The Milwaukee Bucks made it into the 2013 NBA Playoffs as the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference. Upon their arrival in the postseason, the Bucks were swiftly dismissed in a four-game sweep by the eventual champions, the Miami Heat. That’s when an off-season that brought a lot of changes started for the Bucks.
As Monta Ellis, J.J. Redick and Brandon Jennings all became free-agents this summer, it was pretty clear from the start of the summer that the Bucks roster was going to look vastly different in the 2013-2014 season. With Brandon Knight, Gary Neal, Caron Butler, Carlos Delfino, O.J. Mayo, Luke Ridnour and Zaza Pachulia all enter their first year with the Bucks, it’s pretty clear that this is a new-look for the Bucks in terms of their roster.
In terms of results, though, it’s kind of hard to imagine the results for Milwaukee being much different than they were last season. Even with the Bucks making the playoffs, they were in a weak conference overall and still finished the season with a winning percentage under .500.
Getting shoot-first players like Jennings and Ellis out of town could have been a big opportunity for the Bucks to change the culture in Milwaukee and build around a talented young frontcourt that features Larry Sanders, John Henson and Ersan Ilyasova. However, the additions of Mayo, Neal and Knight, to a lesser extent, only seem to further the mediocrity of the Bucks.
There are talented players on this Bucks roster. Neal proved in last year’s postseason that he can shoot the lights out when he’s hot. Mayo has shown stretches of being a fantastic player. Knight could develop into a solid guard. However, it doesn’t feel like this Bucks team has done enough to improve this summer. This is a team with what seems like too many wildcards, which isn’t a good thing. They could be gearing up to use their assets to make a big trade, but as they stand now, it doesn’t seem like they have what it takes. With the rest of the East getting better, despite a few tanking teams, their chances of making the playoffs again look grim.
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