1968/69: More than a decade after the Hawks flew south to St. Louis the city of Milwaukee once again had an NBA team to call themselves in the expansion Bucks. The Bucks opened their initial season by losing to the Chicago Bulls 89-84 before 8,467 fans at The Mecca. The team’s first win would come in their sixth game when the beat the Detroit Pistons 134-118. The Bucks would go on to finish with a 27-55 record finishing in last place in the Eastern Division. By finishing in last place, the Bucks would enter a coin flip for the top pick in the NBA draft. A pick the Bucks would win allowing them to draft UCLA star Lew Alcindor.
1969/70: Lew Alcindor would make an immediate impact winning the Rookie of the Year 28.8 ppg and 14.5 rebounds per game. The Bucks would go on to finish in second place with a solid 56-26 record, a 28-game improvement over their inaugural season. In the playoffs the Bucks would dispatch the Philadelphia 76ers in five games to set up a match up with New York Knicks in the Eastern Division Finals. However, in the East Finals the Bucks would fall in five games.
1970/71: With realignment the Bucks are moved to the Western Conference and into the Midwest Division. To round out the team the Bucks would acquire Oscar Robertson from the Cincinnati Royals for Flynn Robinson and Charlie Paulk. Robertson added experience to the young Bucks averaging 19.4 ppg while making the All-Star team. The trade also made Lew Alcindor a better player as he won the league scoring title and MVP with 31.7 ppg as the Bucks finished with a league best 66-16 record. In the first round the Bucks would easily beat the San Francisco Warriors in five games. Moving on the Western Finals the young Alcindor would dominate aging legend Wilt Chamberlain as the Bucks beat the Los Angeles Lakers in five games. In the Finals the Bucks would continue to roll as they swept the Baltimore Bullets in fourth straight becoming the fastest expansion team to win a Major Championship, as Lew Alcindor won the Finals MVP.
1971/72: Lew Alcindor converts his religion to Islam changing his name to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. The name change would not affect his play on the court as he won the MVP for the second straight season by averaging 34.6 ppg as the Bucks won the Midwest Division with a solid 63-19 record. In the playoffs the Bucks would beat the Golden State Warriors in five games setting up a highly anticipated match up with Los Angeles Lakers in the Western Conference Finals. However, this time the Lakers would get the best in the Bucks dethroning them as Champions in six games.
1972/73: Despite a season plagued with injuries the Bucks again win the Midwest Division topping the 60-win plateau with a record of 60-22. However, in the playoffs the Bucks would be stunned in the first round losing to the Golden State Warriors in six games.
1973/74: Led by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar who wins his third MVP in four years the Bucks win their fourth straight division title with a record of 59-23. In the playoffs the Bucks would catch fire reaching the NBA Finals by beating the Los Angeles Lakers in five games and sweeping the Chicago Bulls in four straight games. In the Finals the Bucks would battle the Boston Celtics in one of the greatest playoff series in NBA history forcing a seventh game on a Kareem Abdul-Jabbar hook shot in double overtime. However, in the seventh game at the Mecca the Bucks would fall by a score of 102-87. Following the season Oscar Robertson would announce his retirement.
1974/75: With Kareem Abdul-Jabbar starting the season on the injured list with a broken hand the Bucks get off to a terrible start winning just three of their first 16 games. When Kareem returned the Bucks played solid basketball but could not escape the cellar finishing with a 38-44 record. Along the way the Bucks who were plagued all season by injuries suffered several frustrating close losses as they missed the playoffs for the first time in five years. Following the season, the Bucks would stun the NBA and their fans by trading Kareem Abdul-Jabbar to the Los Angeles Lakers for Elmore Smith, Brian Winters, David Meyers and Junior Bridgeman.
1975/76: Without Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in the middle the Bucks again struggle to finish with a 38-44 record. However, as luck would have it the entire Midwest Division would struggle that season and the Bucks would make the playoffs by finishing in first place. However, in the playoffs it would be a quick exit, as they are knocked off by the Detroit Pistons in a three-game series. Following the season Jon McGlocklin, the last of the original Bucks would retire.
