The City of Milwaukee was the first in America to welcome an Australian as the overall number 1 pick with open arms during the 2005 NBA draft. 11 years on and they have just welcomed a new wave of Australian talent that is more exiting and intriguing than Andrew Bogut for a number of reasons.
The Bucks are only 1 year removed from a playoff run that had the whole league talking about what was to come next, playing with an energy on defence and all round hustle well beyond their rosters ‘on paper’ capabilities they finished with a .500 record (41 wins and 41 losses) largely without their newly acquired 2nd overall pick Jabari Parker.
All these signs pointed to another great year in Milwaukee and the development of something special however through a few small ill-informed free agency moves and a big role of the dice on Greg Monroe, They went from having the 2nd best defence in the league to 22nd which meant the Bucks had lost their identity that had carried them to the playoff only 12 months earlier.
Now fast forward back to the present and the Bucks have all the ‘makings’ to not only finish with an above .500 record but also make another push for the playoffs even with the loss of an integral piece of the puzzle, Khris Middleton. Middleton is the team’s starting shooting guard and has been ruled out for up to 6 month due to a hamstring injury, He was the Bucks go-to offensive weapon last season averaging 18.2 points while also making 39.6% of his 3 point field goals, it is the 3 point shooting that will be especially missed.
This means other players are going to have to step up and assert themselves, and who better to do so than new signings Matthew Dellavedova and young draft pick Thon Maker.
It is going to be an adjustment at first and the young Australians Matthew Dellavedova and 10th overall pick in the draft Thon Maker will be a relied upon during this period. Each player has a well-rounded arsenal and are very versatile in their roles. They both also share the invaluable traits of passion, hunger and work rate that they bring to a team. They fit the mould of the 2014-2015 bucks perfectly and their games will be able to flourish within this system.
Over the course of the next month I will be writing and analysing how these Aussie’s fit into the Bucks roster, as well as the strengths and weaknesses each of them bring to the table and how their abilities will be utilized throughout this coming season.