I understand I am stating an obvious fact here but the Milwaukee Bucks do not have a superstar on the team. It is nothing new and something fans have dealt with for some time. The good news is the current Bucks squad has an incredible amount of depth that, with the right amount of chemistry, could prove to be overwhelming for opponents.
I believe Milwaukee could have the best bench in the NBA when it is all said and done, which will prove to be the difference maker as the team marches to the playoffs in 2013-14. The current starting lineup has plenty of leadership and fire power, but it is the second team that could be the reason why the Bucks win numerous games.
To have the talents of Luke Ridnour, Gary Neal, Giannis Antetokounmpo, John Henson and Ekpe Udoh/Zaza Pachulia come off the bench is a luxury fans may not quite fully comprehend right away. Ridnour and Pachulia have been consistent starters at some point in their career. Neal has solid postseason experience, and he has performed well when it mattered most. Udoh has come into his own as a decent defender, while Henson will explode into a legitimate offensive and defensive threat. Meanwhile, rookie Antetokounmpo has shown a surplus of potential that could make him the superstar the Bucks have longed for over the years.
To put it in perspective, the second squad defeated the first team 40-29 in a scrimmage during training camp this past week. Many people may not see this as a big deal considering Milwaukee is a joke to the average fan. The assumption is the Bucks will either go nowhere this season or barely make the playoffs. However, for the backups to beat the starters by 11 points is certainly impressive, no matter what NBA team it is.
“It was one of those things where we got off to a good start,” Henson said, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “I told Luke after practice, I was like, ‘He can play, man.’ He runs the show like a vet like him should. That’s really what got us going, man.
“Him and Gary, and me and Ep always play well together. It was a good day for us.”
It is certainly nothing to blow out of proportion. It is a simple scrimmage that probably means nothing to most people. At the same time, it is something to keep in mind as the regular season nears. If anything, it is a way for the second team to build confidence. If they can defeat the starters on their own team they should be able to take on any second team that takes the court against them.
Only time will tell if the Bucks have the best bench in the league. However, I certainly like their chances.