1976/77: The Bucks are sold to Jim Fitzgerald, a cable television executive, and original General Manager Wayne Embry steps aside as the Bucks transition continues. Lou Costello the Bucks would be the next to go when he is fired after a 3-15 start. Replacing Costello is Don Nelson, who was a key player off the bench for five Boston Celtics championship team. With a young coach with no experience the Bucks would go on to finish in last place with a 30-52 record.
1977/78: The Bucks have a fine draft selecting three players Kent Benson, Marques Johnson, and Ernie Grunfeld, who make an immediate impact, as the Bucks made the playoffs by finishing in second place with a 44-38 record. In the playoffs the Bucks would stun the Phoenix Suns sweeping them in two straight games. However, in the second round they would fall in five games to Denver Nuggets.
1978/79: The Bucks playoff chances were hurt before the season even started as Alex English signed as a Free Agent with the Indiana Pacers. Without one of their leading scorers the Bucks would struggle all season missing the playoffs by finishing with a 38-44 record.
1979/80: The Bucks finally fill their hole in the middle that had been left by the trade of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, by acquiring Bob Lanier form the Detroit Pistons. In the final 26 games after the Lanier trade the Bucks go 20-6 and win the Midwest Division with a 49-33 record. However, in the playoff the Bucks would be knocked out by the Seattle Supersonics in hard fought seven game series in the Western Semifinals.
1980/81: Under realignment the Bucks are sent back East to the Central Division. The move would seem to benefit the Bucks as the won the Division with a solid 60-22 record. However, the playoffs would bring heartbreak again as they fall to the Philadelphia 76ers in seven games in the Eastern Semifinals.
1981/82: Despite Marques Johnson beginning the year on the sidelines with an 18-game holdout, the Bucks continue to dominate the Central Division winning by 13 games with a record of 55-27. However, once again the Bucks would be bounced right away losing to the Philadelphia 76ers in six games.
1982/83: Sidney Moncrief wins the first ever Defensive Player of the Year award as the Bucks battle through injuries to win the Central Division again with a 51-31 record. The Bucks solid regular season finally bear fruit in the playoffs as they sweep the Boston Celtics in four straight games. However, in the Eastern Finals the Bucks would be tripped up by the Philadelphia 76ers again falling in six games.
1983/84: The Bucks win the Central Division again with a 50-32 record a Sidney Moncrief helps the Bucks become the stingiest defense in the NBA. In the playoffs the Bucks would survive a surprisingly strong first round challenge by beating the Atlanta Hawks in a hard fought five game series. In the second round the Bucks would gallop past the New Jersey Nets in six games. However, they would hit a brick wall in the Eastern Finals as they fall to the Boston Celtics in five games.
1984/85: The Bucks acquire Terry Cummings from the Los Angeles Clippers for Marques Johnson, Junior Bridgeman, and Harvey Catchings. The move would pay off as the Bucks win their sixth straight division title with a record of 59-23. In the playoffs the Bucks would school the Chicago Bulls beating them three games to one. However, in the second round they would be rolled over by the Philadelphia 76ers being swept in four straight games.
1985/86: The Bucks continue to dominate the Central Division winning their seventh straight title with a record of 57-25. After easily sweeping aside the New Jersey Nets in three games the Bucks finally make it past the Philadelphia 76ers winning a hard fought seven game series. However, in the Eastern Finals the Bucks would fall again losing four straight games to the Boston Celtics.
1986/87: The Bucks would acquire Jack Sikma from the Seattle Supersonics with the hopes of finally making it to the NBA Finals. However, the Bucks would begin a decline as their reign as division champions came to an end despite a solid 50-32 record. Leading to the decline were injuries as Sidney Moncrief is limited to 39. In the playoffs the Bucks would survive a tough five game series against the Philadelphia 76ers before falling to the Boston Celtics again in a hard fought seven games series in the Eastern Semifinals. Following the season Coach Don Nelson would depart for the Golden State Warriors ending a successful 11-year reign as Coach of the Bucks.
1987/88: With new Coach Del Harris the Bucks remain one of the toughest defenses in the NBA as they make the playoffs for the ninth straight season with a record of 42-40. However, it would be a quick exit in the playoffs as they fall to the Atlanta Hawks in a hard fought five game series.
