The Bucks new arena is finally open, and while it will play host to a few events before
The Bucks new arena is finally open, and while it will play host to a few events before Bucks season opens it is the Bucks arena first and foremost. So which of the Bucks 41 home contests would be best to take in the new experience? When would I recommend that out of town fans who could not make the open house make their first trip across the state to take in a game in the Bucks state of the art new arena? Which of the Bucks contests will prove most captivating for the 17,000+ in attendance?
5.) Bucks Host Philly on National TV March 17th
The Bucks are not only featured on national TV they are on ABC for this afternoon matchup. With roughly four weeks to go in the season both Philly and Milwaukee will likely be fighting for seeding in the playoffs, but this game will likely be a bit more personal than just playoff implications. Ever since Embiid called Milwaukee a “shithole” on Instagram there has been beef between these two franchises. Malcolm Brogdon winning rookie of the year still drives 76ers fans up the wall, so much so that they rented five busses to come to Milwaukee to boo him. Somewhat ironically he missed that game with injury so they booed Tony Snell. These fanbases frequently beef on Twitter, and last year there was tangible animosity in the crowds in the BMOHBC between the fanbases. In terms of on court stuff, Simmons, Embiid, and Giannis represent three of the leagues blossoming stars, with the latter two being top 15 players in the league already in their young careers. Every time they take the court they have a wow factor to them, that has left NBA fans everywhere wondering if they will be the next face of the league. This matchup represents can’t miss entertainment (heck ABC even agrees with me), so whether you watch on TV or make the trip don’t miss this game.
4.) Greek Freak Vs The Brow December 19th
The two best players in the league under 26, two top 10 players who ostensibly play the same position, going head to head. The Bucks and Pelicans only play twice a year, but when these two freaks of nature go head to head, it is a sight to see. Anthony Davis in his career is averaging 27 points and 10 rebounds against the Bucks, last year’s contest in Milwaukee saw the Pelicans escape narrowly with a 123-121 victory in overtime. There might not be bad blood between these teams, but for basketball fans it should be a fun contest to watch. If Anthony Davis continues to play out West, his yearly trip to Milwaukee will always be worth the price of admission. Aside from the marquee match-up fans in attendance will also get to see how the Pelicans have integrated Julius Randle into their lineup. The two young Kentucky big men will try and make that partnership work as they look to improve on last year’s playoff series win. These two teams are on somewhat similar arcs in terms of development as the Pelicans are looking to give Davis a reason to stay and the Bucks are attempting to prove that Giannis can win big in Milwaukee.
3.) King of the East (North?) October 29th
Giannis was the consensus best player in the Eastern conference for a couple of weeks this summer, from the moment Lebron left to the day Kawhi was traded. Well the argument for him over a guy who barely played last year can be made effectively, it is no longer a widely held belief. Giannis can change that pretty quickly if it appears he has taken another step forward in his game, and the Bucks appear to be a tier above what they were last season. He can also change that opinion if Oct 29th he dominates against Kawhi, in the third week
(seventh game), they will host the Raptors who will be burdened with high expectations. The Raptors swung big this summer, firing 2018 Coach of the Year Dwayne Casey and replacing him with rookie Head Coach Nick Nurse, if that weren’t enough they traded their leading scorer and franchise centerpiece for Kawhi Leonard. The Raptors are essentially pushing all their chips into the middle of the table, with the departure of Lebron they are expected to challenge for East supremacy. Aside from the superstar & coaching swap this is more or less the same squad the Bucks took to 6 games in 2017, which brings a certain level of animosity and atmosphere to the game.
2.) The King Comes To Milwaukee March 19th
What has been a twice annual trip for Lebron the last four seasons as he played for a division rival will be down to a once a year voyage from LA. Lebron has always put on a show against the Bucks, in fact he has scored more points against the Bucks than any other NBA team. In 55 games against the Bucks he is averaging a robust 28.6 points, 7.4 rebounds, and 6.9 assists per game. As the King prepares for his 16th NBA season, all I have to say is if you haven’t seen him play live, do it. He is still the best player in the planet, but not only is he incredibly good at basketball, he makes the game fun. His infamous Wade lob dunk was against your Milwaukee Bucks! From a Bucks perspective, Giannis is set to inherit not only the best player in the East title, but also potentially challenge for the best in the league. Seeing these two go head to head is just good TV, and it is even better in person.
1.) Rematch in Milwaukee February 21st
The Bucks last seven games came against the Boston Celtics, in a hard fought first round playoff series which the Bucks would lose. The Celtics of the 2018-19 NBA season will return almost everyone that beat the Bucks last spring, alongside with Gordon Hayward and Kyrie Irving two all stars that missed last season’s playoffs. The Celtics are the team to beat in the East, and the Bucks will likely still hold a sour taste in their mouth from last season’s series. The Celtics have it all in terms of what you would like to see in the NBA, recognizable star power, elite role players who NBA nerds latch onto, and you know they will come out and be competitive. The Celtics will likely not be jostling with the Bucks for seeding, but if the Bucks do come out with a strong showing it could bode well for a potential second round matchup. If Coach Bud wants to prove that he’s in that top echelon of coaches, he has to beat teams that on paper are mismatches for Milwaukee. These battles between top East teams should be the highlight of the Fiserv Forum for the next handful of years.
There you have it, my top five games to see at the Fiserv Forum this season, let us know your top five on Twitter @CreamCityCtral