NBA

NBA: Why Does Kyle Korver Like the Bucks’ Chances to Make the NBA Finals This Season?

The Milwaukee Bucks were already one of the best teams in the NBA at the end of last season, and they may have improved in the offseason. While other teams focused on acquiring superstar talent, the Bucks had two All-Stars last year, and instead focused on bolstering their bench depth. One of those additions to their team was veteran sharpshooter Kyle Korver, and Korver has some high praise for his team going into his 17th season in the NBA. 

What Kyle Korver said

When talking about this version of the Bucks, Kyle Korver said they feel like the Cleveland Cavaliers teams he played on except for one difference. 

While Korver saw success in Cleveland with two straight trips to the NBA Finals, he believes that the Bucks are more organized than the Cleveland Cavaliers. On paper, this could seem like shade thrown at his former team, and it very well may be that, but there is truth behind the statement that Korver said. 

The Cavaliers may have had a lot of success while Korver was there, but many attribute that to the presence of LeBron James more than any organizational structures. The team, after all, was constantly shifting front offices, coaches, and talent. While Tyronn Lue may have led the team to three-straight NBA Finals, he was fired midway through the first season without LeBron, and former GM David Griffin was fired despite luring him back. 

How are they different?

Kyle Korver (left) joined the Bucks for 2019-20, and he likes their chances to win the NBA Finals.
Kyle Korver (left) and Milwaukee head coach Mike Budenholzer. | Dylan Buell/Getty Images

This sense of chaos amidst success does not appear to be the case in Milwaukee, however. For one, head coach Mike Budenholzer already saw success before he arrived in Milwaukee and elevated the Bucks in a similar way he did the 2015 Hawks, where Korver first played for his current coach. That team fell victim to LeBron James’s Cavaliers, but it was not due to coaching. Korver knows exactly what kind of coach Budenholzer is, and sees him leading them where they need to go. 

Like LeBron’s Cavaliers, Budenholzer’s team runs its offense through its superstar in Giannis Antetokounmpo. LeBron was often something of an on-court general who could throw plays out on the fly, but Korver sees Budenholzer’s offense as a stricter X’s and O’s affair. That type of offense could help the team capitalize on a player like Kyle Korver, who is very much a specialist who will need the offense to come to him to succeed. 

The Bucks’ new roster

While Korver is a valuable addition as Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Bucks, even in his late thirties, he was not the only upgrade that the team made. Although the team had to get rid of former rookie of the Year Malcolm Brogdon, they brought in several players who will make them one of the deepest teams in the NBA heading into the season. 

Last year, the Bucks made a major acquisition when they acquired Brook Lopez. Lopez proved to be the exact type of center who could help the team both stretch the floor and run the perfect offense around Antetokounmpo. This year, they will have double the Lopez, as Brook’s brother Robin Lopez also joined the fray. Robin is more of a traditional center than his twin brother, but that will be a great addition to the team. 

On top of Lopez and Korver, the team also added some talent to the end of the bench, from point guard Frank Mason to Giannis’s brother Thanasis Antetokounmpo. Other additions, like Dragan Bender, who disappointed in Phoenix, could have a breakout year on a more successful team. 

The Bucks will have a steep hill to climb, but with a wide-open league heading into the season, Kyle Korver and the gang could be in for one of the greatest seasons in many decades.