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Power Rankings Round-Up: Bucks stuck in the middle with tough stretch looming

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Milwaukee's surprising climb up the rankings has stalled as the schedule has gotten tougher.

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Last Week: 1-3. Losses to Cleveland (road) and Dallas twice (home and road), home win versus Miami. The loss to Cleveland and the first loss to Dallas came by a combined five points.

CBS Sports

Bucks rank: 14th

Last week: 17th

Brutal schedule resulted in a slide which isn't going to get better the next 10 days. They're better than people realize, but they're going to take their lumps on a Western Conference road trip. However, their record against the spread (15-7) remains stellar.

The Bucks lost 75% of their games in the past week but jumped three spots in the rankings? Interesting. Granted, a three-point loss at Cleveland is nothing to be ashamed of, and the Bucks had a real chance to win that game.

ESPN.com

Bucks rank: 16th

Last week: 13th

Most egregious mistake of the season so far from the committee (of one)? Stupidly scheduling a flight out of town on the same night the must-see 20-year-old Giannis Antetokounmpo happened to be in town playing his first game for the Cinderella of the season one-fourth of the way through.

Note: if the Cinderella of the Season has a.500 record against one of the easiest schedules in the NBA, the Season doesn't have a Cinderella. Just a team that's definitely better than expected. Which is fine!

Sports Illustrated

Bucks rank: 16th

Last week: 13th

The Bucks have taken their licks of late, but they should be proud of playing .500 basketball while having Jabari Parker (19 years old), Giannis Antetokounmpo (20) and Brandon Knight (23) leading the team in minutes.

And that's why it's just fine that the Bucks be simply "better than expected." The most important players on the team have shown great progress and promise. Record is secondary.

SB Nation

Bucks rank: 14th

Last week: 16th

OK Giannis Antetokounmpo, we get it. Antetokounmpo has such a ridiculous stride that he's blurring the line between traveling violations and jaw-dropping moments. But this dunk on Chris Bosh? No questions necessary. Wow.

Another ranking improvement? Were we watching the same team last week? Oh who cares, lets just watch that dunk some more.

Yahoo Sports

Bucks rank: 15th

Last week: 16th

The surprising Bucks have come back to Earth, losing six of their past 10 games. A tough stretch against the West is up next.

Seriously though you have to win games to get the highest rank, right? Like, you have Golden State on top, Detroit at the bottom, so it seems like you know how numbers work.

NBA.com

Bucks rank: 15th

Last week: 16th

The Bucks' defense has indeed started to buckle in the face of the league's best offenses, in part because they've turned the ball over a lot. They've lost four of their last five and just began a stretch of seven straight games against West teams that are .500 or better. But Jason Kidd maintained his perfect regular season record as a coach against the Heat.

how do numbers worked

Recap:

Average ranking: 15.0, just a slight improvement from last week's 15.2. So 1-3 weeks are the ticket to national attention and respect! This week the Bucks play just two games, but they are doozies: at the now-healthy Oklahoma City Thunder, and home against the Los Angeles Clippers. *gulp*