1988/89: The Bucks find a new place to roam as they open the Bradley Center after 20 years at the Milwaukee Arena, better known as The Mecca. In their new home the Bucks would have another successful season finishing in fourth place with a solid record of 49-33. In the playoffs the Bucks would fight off the Atlanta Hawks in a hard fought five game series. However, in the second round they would be swept aside by the Detroit Pistons in four straight games.
1989/90: The Bucks re-tool by trading Terry Cummings to the San Antonio Spurs for Alvin Robertson and Greg “Cadillac” Anderson Despite a season full of injuries the Bucks make the playoffs again with a record of 44-38. However, in the playoffs they would be run over in four games by the up and coming Chicago Bulls.
1990/91: The Bucks start the season by winning their first 18 homes on the way to their 12th straight playoff appearance by finishing in third place with a record of 48-34. However, in the playoffs the Bucks would make a quick exit as they are swept by the Philadelphia 76ers in three straight games.
1991/92: The Bucks glory days come to a crashing end as they miss the playoffs by finishing in last place with a 31-51 record. Desperate to turn thing around the Bucks make a coaching change and bring in aging center Moses Malone. However, neither move would work.
1992/93: The Bucks undergo radical changes as local favorite Mike Dunleavy is brought to lead a young team that included seven young players brought in during the off season. However, getting the young team to gel proved problematic as the Bucks again struggled and finished in last place with a record of 28-54.
1993/94: The Bucks enter the season with a new look ditching the cartoonish Buck spinning a basketball for a more regal forward-looking Buck, as they change from predominately green uniforms to purple. On the court the Buck struggle continued as they finished with a franchise worst 20-62 record. However, in the lottery the Bucks would prove to be a winner getting the top pick which they used on Purdue star Glen “Big Dog” Robinson.
1994/95: Glenn Robinson teamed with Vin Baker to form a formidable front court duo as excitement was brought back to Milwaukee. However, the Bucks still miss the playoffs by finishing with record of 34-48.
1995/96: The Bucks, led by developing superstars Vin Baker and Glenn Robinson, were considered a team with playoff potential. However, the struggles would continue as the Bucks missed the playoffs for the fifth year in a row with a record of 25-57. Following the season, the Bucks would fire Coach Mike Dunleavy, and replace him with Chris Ford. However, before departing Milwaukee Dunleavy would acquire three-point shooter Ray Allen in a draft day trade.
1996/97: Under new coach Chris Ford, the Bucks appeared to be on their way, breaking out of the gate with a 15-11 start. However, they couldn’t maintain that momentum and missed the playoffs again by finishing in seventh place with a 33-49 record.
1997/98: The Bucks ship away Vin Baker in a three-team deal that sees Terrell Brandon and Tyrone Hill land in Milwaukee. However, a wave of injuries would hamper the Bucks all year as they miss the playoffs for the seventh straight season with a record of 36-46.
1998/99: New Coach George Karl is brought in to lead the Bucks after a successful tenure with Seattle Supersonics. The move would pay immediate dividends as the Bucks made the playoffs in a lockout-shortened season with a record of 28-22. Along the way the Bucks make two big deals acquiring Sam Cassell in a three-team deal with Minnesota Timberwolves and New Jersey Nets, and Tim Thomas from the Philadelphia 76ers for Tyrone Hill. However, in the playoffs the Bucks would be no match for the Indian Pacers as they are swept in three straight games.
1999/00: With less than a moth to go the Bucks playoff chances appeared bleak as they sat on the bubble with a record of 32-37. However, down the stretch the Bucks would play their best basketball by winning ten of their last 13 games to sneak into the playoffs with a record of 42-40. In the playoffs the Bucks gave the top seeded Indiana Pacers all they could handle before losing Game 5 by 96-95.
