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The 2023 Playoffs Could See Championship Team Collapse

Updated: Sep 10, 2023

The Milwaukee Buck’s hopes for the playoffs could be in trouble. With Khris Middleton out for most of this season, the Bucks were around the second seed. When Middleton came back and the Bucks started to click, Milwaukee went on a 16-game win streak and took the first seed. Despite their previous playoff success and having the best player in the league, they have the potential to fall apart in the playoffs this year.

Giannis Antetokounmpo’s Injury

Giannis is the best scorer the Bucks have this year and their second-best defender. Giannis is averaging 31 points, 12 rebounds, and six assists per game. Giannis established himself as the best player in the NBA. That being said, he’s also extremely valuable to the Bucks and their potential playoff push.

Giannis during the first quarter of the Heat game got injured with a back contusion. Giannis attempted to come back and he later tried to play but exited. If the Bucks want to be successful in the playoffs, they need Giannis.


The Pesky Miami Heat

The Heat are a pesky eight seed with good coaching and a star in Jimmy Butler. While the Heat may not have the talent to win an NBA championship, they have the mindset they can. Jimmy Butler elevates his game in the playoffs, which can be evident even last year when he led the playoffs with 40-point games. Without Giannis, the Heat have the potential to upset or push the game to six or seven games.

Beyond The First Round

With this series being long and then playing a pesky Knicks or talented Cavs team, the Bucks could be upset there as well. The Knicks are an elite defense and two stars. The Cavs have two great defensive centers and a star in Donovan Mitchell. That has the potential to be a long series as well. Then, they will play the winner of the 76ers or Celtics. The path is daunting and if Giannis has a series injury it may not be meant to be for the Bucks.

With Giannis being out, Jrue Holiday becomes the number one option. Holiday has played very well this year averaging 19 points. In the playoffs, Jrue Holiday has been around the same production. Jrue averages 17 points per game in the playoffs. While 17 points per game are solid, Holiday can’t be the best scorer for a team who wants to make a deep playoff run.

Khris Middleton has had injury problems this whole season, he’s finishing this year averaging 15 points per game on 43% from the field and 31% from three. From how Middleton has played he can’t be trusted to reliably score in the playoffs, especially with the intensity increasing. If Giannis is limited throughout the playoffs, the Bucks could very well fall apart.

 

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