The Milwaukee Bucks are doing something that is unprecedented in today’s NBA.
That is to make the NBA Finals as a small-market franchise and construct a roster with mostly draft picks.
Today’s NBA is more about player movement.
Teams change with some much ease nowadays, but it leads to winning.
The Los Angeles Lakers last season had plenty of guys that were either in their first or second year with the team.
However, the Bucks are different.
Giannis Antetokounmpo was drafted as a project player.
Khris Middleton has been with the Bucks since 2013 and was a G-League player before he was on the team.
They acquired Jrue Holiday this past offseason, but he is not a superstar around the league.
Small-market teams have tough hills to climb in order to be in the position that the Bucks are in currently.
However, there are two teams that can replicate that magic for next season.
2. Denver Nuggets
After last season’s miracle run to the Western Conference Finals, many assumed that the Denver Nuggets could be legitimate contenders this season.
Jamal Murray was coming off of one of the best playoff performances we have in the last decade.
Nikola Jokic is just entering his prime.
Unfortunately, Murray suffered a torn ACL and was done for the season.
The Nuggets should have been a team in the play-in tournament, but instead recovered.
They finished as the third seed in the West and Jokic won the MVP award.
YOUR 2020-21 NBA MVP: NIKOLA JOKIC 🏆
The news was first reported by The Athletic and confirmed to ESPN. pic.twitter.com/fi5NnuJ3bH
— ESPN (@espn) June 8, 2021
The Nuggets were bounced in a second-round sweep, but it was amazing they even got that far.
There is so much potential with this franchise.
Jokic can possibly get better and is not playing in the Olympics to save his body for next season.
Murray should be back toward the end of March.
Lastly, there is Michael Porter Jr., whom has developed his game throughout his short career.
He has the potential to be a star in this league and next season is the season for him to do it.
If things come together the way it did last season, watch out for the Nuggets.
1. Utah Jazz
The number one overall seed is not in the NBA Finals.
That is because the team that held that honor was the Utah Jazz.
Jazz clinch the No. 1 seed in the West 🎷
Utah (52-20) finishes with the best record in the NBA. pic.twitter.com/2GwJS0L7pi
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) May 17, 2021
Nobody expected the Jazz to be as good as they were this season.
They were able to have three All-Stars this season with Donovan Mitchell leading the way.
Rudy Gobert won Defensive Player of the Year once again as well.
However, they were upset in the second round by the Los Angeles Clippers.
The same team for the most part will be back next season.
Perhaps a few more moves can bring them over the hump.
Also, Mitchell should be recovered from his ankle injury that hindered his performance in the second round.
The Jazz were very good this season and can repeat that performance for next season to a title.