Bucks Notes: Lopez, Ilyasova, 2019 Cap Space

The transformation and development of the Bucks has been one of the hottest storylines of the season, as Mike Budenholzer has implemented a more modern offensive system and surrounded Giannis Antetokounmpo with enough floor spacers to make his rim attacks unstoppable. As a result, the Bucks own the league’s third-ranked offense which, when coupled with the sixth-ranked defense, makes for a potent combination.

One of the key additions this season has been Brook Lopez, who has transformed his offensive game to mainly be a spot-up shooter, a vast difference from the Lopez of a couple seasons ago. As Jonathan Tjarks writes for The Ringer, Lopez has been a huge part of the Bucks’ offense, as the team is significantly better with him on the floor. In fact, the Bucks “go from having what would be the highest offensive rating in NBA history with Lopez (115.6 in 832 minutes) to a bottom-five offense in the league without him (103.9 in 618 minutes).”

However, Tjarks also points out that due to Lopez’s limited athleticism, the Bucks have designed a defensive scheme that could easily be exposed come playoff time, as it has already been attacked throughout the regular season. It will be interesting to see what the trade-off is come the playoffs, as Lopez provides significant offensive value for the Bucks.

There’s more from the Bucks:

  • Kevin Arnovitz of ESPN had a feature on the Bucks’ ascension to the upper echelon in the league, detailing the additions of Budenholzer and Lopez and how they both relate to Antetokounmpo’s rise to becoming a potential MVP. Within his story, Arnovitz reports that the Bucks came “tantalizingly close” to acquiring both George Hill and Kyle Korver from Cleveland before the Cavs sent Korver to Utah instead.
  • Unfortunately for the Bucks, they will be without their other main offseason addition in Ersan Ilyasova, as the floor-spacing big man recently underwent surgery to repair a fractured nose, an injury he suffered during practice.
  • While the Bucks are certainly a feel-good story of the season, Dan Feldman of NBC Sports points out that the summer of 2019 could bring some changes to their core, with Khris Middleton, Eric Bledsoe, Brook Lopez and Malcolm Brogdon all becoming free agents. As Feldman reveals, the Bucks will have around $67MM under the luxury tax to spend on bringing those four players back, but it certainly isn’t set in stone.
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6 thoughts on “Bucks Notes: Lopez, Ilyasova, 2019 Cap Space

  1. x%sure

    IMO the refs have given Giannis a star treatment, allowing him his own set of rules. But when the star gets used to that, what happens when the refs put different rules in effect for the playoffs? History shows they do, and then the star just looks soft & confused.

    I think the Bucks are still good with a mortal Giannis but they have to be willing to shift gears.

    Actually, success in the EC will probably be about avoiding Toronto until the semis!

    • Charlie

      This doesn’t make sense when the Bucks owning the Raptors so far. Maybe the east should avoid the Bucks instead…

      • x%sure

        ESPN ranked the alltime top 4s, Giannis’ spot. Neither #2 Karl Malone & #4 Charles Barkely ever won a title, as they came to rely on favorite moves that in the playoffs seemed to make them dependent on the refs. Barkely would back his way down all the way from the perimeter. Malone had a twitch turnaround in the low post that only looked like he got fouled on.

        Others ‘only’ won one title, same reason. Elvin Hayes, euroshooter Dirk, elbows Garnett.

        More recently, Amare Stoudemire, and currently, LMAldredge is the best example.

  2. cesc

    Giannis is rocking, so are the Bucks. Way better than Toronto & more dangerous to play against, Bucks will be in the ECF against probably the sixers

  3. greg1

    Way better than Toronto cesc? Another crazy comment I see.

    Bucks match up well against the Raptors, and are probably Toronto’s biggest threat in the playoffs, but that doesn’t make them the better team. I would expect those two to meet in the ECF, and either team could win and it not be a surprise.

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