This is it.
This is the year it all comes together. All the years of waiting, of bracing for impact, of yearning for sanity in a haze of nonsense are over. As far as Bucks fans are concerned, we’re on the threshold of the promised land.
This is the year Giannis Antetokounmpo will change the way the game is played.
Cherish each game. As fans of the Bucks, we can count moments like this on one hand, but that’s the point. Giannis is special. LeBron James-special. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar-special. MJ-special. Giannis is one of the chosen few who sees it all on another level, and has the body to make it all work.
And now, he finally has a coach that knows what to do with all that.
No regrets. Giannis might be wishing the best for his old coach and some team will be stupid enough to bite on that. That team will probably be the Knicks. That’s all in the rear view mirror, because when Giannis goes into this training camp he’s going to notice something.
That something is spacing. The Bucks dedicated their resources this offseason to the acquisition of outside shooting, and this time teams have to take it seriously. Donte DiVincenzo, Ersan Ilyasova, Brook Lopez, and Pat Connaughton will be raining triples from all angles courtesy of Giannis’ generous and bountiful game. It will be too much for opposing defenses to ignore. He is going to fly off those open runways like a stealth bomber on a holy mission and he will break teams. Giannis is going to take over the Eastern Conference and the league will not be the same.
Savor the anticipation. Stream the preseason. You want to catch every minute of Giannis’ transcendence, because we don’t get to see this again in our lifetimes. Not like this, ever again. In a league where yawns over repeat championships are drowning out all the fun and the Eastern Conference King has abdicated, the stage is set for a true breakout performance.
I feel very good about the upcoming season. Confidence in a coach is a curious thing, but suddenly our foundation seems rock solid. Could the Bucks truly build a contender overnight? It’s too early to tell, but with the East shaking out as it is, the Bucks have to be a top three team with very little potential to fall. The more I look at the schedule, the more each game seems winnable in its own right.
58 wins. I think it can be done. I think 50 was the optimistic goal when our coach was sketching out plays with the blood of his victims, but with Bud I think it feels conservative. I think Giannis wins MVP and Coach Bud gets Coach of the Year. If Eric Bledsoe manages to stick, we even have a wild card for the Most Improved Player. I don’t think we will win the championship, but I guarantee that we crack the second round. My feeling is that we have learning to do, and we’ll probably make the Eastern Conference Finals a competitive series.
In short order, the Bucks will be a legitimate contender, the kind players like DeMarcus Cousins jump to when they want to make their bones in endorsements. This is a different era, and Giannis has the marketability that can lift all brands.
We did enough. This wasn’t the greatest offseason, we had some glaring missteps, but we built the springboard that Giannis needs to take over on a global level. There’s nobody quite like him, and as the world gets to know him, they’ll love him as we do. Giannis can make the Bucks a brand like the Packers if we turn the momentum of this season into something real.
Dynasty could start today. We can be a part of it.
For this is the Age of Giannis in the Year of the Stag. After all we’ve been through, it feels like fate.