NBA betting handicappers were flabbergasted last year by the stunning performance of the Milwaukee Bucks who improved as a team after losing their top two players.
Milwaukee confounded the experts and many gamblers at Sbgglobal by finishing with a record of 46-36 despite losing center Andrew Bogut and shooting guard Michael Redd early in the year to season ending injuries. Head coach Scott Skiles wouldn’t let the Bucks quit or allow excuses and demanded instead that they form into a team, which is exactly what happened as Milwaukee emerged with the 7th best defense in the league while the offense plodded along at 23rd. The Bucks became one of the best surprise values on the board to make a NBA bet with as they got the money in 52 games.
Better and Deeper
The Bucks have gone from a NBA betting afterthought to a legitimate outside contender that could again surprise handicappers and opponents. While they are not nearly as talented as the Miami Heat they may prove to play better team basketball. General manager John Hammond won NBA Executive of the Year honors. His midseason acquisition of John Salmons was key to the success of the Bucks last year as Salmons averaged 19.8 points per game as he helped fill the void of Redd’s absence from the lineup.
Miles with Skiles
Skiles is a no nonsense coach that demands a full effort every night. While the Bucks could not dazzle opponents with great offense they could instead buy into the Skiles defensive system which they did en route to their unexpected playoff berth and near upset of the Atlanta Hawks in the first round. Milwaukee’s play reflected their head coach to perfection as the Bucks were tough, physical, and played with reckless abandon. The only question is if they can come back and bring that same level of effort for another season. Skiles has a track record of eventually wearing out his welcome and he begins his third season on the job at Milwaukee.
Milwaukee is a more attractive NBA bet commodity with the additions of Keyon Dooling, Corey Maggette, Chris Douglas-Roberts, Jon Brockman, Earl Boykins, and draftees Larry Sanders, Darington Hobson and Keith Gallon. With a deeper roster the Bucks can continue to play hard and parlay their excellent defense with an improved offense for a top 4 seed in the playoffs.