’t be easy for the Bucks but if luck holds out and they win over LAC, their next five opponents will be against struggling teams Orlando, Memphis, New Orleans and Cleveland.

Granting further they win 18 straight, two major roadblocks could prevent them from equalling the 20-game run of 1971 - Dallas and the LA Lakers.  Both teams had been playing well and the Bucks must again rely on their formidable depth and hope everyone will be healthy for their history chase to continue.

Middleton and Hill had returned to active duty yesterday and contributed double figures to the continued Empire State of Misery of the New York Knicks.  The Bucks only needed Giannis for 21 minutes, yet he poured in 29 points.  Someday, somehow, the Knicks will win a game or two but with the way they play, the Ws will be scarce.

This will be a great time for fans to jump ship and join Milwaukee in their cruise to history.

GIANNIS ANTETOKOUNMPO
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