In the first 3 Star Wars movies, there is no repeat winner. Rebels win, Empire wins and then the Rebels win. Life has a tendency to reflect art. Or is it the other way around?
The Bucks, it you listen close enough, you might hear a echo of the Duncan led Spurs. Bud is a branch from the Pop tree, both teams had one star power forward and two really good, but not great players. The rest of the rotation consisted of over-themselves vets. Team defense was a strength. Both are small market teams.
Just like in Star Wars, the good guys did not repeat, but from 2002 to 2007, they would win every other year.
Can the Bucks learn lessons from those Spur teams? Lets look deeper.
Energy and Effort
I am not sure how hard the Spurs played in the seasons after they won a ring, but my biggest fear when I watch the Bucks is their love of playing with their food. Energy and effort while maybe a fun phrase from the dark ages (Kidd era), actually plays an important role in winning. The Bucks will not be the most talented team this year, so having their Dawg show up is important. But that requires energy.
The Bucks with their short off season, might not have the same focus as last years playoffs. Load management and the knee of Giannis will be a strong focus. And finally, 3pt% defense is often a result of intensity. These are all factors working against the Bucks.
When you do a quick glance at the Spurs 3 seasons they win a ring and the 3 seasons after, in which they do not, you see one stat jump out at you.
In the 3 ring years, the offense ranked 7th, 8th and 5th.
In the 3 non repeat years, ORtg rank of 16th, 10th, and 15th
Since the 3 point era began, more than 95% of the winners had an ORtg in the top ten. They say defense wins championships, but so does offense.
This past off-season, Horst focused on offense by re-signing Portis, trading for Grayson Allen, taking a flier on Hood, and bring Hill back home. As defensive intensity picks up in the playoffs, you need bucket getters.
Health and Being a Target
Probably my biggest concern with the Bucks this year is health. Coach Pop was the father of pissing off the networks and load managing his stars. My guess is that Bud will take a page from his master's book.
In theory, the Bucks should be the target of their main competition. But the media might be doing the Bucks a favor by already crowning the Nets. Kyrie might still be worried about falling off the edge and want to non-vax from home.
Philly seems set to bungle the process, GM LeBron might not be a good as the player, the Celtics have a new coach and still looking to make that big trade, the Hawks might be happy to shimming into 2nd place, Kawhi might not play and the Heat are luke warm.
The best team does not always win the ring. The Rebels certainly were not as strong as the Empire. They were a huge underdog in the Canto Bight Casino, but took advantage of some serious strategic blunders.
In the words of Jyn Erso, "We have hope, rebellions are built on hope."