It wasn’t so long that the Bucks were in a similar position as the Kings, wondering what their future would look like after years of going nowhere. It’s amazing how quickly things can change with the right breaks and the right talent.
For Milwaukee, their break came in the form of Giannis Antetokounmpo, a calculated risk made by their team that has worked out in spades. There hasn’t really been a player like the Greek Freak before, a 7 footer who plays like a PG and has arms that stretch from sideline to sideline. When Antetokounmpo first came on the scene, he was incredibly raw, but the flashes were all there. Now in the final year of his rookie contract, he’s fresh off the first of what seems like will be many All-Star appearances. If there’s one flaw to his game right now it’s that he hasn’t yet developed a great outside shot, but when you can get to the rim with one dribble from the three point line, that’s not as big a liability as it could be.
The Bucks have assembled some solid youth around Antetokounmpo. Former second overall pick Jabari Parker was having a breakout year before unfortunately succumbing to another devastating knee injury that knocked him out of the season. Shooting guard Khris Middleton has recovered from his own knee injury and is back with a vengeance, shooting nearly 50% from the field and from three. The Bucks also got a solid contributor from this year’s rookie class in Malcom Brogdon, who has easily had one of the better rookie seasons of this class (although he’s 2 years older than Antetokoumpo).
The Bucks have surrounded their youth with veterans like Greg Monroe, Jason Terry and Matthew Dellavedova, guys who can guide the youth along as the Bucks try to rise from the scrap pile. It’s a format the Kings would do well to follow. The Kings don’t have their Greek Freak yet, but they’ve got some young players like Skal Labissiere, Buddy Hield, Malachi Richardson and Georgios Papagiannis that could turn out to be pretty good if they’re developed properly.
Milawuakee’s still not a contender, but they’ve got a direction and a star to build around for a long time. That’s where the Kings want to get.
Tip-off’s at 7:30 p.m. Go Kings.