The Milwaukee Bucks have already clinched a playoff spot. With a very small chance of losing their No. 1 seed in the East, the Bucks could find themselves in a cruise control type of mood. The team is still considered the best option to win the Eastern Conference, but a tougher schedule during the restart could provide the team some questions to determine if they are still one of the better teams in the league.
July 31 vs. Boston Celtics: Loss
The Bucks will struggle against this defensive team. A tough first game matchup, the Celtics are chock-full of talent that could be troublesome for the Bucks. Giannis Antetokounmpo should not have trouble getting to the rim against the Celtics. However, players such as Khris Middleton and Donte DiVincenzo will struggle as the possibility of a long hiatus could ruin their shooting streaks and leave them starting the restart off cold.
Aug. 2 vs. Houston Rockets: Win
The small-ball Rockets will not be a threat to a displeased Antetokounmpo. After losing their first game, the Greek Freak will be doing everything possible to regain their traction. Middleton should also have a great game, as neither James Harden nor Russell Westbrook will be able to handle him.
Aug. 4 vs. Brooklyn Nets: Win
Nobody on the Brooklyn Nets will be able to stop Antetokounmp, let alone Khris Middleton or Eric Bledsoe. The Nets are filled with injuries in Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant, along with two players having tested positive for COVID-19. The Bucks should walk right over the Nets with ease, and could even bench Antetokounmpo and Middleton in the fourth.
Aug. 6 vs. Miami Heat: Win
The Heat will keep this game close. Dallas is a bad matchup for the Bucks, as this Heat team is not a pushover. They are a true grit-and-grind kind of team, and with Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo defending the Bucks’ best players, it could be troublesome for head coach Mike Budenholzer. Although this game will be close, the Bucks’ bench will help them prevail.
Aug. 8 vs. Dallas Mavericks: Loss
The Bucks will have just come off a close game and now have to face Luka Doncic. Although the Bucks are the better team, the Mavericks are a much better shooting club. And with Doncic shooting as well as he was during the winter, it will be hard for the Bucks to win this game. The Greek Freak might be able to keep this game close, but the Mavericks were surging and have a talented roster.
Aug. 10 vs. Toronto Raptors: Loss
Antetokounmpo and the Bucks are not the same team they were in March. The team has been away for months and it will show. The NBA will witness back-to-back losses for the top-seeded team. Kyle Lowry and Pascal Siakam will prove why the Raptors are still a threat to win the title without Kawhi Leonard.
Aug. 11 vs. Washington Wizards: Win
After back-to-back losses, the Bucks will be able to regain their momentum. The Wizards are not a threat during this eight-game regular season, and with an angry Antetokounmpo, the Wizards will not see a lead in this contest. Besides Bradley Beal, the Wizards have nobody on their roster that could match up with any starter on the Bucks.
Aug. 13 vs. Memphis Grizzlies: Win
Budenholzer might rest the starters in this game, but since the team already lost three games, it might be for the best to have them play. This allows them to refocus and go into the playoffs on a two-game win streak. The Grizzlies are a young team and unless Jaren Jackson Jr. can defend the Greek Freak for 40 or more minutes, this game will not be close.
The Milwaukee Bucks will finish the restart 5-3. They will not be as dominant as many may believe. Rather, they will be rusty and appear in a false sense of cruise control to rest their players.