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BubbleWatch: The Milwaukee Bucks Arrive for NBA Restart (Updated!)

The Bucks are scheduled to play in actual games at the end of July.

NBA: Milwaukee Bucks at Orlando Magic Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

With the return of the NBA still weeks away, and coronavirus enjoying a healthy resurgence in Florida, concerns about health of the members of the Milwaukee Bucks travel party are at an all-time high. Usually, fans are worried about injuries, but in this case the biggest concern ahead of the July 30th restart of the 2019-20 regular season is exposure to COVID-19. With the team’s arrival in Orlando, it’s clear that the Bucks are in some way affected.

Of course, it’s best for the team to play their cards close to the chest, and there’s truly no benefit to exposing the names of those who were exposed to the virus. At the same time, we already know that the practice facility got shut down because someone tested positive. If speculation is going to run as rampant as the pandemic has been allowed to run in this country, we may as well speculate on who’s in the bubble and who’s not.

We’ll update this post as needed, including whatever “evidence” we find that shows the presence of members of the team within the quarantine zone of Gran Destino.


Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton

This is the biggest relief so far; Giannis and Khris are the team’s top two players and will bear the heaviest burden as the Bucks chase a Finals berth.

Brook Lopez and Robin Lopez

Obviously the Lopez twins wouldn’t miss a paid trip to Disney if they could help it, but that they’re up and about within the confines of the bubble should lay to rest any concerns about the Bucks’ ability to execute the zone drop.

George Hill and Mike Budenholzer (masked in the below video)

Milwaukee’s point-men on the bench and off the bench both being present in Florida is reassuring, as the team will rely on their leadership in the coming weeks (and months).

Sterling Brown

Sterling had lost his spot in the rotation after a few months, but clearly his availability in Florida will matter if anybody above him in the rotation gets shut down.

Donte DiVincenzo

Number of shoes notwithstanding, the Bucks’ young ball-hawk is a fixture on the bench unit, and the defense will rely on him.

Frank Mason III

The G-League MVP is not expected to be a contributor, but none of us expected teams to take four months off before resuming the season. Glad to see that the young two-way player is staying ready.

Update! (July 12)

r/mkebucks has a megathread dedicated to this same topic, and used a source I hadn’t considered (Instagram) to confirm the presence of Wes Matthews, D.J. Wilson, and Marvin Williams, as well as general manager Jon Horst, assistant coach Darvin Ham and everyone’s favorite strength and conditioning coach Suki Hobson. We also had the Bucks’ Twitter feed show a photo of Wes Matthews, meaning the starting lineup is (theoretically) only missing Eric Bledsoe.

Update! (July 19)

Ersan Ilyasova and Thanasis Antetokounmpo are definitely in the bubble. Happy belated birthday, Thanasis!

Confirmed Player Depth Chart (as of July 20)

The biggest name on the list of Bucks who haven’t been confirmed to be present in the bubble is starting point guard Eric Bledsoe. As the focal point of the Bucks’ perimeter defense (primarily on pick-and-rolls), the rotation will be in flux if he’s unavailable.

Update! (July 16)

Eric Bledsoe did indeed test positive for COVID-19, but reportedly is asymptomatic and may rejoin the team before the start of regular season games.

Update! (July 20)

Just this morning, Pat Connaughton announced that he too tested positive for COVID-19, but also is reportedly feeling healthy. His timeline is yet unknown.

Other members of the backcourt who haven’t yet been seen/heard in Orlando (as of Saturday afternoon) are starting guard Wesley Matthews, reserve guards Pat Connaughton and Kyle Korver, reserve forwards Ersan Ilyasova, Marvin Williams, Thanasis Antetokounmpo, and D.J. Wilson, and two-way guard player Cameron Reynolds.

Again, there is plenty of time before the season restarts, and no reason to be concerned about any member of the team (including coaches and staff) not being immediately visible in the bubble. This is all speculation as we count down the days to the return of the NBA (hoping that it actually happens), and even then the health and well-being of members of the Bucks is more important than the team’s title chances. Here’s to them staying safe, as well as you and yours staying safe, wherever you might be.