2000/01: After a slow 3-9 start the Bucks team seemed to gel, winning their first division title in 16 years with an awesome record of 52-30. The Bucks seemed to rise up against the best winning all eight games against the top four teams in the Western Conference. In the playoffs the Bucks dominated the Orlando Magic winning the series in four games. Down three games to two in the second round the Bucks would prove to be a team that could battle back as they knocked off the Charlotte Hornets in seven games for a trip to the Eastern Conference Finals. In the Eastern Finals the Bucks would force a seventh game when Ray Allen exploded for 41 points in Game 6. However, the Bucks would fall 108-91 in Game 7 in Philadelphia.
2001/02: The Bucks get off to a solid start leading the Central Division most of the first half. However, injuries would begin to catch up with them, and throughout the second half the Bucks struggled eventually falling out of playoff contention on the final day of the season while posting a 41-41 record. Following the season, the Bucks would deal away Glenn Robinson to the Atlanta Hawks for Toni Kukoc, Leon Smith and a 2003 first-round pick.
2002/03: In a year of transition the Bucks played inconsistent basketball all season as they hovered around .500 almost all season. At the trade deadline with the hopes of making a playoff run the Bucks acquired Desmond Mason and Gary Payton from the Seattle Supersonics in a blockbuster trade for Ray Allen. After the trade the Bucks continued to under achieve at times. However, they would finish the season on a strong note by winning eight of their last nine games to slip into the playoffs with a record of 42-40. However, in the playoffs the Bucks would make a quick exit as they were eliminated in six games by the New Jersey Nets. Following the season, the changes would continue for the Bucks as Sam Cassell and Ervin Johnson were traded to the Minnesota Timberwolves for Joe Smith, while Gary Payton was lost to the Los Angeles Lakers through free agency. With all the changes going around the Bucks decided to change coaches as well replacing George Karl with Terry Porter.
2003/04: The Bucks began the season with a rebuilding mindset as most of their roster had turned over since the start of the 2002/03 season. One of the biggest changes came at coach where Terry Porter was now the man in charge. The young Bucks would manage to play well as Michael Redd had a breakout season averaging 21.7 ppg. The Bucks would go on to finish the season with a 41-41 record which would be good enough to see them slip into the playoffs as the sixth seed in the East. In the playoffs the Bucks would not go quietly as they stunned the Detroit Pistons in Game 2 on the road to earn a split with the series shifting to Milwaukee. However, in Milwaukee the Bucks would struggle as they were blown out twice as the eventual NBA Champion Pistons went on to win the series in five games.
2004/05: Injuries hampered the Bucks from the start as T.J. Ford was lost for the entire season due to a neck injury. The Bucks would get off to a sluggish start losing 12 of their first 18 games, quickly falling into last place in the Central Division where they would remain all season on the way to a terrible 30-52 record. The only bright spot came from Michael Redd, who averaged a 23.0 ppg a team high. Following the season, the Bucks would begin to restructure their team as Coach Terry Porter was replaced by Terry Stotts while the Bucks who won the draft lottery selected Utah Center Andrew Bogut with the top overall pick.
2005/06: After missing the playoffs the Bucks hoped to rebound with new Coach Terry Stotts, and the top overall draft pick Andrew Bogut. Out of the gate the Bucks looked strong as they won their first three games and held a respectable 16-11 record after the first two months of the season. However, January brought hard times to Milwaukee, as the Bucks struggled losing seven of nine games, as the Bucks slipped below .500. The Bucks would hover near the .500 mark the rest of the season as they were in a battle for the final three playoff spots in the Eastern Conference. When the dust settled, and the season was over the Bucks would find themselves in last place again with a record of 40-42. However, they would still make the playoffs as the eighth seed in the East. Once again Michael Redd was the best player on the team leading the Bucks with a career high 25.4 ppg. While, Andre Bogut struggled at times with a mediocre 9.4 ppg, but was solid on the boards with 7.0 rebounds per game. In the playoffs the Bucks would face the Detroit Pistons, and would find themselves in a quick hole losing the first two games on the road. However, as the series shifted to Milwaukee the Bucks put together a perfect game as Redd scored 40 points in a 124-104 win. It would be the only game the Bucks would win in the series as the Pistons won in five games.
