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NBA 2017-18 Eastern Conference Outlook: Bucks will go as far as Giannis Antetokounmpo takes them

NBA 2017-18 Eastern Conference Outlook: Bucks will go as far as Giannis Antetokounmpo takes them

CSN is looking around the league as we prepare for the 2017-18 NBA season. Today, we break down the Milwaukee Bucks' outlook...

2016-17 record: 42-40, 6th in East
Coach: Jason Kidd
Key additions: PF D.J. Wilson
Key losses: SF Michael Beasley
Projected lineup: PG Malcom Brogdon, SG Khris Middleton, SF Tony Snell, PF Giannis Antetokounmpo, C Greg Monroe

Biggest questions:

1. How good will Giannis be?

The Bucks saw Antetokounmpo make significant strides in 2016-17, as he made his first All-Star team, was named All-NBA, All Defense and was the NBA's most improved player. That's a lot of awards and likely just the beginning for the 6-foot-11 star.

The question now becomes what can he do next. Antetokounmpo's athleticism and versatility is so rare that his potential is limitless. He's only 22, meaning he could get better and better for years and years to come. It should be fun watching him try to top his breaking 2016-17 season by reaching another level.

[RELATED: BROOKS KNOWS RE-SIGNING STARS ISN'T EASY]

2. When will Jabari Parker come back?

The Bucks were able to make do without Middleton for much of last season and reincorporated him late in the year once he returned from injury. This year they will have to do the same with Parker, who tore his left ACL for the second time in February. He is expected to miss a good portion of this coming season and return sometime between New Years and the All-Star break.

Parker, 22, emerged last season as one of the best young scorers in the NBA, averaging 20.1 points per game on 49 percent shooting in 33.9 minutes. He will be a major midseason addition for the Bucks. It will be interesting to see what type of impact he makes down the stretch, especially given he will be a restricted free agent next summer.

3. Can they improve from within?

Left with little money to spend this summer, the Bucks are banking on improving from within, hoping that continuity and young players will help them to keep growing as a team. While the Celtics and Cavs made big changes, the Bucks have stood pat much like the Wizards and Raptors. 

Milwaukee gave Toronto a run for their money in the first round and should be right back in the playoff mix this season. As long as Parker's loss doesn't hurt them too much, expect them to be in the top five or so teams in the East. But to catch Cleveland or Boston would likely require another big step for Antetokounmpo or one of their other young players like Brogdon or Thon Maker.

[RELATED: CAN WALL FOLLOW THROUGH ON KOBE'S CHALLENGE?]

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Celtics lose Gordon Hayward to gruesome leg injury in season-opener vs. Cavaliers

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Celtics lose Gordon Hayward to gruesome leg injury in season-opener vs. Cavaliers

Gordon Hayward made his Celtics debut on Tuesday night as Boston took on the Cleveland Cavaliers in a rematch of the 2017 Eastern Conference Finals.

But Hayward's game, and possibly season, came to an end in the first half after the former Jazz small forward suffered a gruesome leg injury.

With the Celtics trailing by 12 in the first quarter, Hayward landed awkwardly under the Celtics basket and his left leg snapped in grotesque fashion, like Paul George's leg did during the summer of 2015.

RELATED: FINAL PRESEASON POWER RANKINGS

To watch the gruesome injury, you can click here. Trust us, it's not good.

You could hear a player on the braodcast scream "He broke his leg. He broke his leg."

Players, both Cavaliers and Celtics, huddled up, hoping for the best. 

Marcin Gortat, John Wall and Bradley Beal are three of the many players to issue the kindest respects following the awful injury.

The Wizards make their season debut on Wednesday when they host the Philadelphia 76ers at Capital One Center.

RELATED: WHO IS THE NBA'S BEST POINT GUARD?

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2017 NBA Power Rankings: How things look at the start

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2017 NBA Power Rankings: How things look at the start

As we open the first week of the NBA season, most people seem to agree when it comes to who's at the very top.

In fact, let's be honest, everyone  is picking the Warriors and Cavs as the two teams to get back to the NBA Finals.

CLICK HERE FOR NBC SPORTS WASHINGTON'S LATEST NBA POWER RANKINGS

That's fair for right now, although there's plenty of factors over an 82 game schedule that can alter even the most inevitable results.

Besides, there are a handful of teams on the rise that will be a ton of fun to watch.

The Timberwolves now have a mix of youth and veterans when it comes to talent, while the SIxers may actually get to see The Process play out on the court. 

Not to mention all the new look rosters, from the Thunder, to the Rockets, and the Celtics.

There's a lot of basketball to be played, and a lot of storylines that need to play out. 

CLICK HERE FOR NBC SPORTS WASHINGTON'S LATEST NBA POWER RANKINGS