The Milwaukee Bucks will head into a wide-open Eastern Conference, but they won’t make the same mistake they made in previous seasons, trying to predict their fortune. Sharpshooter Khris Middleton didn’t shy away from bringing it up to the media’s attention when asked of this roster’s potential.
“We were saying 50 wins, 60 wins, whatever,’’ Khris Middleton said of previous season’s predictions during Media Day, according to Gery Woelfel of the Racine Journal Times. “And it hasn’t happened yet,
“So, to me, and I hate to say this, but we looked like fools in the past, saying we were going to do this and that and we didn’t back up what we said. So, the guys are now motivated by those previous years to do it now.’’
The Bucks are the outsiders looking in for the Eastern Conference crown, as teams like the Boston Celtics, Toronto Raptors, and Philadelphia 76ers have ready-made rosters that can propel them to the top of the conference.
Milwaukee has the right talent, but has yet to put it together — failing to get past the first round of the playoffs since 2001. The Bucks recently took the Celtics to seven games in their first-round matchup, but couldn’t seal the deal against a team without its best two players in Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward.
Needless to say, the pressure is there.
“I think there’s pressure every year,’’ Middleton said. “But we feel like this is our chance now. We have gone through everything: We have gone through a 15-win season, we’ve gone through losing in the first round, to not making the playoffs, a coaching change in the middle of the season, so now we should be prepared and battle ready to take that step.’’
The Bucks had yet to reach that 50-win threshold since that Ray Allen-led 2000-01 team went 52-30. That was the lone 50-win season the franchise has had since the storied teams of the early and mid-80s accomplished it through seven straight seasons.