Before I get into why the Milwaukee Bucks are my pick (+1000), I’m going to explain why other teams, specifically Golden State, are not.
Why the Milwaukee Bucks Are My 2019 NBA Championship Pick
At this point of the season, I think betting on the Warriors with -230 odds is just plain silly. I’m not sure how much you follow the drama of the NBA, but it’s basically my version of being a Kardashian fan.
As a frequent indulger of the subreddit r/NBA, I’m giddy every time some hot new gossip comes out.
Some of the recent talk has been that Durant already has one foot out of the door, and after watching the Warriors play this year, I’m sort of inclined to believe it.
Now I know the NBA regular season is as meaningless as it gets, but this team looks like it lacks the “killer-instinct” that the previous championship Warriors teams had.
Durant is probably the most talented player in the league right now, and without his complete undivided focus, I don’t think they win the ‘ship.
My completely uninformed opinion is that Durant wants to go to another team to prove that he can win on his own. I think becoming the villain of the NBA has gotten to him, and winning so easily didn’t satisfy him as much as he thought it would.
Now I’ll never question a players heart, as they all had to put in a life’s-work of effort just to be where they are, but I will mention that the focus just might not be there.
Yes, this team can turn it on like no other and will definitely be a force in the playoffs, but -230 odds are just ridiculous.
What About the Celtics?
In the East, the Boston Celtics is a shit-show, Philly is young with too many new players, and I just don’t trust Toronto.
That leaves Milwaukee.
I’ll mention, but not put too much weight on the fact that they have the best record in the NBA, as I previously stated how meaningless the regular season is.
What their record does mean is home-court advantage throughout the playoffs. Again, not the biggest factor on why I’m picking the Bucks, but it does help.
What I do like, because I’m a numbers guy, is how efficient this team is. They currently rank #3 in offensive efficiency and #1 in defensive efficiency. Since these stats started being tracked in 1996, there have been two teams that finished the year ranked in the top 3 for both categories; both were the Warriors in years they won championships.
The Bucks, with the help of new coach Mike Budenholzer, have revolutionized their offense to fit the modern NBA’s analytics of most efficient, meaning they take shots from predominantly 3 key places: the paint, from three, and the free-throw line.
After shooting just 24.7 3’s a game under Jason Kidd, the Bucks are now shooting 37.8 3’s a game, second most in the NBA.
Giannis has been a big reason why this drive and kick offense works so well. He is the most dominating force in the league, and every time he has the ball in the paint the opposing team’s defense swarms to him, leaving open shooters all along the perimeter.
Can the Warriors Maintain Their Craft?
The Golden State Warriors are extremely weak inside, and in a 7-game series I think this gets exposed. Giannis will absolutely torch the Warriors because of this, and I’m not exactly sure Steve Kerr can chalk up the best game-plan to combat this.
They have a 15-6 record against the top 5 teams in both the East and West, including a winning or even record against all of them except the Thunder, whom they’ve only played once in OKC.
I don’t think anybody in the NBA matches up well against this team, and I truly believe they are going to dominate come playoff time.
If there’s any futures pick that has value, it’s the Bucks at +1000 (9.09% implied odds).