Michael Dwyer/Associated Press
Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo concurs with many of the outside assessments about how the squad is on stronger footing as it attempts to reach the NBA Finals.
“The Milwaukee Bucks this year, we’re good … we’re better,” Antetokounmpo told reporters after a 138-99 win over the Golden State Warriors. “We have some great guys that we added to the team. They’re playing the right way, and once everything fits in together, we’re going to be good. It’s going to be fun to watch.”
Jrue Holiday finished with 12 points, six assists and four rebounds. Bobby Portis posted a double-double (10 points, 12 rebounds) off the bench. Even D.J. Augustin chipped in with 13 points in 13 minutes on the floor.
The Bucks clearly didn’t do as much as they would’ve liked in the offseason since the Bogdan Bogdanovic sign-and-trade fell through. Milwaukee didn’t pivot to another marquee acquisition, either, once Bogdanovic became off limits.
General manager Jon Horst clearly needed to do something after the team was overmatched against the Miami Heat in the second round. There’s always some danger, though, in overreacting and doing too much, which in the Bucks’ case would have been something like trading Khris Middleton.
Antetokounmpo’s decision to sign a supermax extension was itself an endorsement of what the front office has done.
The failure to land Bogdanovic might prove to be just fine for Milwaukee since Donte DiVincenzo has combined points and shot 6-of-9 from beyond the arc through two games. Perhaps the gap between Bogdanovic and DiVincenzo isn’t as large as Horst thought.
Of course, the conversation around the Bucks might change a bit by Wednesday night, when they will have completed the second half of a back-to-back against the Heat. Those games will be an early barometer as to whether Milwaukee is improved.