Milwaukee Bucks Preview - NBA Team Previews 2022-23

Milwaukee Bucks Preview - NBA Team Previews 2022-23

This article is part of our NBA Team Previews series.

2022-23 Milwaukee Bucks Team Preview

Milwaukee is in the running for most boring offseason. They're bringing back key role players Bobby Portis, Pat Connaughton and Wesley Matthews while adding Joe Ingles, though the veteran is recovering from a torn ACL and won't be available until later in the year.

2021-22 Record: 51-31; Lost in seven-game Eastern Conference Semifinals to Celtics

2022-23 NBA Win Total Odds: 52.5 wins (DraftKings)

2022-23 NBA Title Odds: +800 (DraftKings)

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Check out our 2022-23 Fantasy Basketball Rankings, which includes fantasy basketball projections for every player.

Milwaukee Bucks Fantasy Basketball Preview

Giannis Antetokounmpo

The 2021-22 campaign was another dominant one for Antetokounmpo. He earned his fourth consecutive All-NBA First Team honor as well as a fourth consecutive All-Defensive First Team. He also finished among the top four in MVP voting for a fourth straight season. The Greek Freak hasn't stopped improving, reaching new highs in points per game (29.9) and free-throw attempts per game (11.4). In addition, he averaged 11.6 rebounds, 5.8 assists, 1.4 blocks and 1.1 steals. His three-point shooting remains shaky (29.3 percent), but he still knocked down 1.1 per game - his third straight year making at least one per contest. While he'll likely never ascend much in that department, he at least improved his free-throw shooting from 68.5 percent in 2020-21 to 72.2 percent last season. Antetokounmpo's poor performance from the charity stripe ultimately prevents him from being a better fantasy asset in category leagues. He ranked 10th last season in per-game fantasy production despite being arguably the best player in basketball. It's hard to imagine the two-time MVP slipping out of the top five in any league, given his ridiculously-high floor and clear upside to be the best player in fantasy if he can become a better shooter. Fantasy managers shouldn't hold their breath on that front, but any serious critics of Antetokounmpo are nitpicking at this point.

Jrue Holiday

Holiday continues to demonstrate that he's one of the best two-way guards in the NBA. Behind his 2.0 combined steals-plus-blocks per game, the veteran was named to the All-Defensive Second Team last season after being on the First Team in 2020-21. His offensive production remained steady last year, too, as he averaged 18.3 points, 6.8 assists and 4.5 rebounds, marking the fifth straight season he's put up at least 17 points, six assists and four rebounds per game. Holiday has also become more efficient in the Bucks' offense than at previous stops in Philadelphia and New Orleans. Last year, the UCLA product put up splits of 50/41/76. The total package resulted in Holiday ranking 28th in per-game fantasy value for eight-category leagues -- his fifth straight campaign in the top 30. There's no expectation that the 32-year-old's role will change in 2022-23. The Bucks are bringing back essentially the same roster, with Holiday acting as option 2B with Khris Middleton behind superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo.

Khris Middleton

Middleton has been one of the most consistent players in the NBA over the past three seasons. His average points have been 20.9, 20.4 and 20.1; his average rebounds have been 6.2, 6.0 and 5.4; and his average assists have been 4.3, 5.4 and 5.4. That's also come along with consistent shooting percentages. Last season, he slashed 44/37/89. The veteran also made his third All-Star game in four years. Nothing is expected to change this year. He'll be option 2A with Jrue Holiday as 2B behind Giannis Antetokounmpo. The only thing fantasy managers need to be wary about is that Middleton tore a ligament in his wrist and underwent surgery in July. However, he's expected to be ready near the start of the regular season, so he shouldn't have a significant draft day discount. Last year, Middleton ranked 35th in per-game fantasy production in eight-category leagues, and he should again be a strong target in the 30-40 range of most fantasy drafts.

Brook Lopez

Lopez missed nearly all last season due to a back injury requiring surgery. He suffered the injury during the first game of the season and didn't see the court again until mid-March. Once back, Lopez was his usual self, though his workload was understandably reduced to avoid further damage. In 22.9 minutes per game, the center averaged 12.4 points on 47/36/87 shooting, 4.1 rebounds and 1.2 blocks. He also stayed healthy throughout the playoffs, though he struggled from three (21.4 percent) and was often a non-factor offensively. The 2022-23 campaign marks Lopez's age 34 season and final year under contract with Milwaukee. He'll presumably slide back into a role where he consistently records minutes in the mid-to-high 20s. Much of Lopez's fantasy value depends on his shot-blocking ability. He averaged only 1.5 blocks in 2020-21, which brought his ranking down to 107th per game compared to 2019-20, where he ranked 77th behind 2.4 blocks per tilt. In 2018-19, he ranked 55th with 2.2 blocks per game, but he also knocked down a career-high 2.3 triples per game. Ultimately, Lopez is a serviceable option toward the end of most standard drafts as a relatively reliable source of blocks and threes from the center position.

Bobby Portis

Portis is coming off the best season of his career. With Brook Lopez missing nearly the entire year due to a back injury that required surgery, Portis started 59 of his 72 appearances and saw 28.2 minutes per game. That resulted in averages of 14.6 points, 9.1 rebounds 1.2 assists and 1.4 combined steals-plus-blocks. He continued to be a great three-point shooter, hitting 1.8 per game at 39.3 percent, though it was a significant drop-off from the unsustainable 47.1 percent he made in 2020-21. Those numbers resulted in Portis ranking 80th in per-game fantasy production, clearing his previous high of 117 from 2018-19. With Lopez healthy, Portis should revert back to a sixth-man-light role in the frontcourt, playing power forward and center behind Lopez and Giannis Antetokounmpo. The organization cemented that role by handing him a four-year, $49 million contract in the offseason. Fantasy managers can draft Portis in standard leagues with a final pick knowing there's not much upside if everyone stays healthy. He's unquestionably valuable for deeper leagues as a high-floor big.

Milwaukee Bucks Depth Chart for 2022-23

More detail: Full Milwaukee Bucks depth chart

Milwaukee Bucks Predictions for 2022-23

The Bucks, Celtics, 76ers and Nets are all expected to finish with 50-plus wins in the East. Milwaukee has both the best player and most proven history as a group, so finishing with the top record wouldn't be surprising. But, at this point, it's all about playoff success for the Bucks. The path won't be easy, but another NBA title could be on the horizon for this group. They have as good of a chance as anyone, and they've been there before.

Record Prediction

  • 55-27
  • 1-seed
  • Wins NBA Title

Bold Call

Giannis Antetokounmpo wins his third MVP award.

NBA Award Contenders

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Alex Barutha
Alex is RotoWire's Chief NBA Editor. He writes articles about daily fantasy, year-long fantasy and sports betting. You can hear him on the RotoWire NBA Podcast, Sirius XM, VSiN and other platforms. He firmly believes Robert Covington is the most underrated fantasy player of the past decade.
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