The Milwaukee Bucks emerged as surprise NBA Champions last season. They staged a dramatic comeback against the Phoenix Suns in the finals to clinch the title. While people are drooling over Bucks’ talisman Giannis Antetokounmpo and his partner in crime Khris Middleton, performances of others have also not gone unnoticed.
Among the other players, Jrue Holiday has been the standout performer for the Bucks. The Bucks were defeated by the Miami Heat comprehensively at the Eastern Conference semifinals. Therefore they decided to strengthen their ranks and signed Jrue Holiday from New Orleans Pelicans. His inclusion has turned the fortunes completely as the Bucks went on to become the NBA Champions.
While Eric Bledsoe had pretty average outings for the Bucks against the Miami Heat, which was one of the reasons for their elimination from the semifinals. However, with Holiday things changed completely, as he averaged 17.7 points and 6.1 assists. He was so good last season that he became the difference-maker even according to Bucks legend Oscar Robertson.
Robertson was part of the Bucks side which won the first NBA title in 1971. The Bucks legend was present in the stands on Game 4 of the finals to show his support and there he noticed the role of Jrue Holiday. He lauded the guard’s performance on the Knuckleheads podcast. There Oscar stated, “When they (Bucks) got Holiday, that made a difference for them.”
“You have to have good guards to win championships. I don’t care what they say. You don’t have to have the greatest scorers but you need good guards on your team,” he further explained.
The Bucks have not been that active in the offseason and it feels like they have that confidence in their team to replicate the heroics from last season. However, with teams like Los Angeles Lakers and Brooklyn Nets things won’t be easy for the Bucks.
One can say that the Bucks defeated the Nets en route to the finals last season. But it was a very broken Nets team with multiple players out injured. So when the likes of James Harden, Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving will be healthy then it will be a massive challenge for the Bucks.
Also, the Lakers have also brought in several veterans to accompany LeBron James and Anthony Davis. The biggest trade has to be of Russell Westbrook. But they have also added players like Carmelo Anthony, Dwight Howard, Malik Monk, Trevor Ariza and many others. So the Purple and gold army will also be a big challenge for the Nets in the upcoming NBA season.