By: Travis Thayer (@TheTravisThayer)
2012-13 Record: 38-44
Projected 2013-14 Finish: 4th in the Central Division
Projected Starting Lineup
Milwaukee might be a sneaky good team this season. They went out and replaced Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis with Brandon Knight and O.J. Mayo, and they were able to extend Larry Sanders’ contract. The Ellis/Jennings combo was the higher scoring combo last season, but the new Mayo/Knight combo shot a higher percentage. Caron Butler was another nice pickup for the Bucks. Butler has been solid everywhere he has been, and he gives the Bucks another good outside shooter. Larry Sanders is fresh off a new 4-year $44 million dollar contract, and he is primed for a breakout year. Sanders was nearly a 10-10 guy last year, and he has the potential to be a 15-10 guy with added touches. The Bucks also have a couple of shooters on the bench in Carlos Delfino and Gary Neal. Neal was lights out for the Spurs in the NBA Finals last year, and he should see more regular playing time in Milwaukee. The biggest obstacle for the Bucks this year is the division they play in. The Pacers and Bulls will likely be the top two teams in the Central, and the Pistons and Cavs are much improved on paper. All three of the latter teams will be fighting for the last three playoff spots, and the Bucks look good enough to snag one of the final spots. O.J. Mayo and Brandon Knight won’t miss as many shots as Ellis and Jennings did, and their bench will be good enough to get them over the hump. Like I said, the Bucks might be a sneaky good team this year, but don’t expect them to advance past the first round in the playoffs.