How important is to win NBA regular season?
If you are simply the best you win – no questions. Home court advantage through whole Playoff time + psychological advantage (?) over opponents.
On the other hand… It’s doesn’t help much to dominate NBA from middle of October until April if team doesn’t win NBA Title in June.
The first thing that should come in NBA basketball fan’s mind is Golden State Warriors historic 73-9 regular season or last year’s Houston Rockets’ regular season success… As we all know both these teams didn’t win the NBA Title.
THE FACT. NBA regular season winner won NBA Title only 4 times in last 9 seasons.
HOME COURT ADVANTAGE.
It’s not secret – teams usually play better at home. In diagram shown #1 regular season’s team record at home/away. Even playoff home games winning % is high, it’s much lower than same teams total winning record @ home in regular season = 87.8% (180-25).
Home court advantage is very important but it doesn’t guarantee NBA Title! In Playoffs teams face better opponents and preparation against one single opponent is much different than during regular season when team sometimes play against 4 different opponents in 6 days.
Very important is how teams match-up to each other. For example 2017/18 NBA season – Portland #3 vs. New Orleans #6. Portland = pick-and-roll team vs. New Orleans = fastest team (2017/18). There’s no need for home court advantage if team (Portland in this case) is swept – 0:4..
PLAY-OFF EXPERIENCE AND PLANNING.
Being the best shape in right time! Is San Antonio Spurs 9 game winning-streak just lucky run or well planned strategy from probably the greatest NBA and European coach?
Even it was strength of schedule or just simply making shots with high % – THE LUCK IS EARNED.
Let’s assume that Milwaukee will be #1 team in NBA in the end of regular season.
New venue (Bradley Center to Fiserv Forum), new coach (Mike Budenholzer), new system. Shoots a lot of three-point shots, rebounds the ball excellent!
What’s very important – best defense in NBA! Def RTG 104.7 (1st).
There are lot of sayings who describes importance of defense in basketball or any other sport: Defense wins championships, Defense has no bad days, Defense is consistent…
Defense really wins championships?
DO WE REALLY BELIEVE IN BUCKS CHANCES TO WIN NBA TITLE?
INJURIES of Brogdon, Gasol, Mirotic. Good for Bucks they not out for rest of the season. And recent injury of DiVicenzo (out)…
Play-off experience & success..
It’s hard to truly believe in Coach Budenholzer team’s possible Play-Off success if their 7 best scorers totally have played 52 seasons and have won only 4 play-off series…
THE FIRST ROUND
Shouldn’t be a problem for Bucks even without injured players. Brooklyn Nets? Personally I believe that other teams who possibly will finish regular season at #8 spot won’t be able to compete vs. great Milwaukee Bucks team.
THE SECOND ROUND
Most likely it will be winner of #4 and #5. Boston/Indiana winner. Both great defensive teams but completely different style of offense.
Last season Milwaukee lost 3-4 in First Round to Boston Celtics without Kyrie and Hayward.
Season series: vs. Boston 2-1/vs Indiana 3-1.
Two very tough teams to play against. Boston Celtics not stable but they play great in play-offs,+Kyrie know what it takes to win big games. Indiana without Oladipo.. I think Milwaukee should win any of these series if injured players are back. Slight favourites over Boston.
THE THIRD ROUND
Hard to predict anything now but I can’t say Bucks are huge favourites. 76ers Starting Five and huge potential offensively + Toronto depth and teamwork + great defense.. Who knows?
Season series: vs. Raptors 3-1/vs. Philly 1-1.
Interesting statistics of recent game between Philadephia and Miwaukee 130:125. Despite Giannis career-high 52 points he was less effective when Embiid was his primary defender.
OR OR ANY OTHER TEAM?
I think any team who will make it out of East will have a chance to win the NBA Title. With all the respect to Warriors/Rockets/Nuggets and other Western Conference teams, Bucks can play against all of them. Still.. Golden State Warriors is #1 favourite but other teams are much closer to them than it used to be recent years.
Thanks for reading NBA basketball fans! Kristians@abouthegame.com