NBA scores 2018: Why the Bucks haven’t arrived yet, and 5 more things from Friday night

The Milwaukee Bucks are nearly certain to make the Eastern Conference postseason, and they still have one of the league’s brightest futures mostly thanks to Giannis Antetokounmpo, their incredible unicorn. But we might have jumped the gun predicting them as the cream of the Eastern Conference. They’re not quite there yet.

It’s not specifically Friday’s loss that led to this revelation, because virtually no game against the Warriors is a proper barometer of how good a team can be, even if Golden State was missing Stephen Curry. No, Milwaukee is just an average roster that sits as the No. 7 seed in the East standings with a bland 22-19 record. They’re above average, but not by much.

Personally, I thought that the Eric Bledsoe trade in early November would vault them up another level. The Bucks needed another plus rotation player, and Bledsoe was more than that. He would drive players like Matthew Dellavedova down one spot, and that felt necessary. But since Nov. 8, while Milwaukee is 18-13, they have only been outscoring teams by one point per 100 possessions.

Even with Bledsoe’s boost, Milwaukee is a team that lacks depth. Only five rotation players boast net positive rotation numbers: Antetokounmpo, Bledsoe, John Henson, Tony Snell, and Khris Middleton. Malcolm

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