The new NBA season is underway, and there’s already a whole host of storylines and talking points. We all hear about the drama with the Los Angeles Lakers with another season of stubbornly trying to somehow make Russell Westbrook work.
Like the Lakers, the Philadelphia Sixers have started out the season 0-3 and the fans aren’t happy.
The Brooklyn Nets started out the season getting blown out by the New Orleans Pelicans. Last season’s two NBA Finalists: the Boston Celtics and the Golden State Warriors started out the season with wins; beating the aforementioned Sixers and Lakers respectively.
Online bookmakers such as Draft Kings, which provides free bets on the NBA, may have made Steph Curry and his Golden State Warriors the favorites to retain the trophy they won so impressively last season. Fair enough — the Warriors brought back their star players and have a developing young core of players expected to get many more minutes this season. They did defeat the Celtics 4-2 in the finals back in June to lift their fourth crown in eight years, and the bookmakers think they could be headed for number five this year.
The Celtics and the Warriors are once again two of the favorites to battle it out for the trophy with ESPN covering the drama happening in Los Angeles and Brooklyn. All the hype and social media noise for these big market teams and the best bet for the 2022-23 NBA Championship might be the Milwaukee Bucks,
Remember the Milwaukee Bucks?
It was just two seasons again that the Giannis Antetokoumnpo dropped 50 points in the deciding game of the 2021 NBA Finals to bring the city of Milwaukee their first NBA championship in 40 years. This is the same Antetokoumnpo that was the ranked as the league’s best player going into this season by both ESPN and Sports Illustrated, and NBA General Managers.
Last season, the Bucks looked primed and ready to retain their trophy. They once again topped their division and defeated the Chicago Bulls in the first round of the playoffs. Then, however, they ran into a hot Boston Celtics squad that was coming together at the right time. Even so, the Bucks took the lead in the series three times before giving up the deciding game seven to the Celtics in front of a frenzied TD Garden.
The consensus belief was that if Milwaukee had the services of the injured Khris Middleton in the Boston series, they would have gone on to defeat the Celtics, moved on past the Miami Heat in the Conference Finals and would have provided a championship-proven, more-experienced opponent to the Warriors. Giannis was still unstoppable, but the Bucks needed the shot making of the underrated Middleton.
With Middleton healthy, Giannis at the height of his powers, the solid playmaking and defense of all-star Jrue Holiday, and Bobby Portis’ energy off the bench, you can bet that this season Milwaukee will be gunning for some quiet, drama-less revenge deep into the playoffs.
Until then, the Milwaukee Bucks will continue winning; unbothered by the limelight being shone on the coastal teams.