2006/07: Coming off their playoff appearance the Bucks went back to the future, keeping the same general logo design, but going back to their original green and red color scheme. They also made on the court changes, trading T.J. Ford to the Toronto Raptors for Charlie Villanueva, while acquiring Ruben Patterson from the Denver Nuggets for Joe Smith. The Bucks would get off to a slow start as they adjusted to the new players, losing 9 of their first 13 games. However, in December the Bucks would turn things around posting a solid 11-6 record as they entered the New Year with a 16-15 record. However, a rash of injuries in January would cripple the Bucks, as they won just three of their next 20 games, while Michael Redd, Charlie Villanueva, and Mo Williams, were sidelined with injuries. The slump would eventually cost Coach Terry Stotts his job, as he was fired on March 13th as the Bucks sat in last place with a record of 23-41. With new Coach Larry Krystkowiak the Bucks would win their first two games. However, the injuries continued to pile up as even Andrew Bogut was lost down the stretch as four of the five players in the starting lineup were on the bench in street clothes as the Bucks ended the season with a disappointing 28-54 record.
2007/08: The Bucks celebrated their 40th season, as they introduced their all-time team chosen by the fans. Sadly, the current team on the court was not much to look at, as they got off to a slow start, posting an 11-19 record after the first two months, which included an awful December in which they lost 12 of 16 games. The Bucks struggles continued as they posted a losing record in January, and February, and quickly became a non-factor in the playoff race. The Bucks would go on to finish in last place again, as they finished the season with an awful record of 26-56, which included an ugly eight game losing streak to finish the season. Following the season there would be sweeping changes in Milwaukee, as General Manager Larry Harris was fired and replaced by John Hammond, formerly the Vice President of basketball operations for the Detroit Pistons. Coach Larry Krystkowiak would also end up unemployed, as the Bucks replaced him with Scott Skiles. On the court there would be changes too, as Captain Mo Williams, was traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers, in a three-team deal involving the Oklahoma City Thunder, while Richard Jefferson was acquired from the New Jersey Nets for Yi Jianlian and Bobby Simmons.
2008/09: With new Coach Scott Skiles the Bucks got off to a shaky start, posting a 7-12 record in the first month of the season. The Bucks would try for the next few months to erase the bad start and get back in the playoff picture, but every time it seemed they were about to go on a roll, they would suffer a setback, as injuries to several key players including Michael Redd hobbled the Bucks all season. The Bucks would go on to miss the playoffs for the fourth straight season with a record of 34-38 that had them once again at the bottom of the Central Division.
2009/10: Selected with the tenth overall pick, Point Guard Brandon Jenkins had an instant impact for the Bucks, as he recorded 17 points, nine rebounds, nine assists, and hit two three-point shots, just shy of a triple-double, while playing 34 minutes in the Bucks season opening 99-86 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers. In his home debut Jennings scored 16 points during the third quarter and a team-high 24 points as the Bucks beat the Detroit Pistons 96-85. On November 14th, Brandon Jennings scored 55 points 7o break the team record for most points by a rookie previously set by Lew Alcindor in 1970, as the Bucks beat the Golden State Warriors 129-125. Brandon Jennings would go on to finish second in Rookie of the Year voting, with 15.5 points and 5.7 assists per game. With the early strong play by Jennings, the Bucks got off to a solid 8-3 start. However, in late November they would go into a six-week slump that saw them hit the New Year with a record of 12-18. After winning their first three games in 2010, the Bucks’ struggles continued as they seven of their next ten games and ended January with a record of 20-25. With a 24-28 record at the trade deadline, the Bucks landed John Salmons and Ersan Ilyasova in a traded with the Chicago Bulls for Hakim Warrick. The deal had an instant impact on the Bucks fortunes as they won their first six games after the trade, while winning 15 of their next 17 games. The streak jumped the Bucks right into playoff contention. However, as the season ended the Bucks would suffer a bump in the road as they Andrew Bogut, who was enjoying his finest season suffered a season ending leg injury. The Bucks would go on to reach the playoffs for the first time in four years with a record of 46-36 as John Salmons, with 19.9 ppg after the deal led the team in scoring. In the playoffs the Bucks got off to a slow start losing the first two games to the Atlanta Hawks by ten points on the road. Coming home for Game 3, the Bucks got a big game from John Salmons, who had 22 points and seven assists to lead the way in a 107-89 victory. In Game 4 it was Brandon Jennings who led the way scoring 23 points, as the Bucks evened the series with a 111-104 victory. Powered by a late 14-0 run, the Bucks would take control of the series with a 91-87 victory in Atlanta. However, with a chance to win the series at the Bradley Center in Game 6, the Bucks came out cold, losing 83-69 as they shot 21.4% from the field. The Bucks bad night was best illustrated in the third quarter when they were outscored 29-11. Game 7 would not go much better for the Bucks, as they lost 95-74.
