Buck Stops at Giannis … Not

Giannis+Antetokounmpo+and+the+Milwaukee+Bucks+are+coming+off+a+hard-fought+first+round+series+loss+%28Courtesy+of+Twitter%29.
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Buck Stops at Giannis … Not

Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks are coming off a hard-fought first round series loss (Courtesy of Twitter).

Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks are coming off a hard-fought first round series loss (Courtesy of Twitter).

Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks are coming off a hard-fought first round series loss (Courtesy of Twitter).

Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks are coming off a hard-fought first round series loss (Courtesy of Twitter).

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By Alvin Halimwidjaya

Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks are coming off a hard-fought first round series loss (Courtesy of Twitter).

On Saturday night, the Boston Celtics beat the Milwaukee Bucks in a series-deciding Game 7. With the 122-96 loss comes yet another year where the Bucks underperform and fall in the first-round to a team they should be able to conceivably beat. Even though Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum are stars in the making and Brad Stevens is arguably the best coach in the NBA, the Celtics were missing their two best players: Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward. In case you forgot, Milwaukee also has Giannis Antetokounmpo, a.k.a the Greek Freak, a.k.a the one NBA player who wields the Infinity Gauntlet without anybody realizing, a.k.a… well, you get it.

The series went very predictably, with each team winning their respective home games. Another mediocre season makes it pretty clear that Antetokounmpo needs some help in Milwaukee. In the backcourt, Kris Middleton is a great third fiddle who’s been forced into the role of second fiddle, while Malcolm Brogdon is an excellent role player who shouldn’t be asked to run an offense in the starting lineup. Up front, Thon Maker is still a couple years away from being the best he can be, and Jabari Parker is a little too undersized and injury-prone.

Everyone else should be expendable, from the slightly roasted Eric Bledsoe, courtesy of Celtics guard Terry Rozier, to Matthew Dellavedova, best known as the Aussie personification of a mosquito on the court. Suffice it to say that any team that has Jason Terry in their rotation should raise both of your eyebrows.

With Jason Kidd out of the picture and Joe Prunty doing an intensely average job, the Bucks should be looking to score some big names all throughout the organization. With Giannis’ free agency looming, Milwaukee needs to keep him happy before he decides to bolt for greener pastures. Even though Wisconsin is known for its cheese, a fat paycheck isn’t going to have the same allure as the prospect of a championship other teams can offer.

To be clear, by “looming free agency,” I mean the summer of 2021. However, with a generational talent like Antetokounmpo in their grasp, Milwaukee can’t afford to take their time and let their guard down. They need to find reliable shooters to space around Giannis, and with players like Avery Bradley, J.J. Redick and Trevor Ariza available this summer in free agency, the Bucks need to start aggressively moving towards becoming a truly substantial contender. Even reaching out feelers towards players like the Timberwolves’ Andrew Wiggins, the Nuggets’ Nikola Jokic and the Magic’s Aaron Gordon could possibly be worth their time.

The Bucks are stuck in the position the New Orleans Pelicans were in with Anthony Davis; the Easy City went out and got DeMarcus Cousins and Jrue Holiday, and now they’re in the second round of the playoffs in the Western Conference. If Milwaukee really wants to develop a real threat to the Sixers, the Celtics and whatever team LeBron ends up on, they need to stop taking easy dunks and start shooting their shot.