The Milwaukee Bucks are tearing by the NBA at a tempo that has by no means been seen in league historical past. As the Bucks got here from behind on the street to beat the Memphis Grizzlies on Friday night time, Milwaukee pushed its winning streak to 17 consecutive video games whereas sustaining what’s at the moment the most important scoring margin the NBA has ever seen.
The Bucks had been one of the best common season workforce in the NBA final yr, winning 60 video games and ending with a mean level differential of +8.8. They are even higher this season. Milwaukee is on tempo for 73 wins and is sporting a +13.four common level differential, which might blow the NBA document out of the water.
Reigning MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo can be higher than ever this season. Milwaukee’s supporting solid has maintained its excellence up to now even with out departed guard Malcolm Brogdon, who was traded to the Pacers for draft picks through the summer time. The Bucks haven’t misplaced since Nov. 8, and they’re exhibiting no indicators of stopping now.
This is all the things you should know concerning the surging Bucks and a winning streak that’s reaching historic heights.
The Bucks’ winning streak is in historic firm
With 17 straight wins, solely 11 groups in NBA historical past have had longer single-season winning streaks than the one Milwaukee is at the moment using. When the Bucks push their winning streak to 18 with a victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Saturday night time, solely eight single-season streaks in league historical past might be longer.
Despite the Bucks’ present greatness, this isn’t the longest winning streak in franchise historical past. That quantity sits at 20 straight, set by the 1970-71 workforce that gained 66 common season video games and claimed the NBA championship behind Lew Alcindor and Oscar Robertson.
The Bucks are winning at an all-time margin
The largest common level differential in league historical past was set by the 1971-72 Lakers at +12.3. Then comes the aforementioned 1970-71 Milwaukee workforce, who completed fractions of some extent decrease. Michael Jordan’s record-setting 1995-96 Chicago Bulls are third with a mean level differential of +12.2.
All three of these groups gained the NBA championship. The Bucks are at the moment enjoying at a tempo that’s +1.2 above the league document.
The Bucks are balanced
Milwaukee is the one workforce in the NBA that at the moment in the highest three of each offensive and defensive effectivity. The Bucks are third in the NBA in offensive score (behind the Mavericks and Rockets) by scoring 114.1 factors per 100 possessions. Milwaukee is No. 1 in defensive effectivity, permitting solely 101.Three factors per 100 possessions.
The Lakers — Milwaukee’s highly effective counterpart in the Western Conference — are the one different workforce in the NBA to be top-five in each classes.
Giannis is making a robust case that he’s one of the best participant in the world proper now. A yr after winning MVP and ending second in Defensive Player of the Year, Antetokounmpo is elevating his sport to an excellent larger stage.
As the Bucks beat Memphis on Friday night time, Antetokounmpo completed with 37 factors and 11 rebounds in solely 27 minutes. Putting up enormous numbers with out enjoying enormous minutes has been the theme of Giannis’ season. He’s at the moment averaging solely 31.four minutes per sport, which ranks tied for No. 63 in the NBA. Last yr, Antetokounmpo performed a mean of 32.Eight minutes per sport.
Giannis is scoring greater than ever, elevating his factors per 100 possessions from 39.Three a yr in the past to 45.2. While his true capturing share has fallen just a few factors, his effectivity remains to be elite with a real capturing of 61.6 p.c. The largest improve in his sport has come as a three-point shooter. Giannis is taking 24.7 p.c of his pictures from behind the arc (up from 16.Three p.c final yr) and he’s making them at a 32.5 p.c clip (up from 25.6 p.c final yr).
The Bucks have had a comparatively straightforward schedule through the streak
Of the Bucks’ 17 straight wins, solely three have come in opposition to groups that at the moment have winning data. Two of these three wins had been blowouts. The Bucks’ beat the Pacers by 19 factors for his or her third win in the streak, and blasted the Los Angeles Clippers by 28 factors with each Kawhi Leonard and Paul George in the sport.
Milwaukee’s two closest calls in the streak had been a two-point win over the Oklahoma City Thunder and a four-point win over the Utah Jazz.
Milwaukee faces a number of actual exams the remainder of the month
The Bucks’ first huge take a look at comes on Monday in opposition to Luka Doncic and the Mavericks. If they win that sport, the Bucks could have a showdown looming with the Lakers on Thursday in Milwaukee.
There’s additionally a Christmas day sport in opposition to the Philadelphia 76ers on the street in a matchup many picked for the Eastern Conference Finals in the preseason.
The Bucks are an extremely good workforce by any measure. If they’ll beat the Lakers and Sixers, it is going to be time to crown them the championship front-runners.