The Smoking Cuban

Dallas Mavericks: The ideal playoff bracket for the Mavs

Dallas Mavericks Luka Doncic Kristaps Porzingis Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
Dallas Mavericks Luka Doncic Kristaps Porzingis Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
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Dallas Mavericks
Dallas Mavericks Luka Doncic Mandatory Credit: Nick Monroe/Handout Photo via USA TODAY Sports

NBA Finals: Milwaukee Bucks vs. Dallas Mavericks

Giannis Antetokounmpo gets over the hump to force a showdown with Luka in the NBA Finals.

How the Bucks could face the Dallas Mavericks

The Milwaukee Bucks have a lot of the same traits that apply to the Jazz. They have an elite defense with an offensively inconsistent supporting cast and an unproven playoff resume. Like the Jazz did in 2019, the Bucks set out to resolve those issues last offseason by trading for Jrue Holiday and revamping their bench in free agency.

While those adjustments have improved their offensive consistency, 117 points per 100 possessions this year as opposed to 113 last season, their defense has faltered as a result. In 2019-2020, the Bucks led the pack by allowing a measly 103 points per 100 possessions, but this year they’re at 110.53.

Though Milwaukee has improved on paper, those gains have yet to translate to the standings. After starting at a historic win rate last season, the Bucks finished with a 76.7 win percentage. This year, they’re currently down to 66.7, good for fifth in the league and third in the Eastern Conference.

Despite that significant dip in win rate, the Bucks are still among the favorites to win the championship. The growth of Giannis and the addition of his new teammates, especially former All-Defensive talent Holiday, has Milwaukee in the mix.

While Milwaukee certainly has its flaws, the Bucks have more than enough talent to come out of the East. Aside from Brooklyn, they’re the next most popular pick to represent the conference in the Finals. If Jrue Holiday can play up to his expectations, it certainly wouldn’t be a surprise to see the Bucks playing in June.

Next: Mavs vs. Bucks preview