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Milwaukee Bucks

Division: CentralGM: John HammondHead Coach: Larry Drew
2012-13: 38-44 (8th in East)vs. division 7-9
Points98.9 (12th)
Rebounds44.0 (5th)
Assists22.9 (9th)
FG %.435 (28th)

Bucks look very different for 2013-14

CHOOSE YOUR TEAM

Eastern Conference Atlanta Hawks Boston Celtics Brooklyn Nets Charlotte Bobcats Chicago Bulls Cleveland Cavaliers Detroit Pistons Indiana Pacers Miami Heat Milwaukee Bucks New York Knicks Orlando Magic Philadelphia 76ers Toronto Raptors washington wizards


Western Conference Dallas Mavericks Denver Nuggets Golden State Warriors Houston Rockets LA Clippers LA Lakers Memphis Grizzlies Minnesota Timberwolves New Orleans Pelicans Oklahoma City Thunder Phoenix Suns Portland Trail Blazers Shaqramento Kings San Antonio Spurs Utah Jazz

(The Sports Network) The Milwaukee Bucks finished in the worst possible spot a team could finish in the NBA - the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs.

That kind of purgatory is jail. The eighth seed meant a playoff drubbing at the hands of eventual champion Miami Heat and also meant no trip to the draft lottery.

That kind of situation is doom. So, the Bucks made huge changes, starting with head coach Larry Drew, formerly of the Atlanta Hawks. He replaced Jim Boylan, who replaced Scott Skiles, who left during the season.

Drew made the playoffs in all three seasons in Atlanta. His resume speaks for itself, and he wasn't the only massive change the Bucks made during the offseason.

Milwaukee will bring back only one starter from opening night a year ago. That man is power forward Ersan Ilyasova. Larry Sanders emerged with the starting center job and had a remarkable season that saw him finish second in blocks, third in Most Improved Player voting and seventh in Defensive Player of the Year.

The Bucks backcourt of Monta Ellis and Brandon Jennings was explosive and scored a ton. They are now in Dallas and Detroit, respectively. Replacing them will be O.J. Mayo, another score-first shooting guard, and the point-guard tandem of Luke Ridnour and Brandon Knight, who was acquired from the Pistons for Jennings.

The final new member of the starting five is Caron Butler, a Wisconsin native, who became very emotional at the press conference announcing his acquisition.

Who's In/Who's Out

Key Additions: Brandon Knight, O.J. Mayo, Caron Butler, Carlos Delfino, Zaza Pachulia, Gary Neal, Luke Ridnour, Khris Middleton, Nate Wolters, Giannis Antetokounmpo

Key Losses: Brandon Jennings, Monta Ellis, J.J. Redick, Drew Gooden, Marquis Daniels, Mike Dunleavy, Joel Przybilla, Luc Mbah a Moute, Gustavo Ayon, Ish Smith

Analysis: The Bucks swung for the fences on Antetokounmpo. He appears to have the physical tools - size, length and great athleticism - and skill to be a special player in the NBA some day. Given a few years he could be a steal later on. Or he may never develop into anything more than a bust. (-TSN.ca)

Round 1 15th overall Giannis Antetokounmpo
SF Greece
Round 2* 38th overall (viaWSH, PHI) Nate Wolters PG South Dakota St.

Larry Sanders' minutes went from 12.4 per game in 2011-12 to 27.3 last season. Obviously, production soared with the heavier workload. His 9.8 ppg and 9.5 rpg numbers could actually improve and the defense will remain steady. Sanders blocked a shot in 40 straight games last season, which is remarkable.

CENTRAL PICKS


Bulls (58-24)

Their MVP is back


Pacers (51-31)

Solid and Playoff Tested


Cavs (40-42)

Youth Making Strides


Pistons (38-44)

Borderline Playoff Team


Bucks (30-52)

Mediocre in Milwaukee

Larry Sanders' minutes went from 12.4 per game in 2011-12 to 27.3 last season. Obviously, production soared with the heavier workload. His 9.8 ppg and 9.5 rpg numbers could actually improve and the defense will remain steady. Sanders blocked a shot in 40 straight games last season, which is remarkable.

Ilyasova had a big 2011-12 season and parlayed that into a five-year, $40 million contract. He had a solid 2012-13, but his rebounding and shooting percentage slipped a bit. Without Jennings and Ellis, Ilyasova will score more.

Caron Butler is on the downswing at age 33 but will infuse some veteran leadership and professionalism.

OJ Mayo meanwhile was on pace to be a Western Conference All Star last season with the Dallas Mavericks. He averaged 22 ppg over the first 13, then took up residency in head coach Rick Carlisle's dog house late in the campaign.

Mayo can shoot, score and even defend a little. If Drew and Butler can harness his wildness, Mayo can be a very productive off guard.

The bench is also a startlingly solid group.

If Ridnour begins the season as the starter, that would relegate Knight, who is only in his third season. Knight's averaged 13.1 ppg, 3.9 apg, while shooting 37 percent from three-point range and 41 percent from the field. Those numbers won't knock you out of your chair, but it's enough of a foundation to build on in Milwaukee. Detroit moved him to the shooting guard slot when it acquired Jose Calderon in season, and that wasn't a good fit. Getting Knight on the roster was a great move for the Bucks.

Delfino averaged 10.6 ppg last season for the Rockets, who dumped him to make room for Superman. He signed a reasonable contract with the Bucks and is a career 37 percent three-point shooter.

Neal is an ideal bench player when you need scoring. He's almost averaged 10 ppg in three seasons with the Spurs, but in just over 21 minutes a contest. He can score in bunches.

Bucks' Depth Chart

Power Forward

Ersan Ilyasova
John Henson
Ekpe Udoh

Center

Larry Sanders
Zaza Pachulia
Miroslav Raduljica

Small Forward

Caron Butler
Carlos Delfino
Khris Middleton

Shooting Guard

O.J. Mayo
Garry Neal
Giannis Antetokounmpo

Point Guard

Luke Ridnour
Brandon Knight
Nate Wolters

What To Expect

With five teams (Heat, Pacers, Bulls, Nets and Knicks) assured of playoff spots, the Bucks are stuck in the eternal hell of a low playoff seed in the Eastern Conference.

They might have enough talent to squeeze into one of the three remaining slots, but have no chance of overtaking any of the conference powerhouses.

Still, this group could finish over .500. Or they could be alot worse. There's not a ton of talent, but some very good men you'd want on a roster.




Big Tour

A Historic Event

It was Canada's night at the NBA Draft as four players from north of the border were selected.


1. Andrew Wiggins - Cavaliers

8. Nik Stauskas - Kings

18. Tyler Ennis - Suns

45. Dwight Powell - Hornets


2014 NBA Draft Tracker

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