They say there’s no rest for the weary. At 7-26, the Milwaukee Bucks are more than weary. They’re beleaguered.
The Bucks are about to begin their toughest stretch of the season so far. Over the next two weeks, Milwaukee will play seven games, five of which come against teams that currently have records of .500 or better.
The Bucks begin this two-week span with a home date against scorching Golden State, winners of nine straight. The Bulls come to the cavernous Bradley Center soon after in a matchup that usually draws more Chicago fans than Milwaukee ones.
The Bucks then hit the road to play Oklahoma City and Toronto, a team that is, by default, one of the best in the East. Milwaukee returns home to play injury-plagued Memphis, then finishes this tough slate with games in Houston and San Antonio.
Thanks to playing in the weak Eastern Conference, Milwaukee has played just nine games against .500+ teams, tied with Indiana for the fewest in the league. They have lost all nine contests.
Yes, the Bucks have accumulated their pitiful record while playing against mostly mediocre teams. It’s hard to find any positive trends for the Bucks while looking at their record. They play equally as bad at home as they do on the road, and they own the NBA’s worst scoring differential.
The Bucks are 3-4 in games decided by five points or less, and that’s about as positive you can get from this season. For such a young team, being able to play above their heads and win a few tight games is encouraging.
While this season may prove to be the worst in franchise history, there is hope on the horizon. Out of playoff contention, the Bucks can afford to give meaningful minutes to their young core rather than making another ill-advised push for the eighth seed.
It is important to remember that the team does have several foundation pieces already in place. Center Larry Sanders, forwards John Henson and Khris Middleton, and guards Brandon Knight and Giannis Antetokounmpo make for a promising future.
When Henson returns from an ankle sprain, getting these five on the court at the same time will be exciting. As Milwaukee steamrolls toward a high lottery pick, giving young players experience is the one thing the Bucks can do as the losses inevitably pile up.
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