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Power Rankings round-up: Brandon Knight, Giannis Antetokounmpo, and the defense get some love

Each week, we'll provide you with a round-up of the latest Power Rankings and where the Bucks place in them. After a 2-1 week, the 5-5 Bucks improved in all but one ranking.

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CBS Sports

Bucks rank: 18th

Previous week: 17th

"Even with losses to Orlando and Detroit, they don't have a lot of truly "bad" losses, and a few really good wins. You can't believe this is sustainable ... but you also look at their talent, and they may have a higher gear. Giannis Antetokounmpo is a revelation."

That "higher gear" may come later down the road as the young Bucks will likely take their share of licks in the coming months. However, key contributors to a brighter future in Milwaukee have shown signs of progression already and there's no limit to how much more they're capable of. The future is going to be so very exciting.

Bucks rank: 17th

Previous week: 21st

"A rejuvenated Brandon Knight. A top-two defense. The precocious combo of Giannis and Jabari. And wins over Memphis and Miami (in Miami!) already. Jason Kidd brings all that back to Brooklyn for Wednesday night's reunion with the Nets after an eventful first 10 games as Bucks coach."

Yes, the Bucks are playing pretty well under new coach Jason Kidd. Yes, Jason Kidd used to coach Brooklyn. Yes, that atmosphere in Brooklyn will be nuts. Yes, I'm looking forward to putting this story to rest.

Sports Illustrated

Bucks rank: 16th

Previous week: 19th

"Brandon Knight doesn't get a lot of buzz for a 22-year-old selected in the lottery just three years ago, but he's off to a strong start in Milwaukee this year. Having one of the best point guards ever as your head coach pays dividends."

Just for kicks, what type of deal would you offer/match for Knight this summer? Let's say his numbers stay somewhat close to what they are today.

SB Nation

Bucks rank: 18th

Previous week: 19th

"Brandon Knight will be paid this summer. Considering the Bucks are playing well above expectations, you have to wonder what kind of contract they'll be willing to match when it's time to dance:"


(Note: All credit for the above chart goes to SB Nation's Drew Garrison. I don't want anyone thinking I made that.)

"Knight's only 22 and compares well against the upcoming crop of point guards that will be taking calls. Good for him and good for Milwaukee."

In case you missed it, check out Steve and Frank's podcast discussing Knight and his effect on the offense.

Yahoo Sports

Bucks rank: 18th

Previous week: 19th

"The Bucks earned their fifth win of the season at Miami on Sunday. They needed 26 games to get to five victories last season."

They also have two wins on the road already. There's no telling what the rest of the season holds, but the Bucks should easily be able to surpass the five win total last year's team had on the road.

Bucks rank: 17th

Previous week: 22nd

"Every game that passes, the Bucks' defense looks more legit. Larry Sanders has held shooters well below their numbers inside of six feet, while Giannis Antetokounmpo has held them well below their numbers from outside of 15 feet. Dwyane Wade or no Dwyane Wade, Sunday's win in Miami was big, and more Eastern Conference tests come this week."

Imagine how destructive Giannis Antetkounmpo will be defensively on the perimeter once he learns how to not get swallowed up by screens.


The 5-5 Bucks slipped down one position in one ranking, but averaged a 2.2 spot climb overall for an average finish of 17.6. That's an improvement over last week's average of 19.5. We like improvement.

Other news and notes:

  • Journal-Sentinel. Jason Kidd doesn't have to worry about his return to Brooklyn on Wednesday--Zaza Pachulia has his back.
  • Hoop Chalk. How do you free up a shooter like Khris Middleton for open looks?  Stay floppy.
  • Sporting News. John Hammond isn't the worrying type.
  • Milwaukee Business Journal. Wes Edens would like to do help NBA players better prepare themselves for life after basketball.
  • OnMilwaukee. What could a new downtown development look like? Here are some guesses.