Bucks Following 2015 Warriors to Glory


A woebegone franchise has gone 40 years without winning. A fatigued coach hits a ceiling and is fired. The roster has plenty of talent, but can’t put the puzzle together. Sounds just like the 2018 Bucks, right? Now, the Bucks have the NBA’s best record at 43-14. What’s even more promising is how another dynasty once had the above three inhibitions: the 2014 Warriors. One year later, Golden State jumped to 67-15 and the first of three titles. To prove how this Bucks season is even more exciting than you think, it’s helpful to examine five parallels that predict even more greatness for Milwaukee.


Unfortunately, Giannis may not quite win MVP due to James Harden‘s insane streak of 30+ point games that has propelled Houston back to relevancy. But the similarities between 2019 Greek Freak and 2015 Steph Curry are undeniable. In fact, earlier this season even Curry himself compared his past to this year’s Bucks. Giannis has done it all in route to All-Star captaincy, including primal dunks, triple-doubles and imitating official and-ones.

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But those are just his successes? What about his failures? Well, he did foul five times in a crucial Toronto game. But that didn’t hinder him in “a statement game in the east”, nor a hostile crowd screaming “de-fense! De-fense!”

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And for those who think Harden is better? The standings disagree.


The Bucks haven’t won a playoff series since 2001. That was so long ago, the world looked much grainier, and Ray Allen younger.

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The Bucks also haven’t been to the Finals since 1974, a 45-year gap. But Golden State went from 1975 to 2015 without reaching the finals or even the conference finals. The Dubs did need to shake off some rust in the first three games against Cleveland, but subsequently proved past failures are mental obstacles only.


LeBron tried to win all by himself sometimes, but that didn’t work very well. Giannis and Steph, by contrast, have plenty of help. Khris Middleton finally joined Giannis as an All-Star, earning a slightly subdued celebration.

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Where’s the champagne? Cooled for June, of course! Steph was joined by Klay Thompson and coach Steve Kerr, while team Giannis was led by Mike Budenholzer. What, only two stars apiece? Soon Kevin Durant and DeMarcus Cousins couldn’t resist the Warrior appeal once the hype train caught up. And quite-soon worries about a Giannis departure may be replaced by top names who can’t wait to piggyback off the league’s best team.


Oh, those rotten bandwagoners! Where were all those Brewer fans in 2016? Hey, we shouldn’t complain! Sure, many of those thousands of Warriors fans weren’t on board in 2014. That didn’t make the parade less fun.

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And the Bucks are almost equally loved, considering the hysteria over the home opener. (Which would have been even crazier were it not for the Brewer NLCS game). Unfortunately, it seems the Forum almost burnt down with so much excitement over the beloved Greek Freak.

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2018 proved fans are even more excited for the playoffs. If the Bucks open at home four rounds in a row, Mayor Tom Barrett may have to have the fire marshal ready.


Of course, point four has a flip side. Cousins recently observed Golden State is now the “most hated team in sports”. It’s very sad how outside fans turn on heroes when the story supposedly is “old”. (Interesting how amazing basketball allegedly is old). If and when the Bucks reach that point? Cue the Dr. Evil laugh! Too bad for those jealous outsiders! By 2021, an underrated city’s pride in their organically grown power will be unsurpassed in NBA history. To which the Bucks’ new San Francisco rivals will only be able to say, “well, at least we were here first”.

About Jeffrey Newholm

"Jammin Jeff" Newholm had been a basketball fanatic since his high school days, and remained a casual fan as a student in Whitewater. Wishing to check in as an active participant, he also completed a writing certificate program at UWM. He loves seeing Bucks games more than any other activity in hometown Milwaukee and especially screaming really really loudly to get someone to miss a free throw. Twitter: @JeffreyNewholm

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