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
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.
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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.
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