Plenty of people were picking the Milwaukee Bucks to reach the NBA Finals, if not win the world championship this past season.
However, they suffered through an injury-riddled campaign, which ended with them stumbling in the first round and going out with a whimper against the underdog Miami Heat.
They did manage to retain most of the core that won it all for them just two years ago, which includes starting center Brook Lopez, whom they gave a new contract to, not to mention future Hall-of-Famer Giannis Antetokounmpo.
The Bucks still rank high on many people’s NBA power rankings, but Marc J. Spears isn’t buying it — in fact, he implied that they do not deserve a high level of respect, via NBA on ESPN.
.@MarcJSpears is not buying Milwaukee's latest power ranking 😅
"Why do we need to respect the Bucks right now?" pic.twitter.com/xTLRivT6iP
— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) July 27, 2023
Milwaukee was without Khris Middleton, arguably their second-best player, for extended stretches of the regular season due to injury, and it likely disrupted their chemistry and rhythm, as he missed more than one stretch of action.
He had suffered a knee injury during the 2022 NBA playoffs that likely resulted in the team falling in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference semifinals to the Boston Celtics.
Once the 2023 postseason started for the Bucks, they lost Antetokounmpo to a back injury in Game 1, and he didn’t return until Game 4.
By then, the Bucks trailed the Heat two games to one and were suddenly in real peril, as they went on to fall in five games.
Yet Spears may be wrong about his sentiment — one should respect a Bucks team that won it all recently and still has almost all of the key contributors that led to that championship.NEXT: Giannis Antetokounmpo Shows His Coaching Skills In Recent Video