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Odds to Beat the Milwaukee Bucks in a Playoff Series, Featuring the Atlantic Division

This is the Division That Creates the Most Concerns

NBA: Playoffs-Brooklyn Nets at Boston Celtics
Three of the Many Stars in this Division: Jayson Tatum, Kevin Durant and James Harden
Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

Hi Milwaukee Bucks’ fans! With the last division in the breakdown of the divisions and how they stack up to the Bucks, we are wrapping up with the division that I believes scares us the most in ending our season early for the second year in a row. Yes, partially because it is possible we could play three of these teams en route to the Finals and would only have to play one Western Conference team, but arguably four of these teams have at least a shot at making the Finals instead of the Bucks. I’m guessing we know who the fifth team is, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they would be good enough to finish second in other divisions. Let’s take a dive into the Atlantic.

New York Knicks

2021-22 Standings: 37-45
2021-22 Odds: 50 to 1

I think I nailed this team on the head with the odds, but aside from that I did poorly. I start off looking good stating that they are considered by many to take a step back in 2022. They were the four-seed, somehow, in the season that the Bucks won the chip, and they definitely got brought back down to Earth. But the mistake I made with the Knicks is that I didn’t think they would take a step back, I thought they would at least tread water with the “talent they have there”. Did I become a New Yorker for a short time? Like what was I talking about? Maybe they didn’t actually take a step back since so many other teams got much better, like Miami, Boston, Toronto, Chicago and Cleveland, but seed-wise they did.

Heading into this year, they are the front-runner at being the best last-place team in the NBA, with the Kings also receiving votes out of the Pacific. They have some good players, but I don’t know if adding Jalen Brunson and Isaiah Hartenstein is really the answer to this team improving significantly. In my opinion, young players like RJ Barrett, Immanuel Quickley, Mitchell Robinson and Quentin Grimes need to take steps forward, and Julius Randle needs to be 2021 Julius Randle and not 2022 Julius Randle. If those things happen, in a crowded East, they will be competitive. But this team isn’t making a jump like Cleveland or Chicago did last season with what they have.

My odds are worse because this conference is significantly getting better

2022-23 Odds: 100 to 1

Toronto Raptors

2021-22 Standings: 48-34
2021-22 Odds: 5,000 to 1

This team was my biggest failure in the 2021-22 season, as far as preseason predictions go. Still, without Kawhi Leonard, and then Kyle Lowry (among others, including current Buck Serge Ibaka), did anybody really expect Toronto to be just three games behind the Bucks? Did they expect them to have one of the best groups of five players in the NBA? I know I didn’t. Maybe I was a bit harsh, but I seriously thought they were a Pascal Siakam trade away from being a full-blown rebuilding team.

Heading into the 2022-23 season, I refuse to overlook this team. They have a chance to beat the Bucks, and possibly would be an intriguing dark horse at a Finals’ run. Will they do it? I won’t underestimate them but I will never place that bet at the same time. But is this team capable of beating anybody in the East in the postseason? Yeah. I just don’t think they can win three series.

So why are they scary when it comes to the Bucks, in my eyes? For one, they are the team that invented the “wall” that was how they stopped Giannis. They don’t have the name power they did in 2019 with the likes of Ibaka and Marc Gasol, but they have a bunch of younger guys a la Chris Boucher and Precious Achiuwa (and a dozen other similar players) to go alongside Siakam, OG Anunoby and Scottie Barnes. They also have a pesky back court in Gary Trent Jr. and Bucks’ killer Fred VanVleet, and that is why this team was who I was most afraid of us playing in the first round. Now, they got crushed by Philadelphia, but something tells me that wouldn’t have happened against the Bucks.

2022-23 Odds: 10 to 1

Brooklyn Nets

2021-22 Standings: 44-38
2021-22 Odds: favored over Bucks

Okay, let me get two things straight here. In the 2021 playoffs, Brooklyn was never at full strength, and was not that far away from winning the series. That then would lead one to believe that having all three of their superstars would make them much better. Secondly, this team was decimated by injuries and voluntary sit-outs, and later traded the healthiest of the three superstars to a divisional rival. So cut me a bit of slack here.

