Feb 10, 2020 - Sports

The Milwaukee Bucks' historic season

Giannis Antetokounmpo

Giannis Antetokounmpo. Photo: Quinn Harris/Getty Images

The Milwaukee Bucks are in the midst of one of the best regular seasons in NBA history.

Why it matters: The Bucks have a per-game average point differential of +12.4, which is higher than any team's full-season rate in NBA history.

  • 45-7 record: Milwaukee is a league-best 45-7 and on pace to win 71 games, something only two teams have ever done: the 1995-96 Bulls (72-10) and the 2015-16 Warriors (73-9).
  • Efficiency: Milwaukee ranks No. 2 in the league in offensive efficiency (behind Dallas) and No. 1 in defensive efficiency (ahead of Toronto).

Giannis Antetokounmpo is averaging 30 points and 13.5 rebounds per game, "ridiculous numbers that shouldn't be humanly possible in just 30.9 minutes per game," writes NYT's Marc Stein.

  • Wild stat: Houston's James Harden is scoring a mind-boggling 35.2 points per game, but Antetokounmpo (34.9) actually ranks ahead of him (34.2) in scoring per 36 minutes — a more accurate measure of scoring volume.
  • MVP race, per NBA.com: 1. Antetokounmpo ... huge gap ... 2. LeBron James, 3. Kawhi Leonard, 4. Jimmy Butler, 5. Nikola Jokić, 6. Luka Dončić, 7. Damian Lillard, 8. Anthony Davis, 9. Jayson Tatum, 10. Russell Westbrook.

The Bucks' rotation is two-deep at every position and just got even deeper with the addition of veteran Marvin Williams, who was signed yesterday after agreeing to a buyout with the Hornets.

  • PG: Eric Bledsoe, George Hill
  • SG: Wesley Matthew, Donte DiVincenzo, Kyle Korver
  • SF: Khris Middleton, Pat Connaughton, Sterling Brown
  • PF: Giannis Antetokounmpo, Ersan İlyasova, Marvin Williams
  • C: Brook Lopez, Robin Lopez

And yet ... despite chasing history, the Bucks have received relatively little national attention thanks in large part to being the fourth-smallest market in the NBA, ahead of only OKC, New Orleans and Memphis.

  • This is a reminder that, while small-market superstars like Antetokounmpo are often covered like big-market superstars if they're good enough, small-market teams are almost never covered like big-market teams — even if they're on pace to have the third-best regular season ever.

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