Two weeks ago I wrote an article discussing the Bucks’ upcoming schedule, a seven-game stretch against some of the NBA’s best teams.
I realistically said Milwaukee’s poor record was going to get even worse, but I wasn’t expecting the team to lose all seven of the games. Predating my article, the Milwaukee Bucks have actually lost nine straight and haven’t won a game since New Year’s Eve, when they beat the Lakers on the road.
The nine-game losing streak began January 2 in Utah, and most of the games weren’t even close. Milwaukee was down by double digits entering the fourth quarter in seven of the nine games.
Only two games had entertaining finishes. Against Chicago January 10, the Bucks managed to trim a 10-point fourth quarter deficit to one with five minutes to go, but did not score the rest of the game.
On January 15 against Memphis, Milwaukee actually led by two going into the fourth. The Grizzlies went on a 12-0 run to start the quarter, but the Bucks had a chance to tie at the end of the game. The half-empty Bradley Center actually got pretty raucous for the possession, but Larry Sanders, of all people, missed a 3-pointer to tie.
It’s just the latest in a series of miserable performances as the Bucks find themselves on pace for the worst record in franchise history. Consider that Milwaukee has not even played half its games, yet the team has already had losing streaks of 11, five, and the current nine game malaise. The Bucks haven’t even won consecutive games this year.
There are plenty of reasons for the Bucks’ brutal season. Milwaukee has the worst field goal percentage in the league at .420, and has the worst point differential as well, at -9.2 points per game. The Bucks also have the second-worst rebounding differential in the NBA at -198, which means they’re outrebounded by an average of five boards per game.
Any Bucks fan would be wise at this point to embrace losing and look forward to the June draft where they could potentially grab Jabari Parker, Andrew Wiggins, Julius Randle or whoever Milwaukee thinks will be the best of the deep and talented bunch. While Milwaukee does have some good young players on the roster to build around, the field goal percentage and rebounding woes show that the Bucks have a long way to go before they really can contend.
Adding top talent this June will help, but the rest of the young core needs to take a step forward as well. Until then, the losses will continue to pile up for the Bucks.