Basketball

How Hard is it to Repeat as NBA Champions?

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The NBA regular-season returns today after crowning the Milwaukee Bucks 2021 champions just three short months ago. With the 2021-22 season starting up, questions about Milwaukee repeating are up in the air. The Bucks made outstanding off-season transactions to help their case for a repeat, as well as seeing young players show promising jumps during the preseason. Does history back this up? Well, recent history does not look promising.

List of All Repeating Champions

Los Angeles Lakers- 1952, 1953, 1954, 1987, 1988, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2009, 2010

Boston Celtics- 1959, 1960, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1968, 1969

Detroit Pistons- 1989, 1990

Chicago Bulls- 1991, 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 1998

Houston Rockets- 1994, 1995

Miami Heat- 2012, 2013

Golden State Warriors- 2017, 2018

With seven franchises repeating as NBA champions, plenty of individual teams within the franchises have done exactly that. The odds are definitely stacked against the Bucks fulfilling this feat with the ever-changing NBA game. As you can see from the list, the majority of teams who repeated as NBA champions happened between 1950-2000. After the 1999-2000 season, only three teams have actually repeated.

The Miami Heat and the Golden State Warriors are the only two teams to win back-to-back championships in the last decade. The chance to repeat is hard to do in this day in age with how rosters change and with how players play the game. Can the Bucks overcome the odds and repeat?

History May Say No But Bucks Have a Decent Chance to Be 2022 Champions

It is not surprising to see teams like the Boston Celtics and the Lakers have repeat championships in the 50s, 60s, and even the 2000s. Dominant teams back then won a majority of the time and no one can stop them. Since the 1950s and even the early 2000s, the game has changed dramatically. Why do the Bucks have a shot this season?

Milwaukee made great moves for a team coming off a championship season, which gives them the upper hand right away. The Bucks have their “Big 3” locked up financially which allowed the team to deepen their bench even more. With the additions of Grayson Allen, Rodney Hood, and George Hill, it gives Milwaukee a ton of experience, especially off the bench. The rise of a second-year Jordan Nwora can help give Milwaukee minutes when they need to rest players.

Even with a lack of repeats lately, Milwaukee is a good candidate to bet on for the 2022 championship, they are more than likely a top-two seed in the Eastern Conference.

Only two teams have gotten the job done and ended up repeating as NBA Champions in the past 10 years. The game of basketball is changing as rapidly as ever, which is why you will not be seeing the repeats like Bill Russell and the Boston Celtics had in the 1950s and 1960. Position evolution is a big part of this, especially with big men. The traditional big man dominated inside the paint like Shaq did, now most centers are dual threats, that will open up the floor tremendously. The game is quicker and the athleticism is off the charts.

History is most definitely against the Milwaukee Bucks when talking about repeating as NBA champions, but the case is definitely there for the City of Milwaukee. If Milwaukee is lucky enough to be crowned 2022 champions, it will be the first team to do it since the 2017-2018 Golden State Warriors who won championships in 2017 and 2018.

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My name is Jacob Heid and I am currently pursuing a Journalism degree from Southern Illinois university. I have been at Overtime Heroics for about a year.