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NBA Season Preview: Milwaukee Bucks

Dec 15, 2011, 12:30 PM EDT

Milwaukee Bucks v Atlanta Hawks, Game 1 Getty Images

2010-11 record: 35-47, just missing the playoffs but not in a position to get a great draft pick

Head Coach: Scott Skiles

Key Departures: Corey Maggette, John Salmons

Key Additions: Stephen Jackson, Mike Dunleavy Jr., Beno Udrih

Best-Case Scenario: The Bucks continue to play suffocating defense while finding some semblance of an offensive identity.

The de facto swap of the ball-stopping Corey Maggette for the playmaking (but still a volume shooter) Stephen Jackson gets the Bucks to start moving the ball. Andrew Bogut is healthy all season and his elbow issues are behind him, so he starts scoring again. Brandon Jennings recovers from his sophomore slump, gets back to being a promising playmaker, and makes more than 40% of his shots.

The Bucks make it back into the playoffs, and their tough defense and possession of a player who, in his own words, “makes love to pressure,” the Bucks become the team nobody wants to play in the first round.

More likely scenario: The Bucks’ offense improves, but not significantly. Stephen Jackson and Brandon Jennings take far, far too many ill-advised jumpers. The Bucks scrape into the playoffs, but prove to be a relatively easy out in the first round.

Prediction: 28-33 wins

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