NBA Futures Betting: Is the NBA Title the Bucks’ to Lose?
Sure, they lost three straight going into the “break.” But overall, the Milwaukee Bucks, sporting a league-leading 53-12 record, is playing at a championship level. There is no question about that. When a team is outscoring its opposition by 11.3 points a game, they are in the company of some of the more dominant teams in history. BetAnySports customers are clearly aware of that. So they are a team to watch as the NBA resumes its schedule. That happens to start July 31 with eight regular-season games, followed by a playoff slate with 22 clubs eligible.
Giannis and the dominance of defense
Undoubtedly it helps when you have a superstar player. And in Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee has someone who could be on his way to a second consecutive MVP award. What is particularly magical about Giannis is not that he is so athletic, especially for someone 6-11. That much has been a given since his rookie season. And it is not that he is so versatile, to the extent that he could be a “point forward.” It’s that he is able to get the job done at both ends of the floor. He is one of the top defensive players in the league, and – this is important – he makes his teammates better as well. For example, Eric Bledsoe has emerged as an All-Defensive team member since coming to Milwaukee.
Plenty of threes? No problem
Indeed, the Bucks have the top defensive rating in the NBA. And that might seem unusual to some people, considering that they are especially permissive when it comes to allowing opponents to take three-point shots. And those opponents have made 35.6% of their attempts, which puts the team outside the top ten squads in the NBA. When you have numbers like that, you need to be in a position to stop second shots. And Milwaukee does just that; they are #1 with a bullet when it comes to Defensive Rebounding Percentage. In other words, by and large, when they stop you once, they are able to finish the stop.
And NO team in the league has been able to defend against TWO-point shots the way they do. The Bucks have permitted just 45.3% of their opponents’ two-pointers, which is best in the league.
And now for some numbers…..
You can see here that at BetAnySports, the Bucks are just behind the Los Angeles Lakers. And they are tied with the Clippers, looming the top team in the Eastern Conference when it comes to NBA futures odds to win the title. Here are the top ten:
NBA Futures Top 10 Team Odds to Win the Title
|Los Angeles Lakers||+240|
|Los Angeles Clippers||+300|
In case you were wondering whether any of this was an accident, it isn’t. It is part of the overall philosophy employed by coach Mike Budenholzer, who learned his trade under Gregg Popovich in San Antonio, then moved on to Atlanta, where he established a defensive culture and helped turn around that franchise. But he has never had a player like Giannis under him. And likely the Bucks have bought into what he’s selling to a greater extent than any other team.
Role players count too
That’s how they have been able to bounce back from the disappointment of losing to Toronto in last year’s East finals, as well as losing a damn good all-around performer like former Rookie of the Year Malcolm Brogdon. It’s a major boon when you can put a lot of component parts on the floor. So a player like George Hill comes in handy at the point. And Kyle Korver, even though he’s advanced in age (38), can come of\f the bench to hit a few triples. These are guys with deep playoff experience. And that will come in handy as we have this short schedule, followed by a post-season run.
Budenholzer is a master of preparedness. That much has been obvious. That’s why there is no doubt in our mind that his team won’t come out flat-footed when things get underway again. The Celtics are the only real obstacle when it comes to emerging out of the East. And unless they catch a hot three-point shooting team, they are going to be a lot of trouble.
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