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SECOND OVERTIME

By Homer D. Sayson


Merry, selfless Bucks off to a good start

PhilBoxing.com
Wed, 16 Nov 2016



MILWAUKEE -- After a disappointing 2015-16 season where they finished with a 33-49 record and missed the playoffs. the Milwaukee Bucks are off to a good start this season, winning five of their first nine starts.

Many factors point to the resurgence --- a free -flowing offense and a sharpened defense, to name a few ---- but central to the team's early success is the continued growth of rising stars Giannis Antetokounmpo and Jabari Parker.

Antetokounmpo, aka The Greek Freak is averaging 21.3 points and 8.3 rebounds a game while Parker, whose understated greatness requires no monicker, is recovering nicely from a torn ACL and is norming 19.1 points and 6.2 boards a contest.

With Giannis and Jabari leading the charge, the Bucks have averaged 103.2 points per this season thus far, a modest bump from their 99 points average last season. The defense, thanks largely to bigs John Henson, Miles Plumlee and Greg Monroe, -- is surrendering just 102 points an outing, down from last year's 103.9.

The Bucks are much busier on the boards this time, from 41.7 per last season to 45.3, and the ball is moving swiftly from side to side, triggering a bump in the team assists 23.1 per to currently 24.1.

​I had the pleasure of covering the Bucks live in action a few days ago at the BMO Harris Bradley ​Center in downtown Milwaukee. Against Anthony Davis and the New Orleans Pelicans, the Bucks were fun and ferocious, rallying from a 15-point third deficit before eventually succumbing to a 112-106 defeat.

Ranked No.6 in the East, the Bucks aren't quite on the elite level just yet. But they have the right coach, Jason Kidd, and the right pieces to get there. And I have faith they can do it, one Giannis dunk and Jabari layup at a time.

Photos by Rex Alba at BMO Harris Bradley Center.






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