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The Bucks Are in the Eastern Conference Race: Is it Time to Fear the Deer?

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The Bucks are in the Eastern Conference race. Giannis Antetokounmpo seems to be flying under the radar in the MVP conversation, they just added P.J. Tucker to their roster, and they are on a six-game winning streak. Is it really time to fear the dear? Let’s dive in.

The Greek Freak

Giannis Antetokounmpo has undoubtedly been the best player on the Milwaukee Bucks for some time now. The two-time MVP and one-time DPOY award winner has been trying to will his team to an NBA championship.

They’ve gotten close in recent years, making it to the Eastern Conference Finals in 2019, only to drop four straight against the eventual champions, the Toronto Raptors. Their regular-season performances have exceptional, but the question remains: are they ready come playoff time?

As we’ve seen in the past, the MVP player’s playoff minutes have been limited, often hurting their team in the long run. Their success in the playoffs will depend on this as one of the factors. Antetomounmpo’s been putting up some impressive numbers in their wins this season, averaging 29 PPG.

Per YouTube/Chris Smoove

As you can see above, Giannis Antetokounmpo showed out down the stretch in the fourth quarter against the Spurs recently. His power and athleticism are key to the elements of success for the Bucks, and he needs to be unleashed in the playoffs.

The Addition of PJ Tucker

A move to a contender in the East was overdue for PJ Tucker, who made his way out of Houston in a trade to Milwaukee that involved DJ Augustin, Rodions Kurucs, and some future picks. Tucker brings physicality and defensive toughness to Milwaukee, and he isn’t a bad shooter from beyond the arc; before this season.

Per YouTube/NBA Content

Tucker is a good addition to this Bucks team and will help them build their defensive identity.

The Bucks Are in the Eastern Conference Race: Standings

The Bucks currently stand third in the Eastern Conference, right behind the Nets and the Sixers. The only team that has a greater win streak than them is the Atlanta Hawks, who are right behind them. The race in the Eastern Conference has been relatively tight, but the Bucks may have started to find some consistency. Health has been one of the greater factors this season for all NBA teams, and they haven’t been hit as hard as the Raptors or some of the other teams that have been impacted by COVID-19.

They’ve been under the radar this year, but there is still pressure on them to make a push in the playoffs. Giannis Antetokounmpo stated that doesn’t like that pressure, but as stated in the article linked,

when you win back-to-back NBA MVP awards and your team is a perennial title contender, you’re going to get the added pressure naturally, whether it comes externally or internally.

Per Clutch Points

Antetokounmpo just signed a supermax in the offseason, so it’s clear he has faith in this team. Right now, it may be time to fear the deer, but come playoff time, they still have to prove that they deserve a title.

The Bucks are set to play the Pacers on March 22, as they look to continue their win streak without their MVP.

Make sure to follow Overtime Heroics – Basketball to stay up to date on NBA news and articles, as well as myself (@crinamm) for more basketball content.

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Crina Mustafa is a first year Sport Media student with an interest in producing social media content and sport journalism. She is a basketball and tennis writer, and also manages social media for places like Raptors Cage. Crina is currently a NBA writer for Overtime Heroics.