Patty Mills and Bruce Brown were the only players to play over 60 games for this team last season, and the latter has signed on with Denver. But, they still have Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, and that duo, however complex their minds may be, is still a great basketball duo. The rest of the team isn’t necessarily full of scrubs either, but let’s not forget mentioning the most complex mind of them all before I go any further, Mr. Ben Simmons. This team seems doomed to self-destruct.

So why have them tied with Toronto? Because the talent here outweighs even a team as good as the Raptors. Durant and Irving are the two best players among those two teams, and one could argue they are the best duo (when healthy and functioning) in the division. That’s going to be the poll question. But they also have solid pieces around them like Joe Harris, Seth Curry, Mills, Simmons, Royce O’Neale, TJ Warren and more. But health and sanity are the two main keys here, and I wouldn’t bet on them.

2022-23 Odds: 10 to 1

Philadelphia 76ers

2021-22 Standings: 51-31
2021-22 Odds: 5 to 1

Okay, this I think went pretty well last year, but I’m intrigued to see what I said about Simmons. I said that they would be at 5 to 1 with Simmons, and would be worse without him. Whoops, I can’t believe I was so high on him last season. But, I still got the odds correct, even with acquiring James Harden for him halfway through the season.

The 76ers had a quieter off-season than many, and brought in former Buck PJ Tucker to help fortify the roster. De’Anthony Melton and Danuel House should be upgrades as well, and frankly this team just needs to find a way to figure things out in the postseason. They have an MVP candidate in Joel Embiid, a former MVP in Harden, and really good supporting cast led by Tobias Harris and Tyrese Maxey. This team is legitimate, and I frankly don’t have much to say on them. Simply put, this team can beat the Bucks in the playoffs and may have the better team. National pundits think so, but we don’t believe they will beat us here on Brew Hoop, including myself.

2022-23 Odds: 2 to 1

Boston Celtics

2021-22 Standings: 51-31
2021-22 Odds: 25 to 1

Boston really looked like they were all primed up for a run at the chip prior to this season, but with two blows already to them things don’t look as great as they did a month ago. First, newly acquired Danilo Gallinari will miss the season, and then head coach Ime Udoka got suspended for the season for misconduct. This overshadowed the acquisition of former Buck Malcolm Brogdon to just add more talent to an already talented team, and the fact that they are coming off of a Finals’ appearance where they actually had a real shot at winning.

Looking back to my post, Boston did EVERYTHING I said they needed to to stop the Bucks, plus lucking out into Middleton’s injury. Two out of three big men (Williams III, Horford and Kanter) were very good. Marcus Smart played like he was the DPOY. Derrick White was an upgrade over Kemba Walker. Grant Williams, Payton Pritchard and even Sam Hauser stepped up. Everything went as planned, and they still only beat us by one game. Now, things are already going poorly, and the depth of this team may be tested. Horford is old, Williams III is hurting, and Gallinari is out. They then go to Luke Kornet, who is not an answer for Giannis, and with only two dynamite scorers, the Bucks are capable of shutting them down at full strength. I’m much more confident in them playing again this year, but I will respect how it looks and give Boston a real chance.

2022-23 Odds: 2 to 1


Who is the Best Duo in the Division

This poll is closed

  • 38%
    Durant and Irving
    (33 votes)
  • 16%
    Embiid and Harden
    (14 votes)
  • 44%
    Tatum and Brown
    (38 votes)
  • 0%
    Siakam and VanVleet
    (0 votes)
  • 0%
    Barrett and Randle (obviously the worst, but still not bad)
    (0 votes)
85 votes total Vote Now

The series is complete. Now that we are done, who do you think is the most threatening team in the East to the Bucks? Vote and then comment below. Thanks for reading!


Which Team Has the Best Chance to Beat the Bucks in the Postseason?

This poll is closed

  • 55%
    (44 votes)
  • 11%
    (9 votes)
  • 2%
    (2 votes)
  • 1%
    (1 vote)
  • 22%
    (18 votes)
  • 7%
    (6 votes)
80 votes total Vote Now