Milwaukee has been the best team in the NBA to start the season. Giannis Antetokounmpo has led his team to an undefeated 9-0 start to the season. What might be most impressive is that the Bucks are playing without their second-best player and former All-Star, Khris Middleton.
The Bucks have shown no signs of slowing down, and Giannis continues to dominate towards another MVP campaign. The Bucks might remain undefeated for a while, especially because Middleton is expected to return in a couple of weeks.
It is inevitable that the Bucks will eventually lose. Which team will hand the Bucks their first loss of the season? Here are some of the top candidates to beat the Bucks.
Atlanta Hawks (November 7 or November 14)
The Atlanta Hawks have had a pretty solid start to the season. They have established a defensive identity for themselves by bringing in a player like Dejounte Murray. They played the Bucks earlier in the season and lost by eight points. Trae Young scored 42 points in that game. The Hawks will have two chances to defeat the Bucks over the next two weeks.
What might play in Atlanta’s favor against the Bucks is timing. Giannis Antetokounmpo is listed as questionable for the game on November 7. Without Giannis, the Bucks are vulnerable to a strong team like the Atlanta Hawks.
If Trae Young could put on another impressive performance like his 42 points in the previous matchup, he could help lead the Hawks to victory against Milwaukee. Dejounte Murray will also be key in order for the Hawks to win.
Cleveland Cavaliers (November 16 or November 25)
The Bucks are at the top of the Eastern Conference with their 9-0 record, but right below them with a 7-1 record are the Cleveland Cavaliers. Their decision to trade for Donovan Mitchell in the offseason has proven to be an excellent decision so far. Mitchell has averaged 31.1 points and 7.1 assists per game as he has led the Cavaliers.
The Cavs have looked like one of the best teams in the NBA so far. What is even more impressive is that they have only played about one and a half games with Darius Garland. Garland was an All-Star last season, and scored 29 points and 12 assists in his only full game in a win against the Celtics.
Portland Trail Blazers (November 21)
There were very few who expected the Portland Trail Blazers to be as good as they have been so far this season. Portland is off to a 6-3 start.
What people did know was that Damian Lillard is a superstar, and that he would have a great season this year. However, Lillard was coming off of an injury suffered last season. It was not expected that he would be so good so fast. Dame has proved all of the doubters wrong, averaging 31 points per game and leading the Trail Blazers to an impressive start.
As long as the Portland Trail Blazers have Damian Lillard, they have a chance to upset the Milwaukee Bucks. If they are going to be the first team to defeat the Bucks, then Milwaukee will have to remain undefeated through most of November. At the pace they are playing, that doesn’t seem out of the realm of possibility.
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