2010/11: After making the playoffs and taking the Atlanta Hawks to seven games, the Bucks looked to take another step forward as they hoped more teams would start to Fear the Deer. However, they would get off to a slow start, losing their first two games on the road, before beating the Charlotte Bobcats 98-88 in the home opener. The Bucks would continue to struggle in November and December, as injuries became a real factor. Andre Bogut, Brandon Jennings, Drew Gooden, Chris Douglas-Roberts, Carlos Delfino, and Corey Maggette all missed significant time, while Michael Redd was still on the sidelines with a knee injury suffered in January. Entering the New Year with a 12-18 record, the Bucks struggles continued in January and February as they found themselves out of the playoff picture. The Bucks would finish the season strong and make a late charge for the playoffs. However, they would fall two games short with a record of 35-47.
2011/12: After missing the playoffs, the Bucks looked to make the NBA once again fear the deer as they acquired Stephen Jackson, Shaun Livingston and Beno Udrih in a three-team deal involving the Charlotte Bobcats and Sacramento Kings. However, they would lose both Chris Douglas-Roberts who stayed in Europe after the lockout ended and Michael Redd who signed with the Phoenix Suns to free agency, signing Mike Dunleavy Jr. in return. After starting the season with a frustrating 96-95 loss to the Bobcats, the Bucks would earn wins in their first two games at the Bradley Center. However, in January the Bucks dropped eight of their first ten games in 2012 and dug themselves a big hole. The Bucks would show signs of improvement as January, ended as they got within one game of .500, with a 105-97 win against the Miami Heat on February 1st. However, as Andrew Bogut continued to be hampered by injuries and Stephen Jackson clashed with Coach Scott Skiles, earning two separate one game suspensions as the Bucks struggles continued with them dropping to 13-20 at the All-Star Break. The Bucks would go to trade both Bogut and Jackson to the Golden State Warriors for Monta Ellis, Ekpe Udoh and Kwame Brown, who like Bogut was oft injured. The deal seemed to have a positive effect on the Bucks, as they won six straight and made a run at the getting back in playoff contention. Ellis in 21 games in Milwaukee averaged 17.6 ppg and a team high 5.9 assists per game. The late season surge continued as they made it back to .500 on April 7th. However, with five losses in their next six games, their playoff hopes were squashed. The Bucks would fall four games short of the final spot in the East, posting a record of 31-35. Leading the way for the Bucks was Brandon Jennings, who continued to develop into a star, scoring a team high 19.1 ppg, while Ersan Ilyasova had a breakout season, scoring 13.0 ppg, with a team high 8.8 rebounds per game.
2012/13: After narrowly missing the playoffs, the Bucks continued to reshape their roster, as they acquired Samuel Dalembert in a draft day trade with the Houston Rockets for Jon Brockman, Jon Leuer and Shaun Livingston. The Bucks also picked up Free Agents Joel Przybilla and Marquis Daniels. The Bucks started the season strong, beating the Boston Celtics in the season opener 99-88 and the Cleveland Cavaliers in their home opener 105-102 as they won six of their first eight games. However, they would close the first month at 7-7, after dropping five of their next six. December would hold a similar pattern, as the Bucks played well at home but struggled on the road. After ending December with a 16-13 record, the Bucks dropped their first three games in the New Year to fall back to .500. This would lead to the dismissal of Coach Scott Skiles on January 6th. With Jim Boylan coaching the team on an interim basis the Bucks would get back on track by winning eight of their next 11 games. The turnaround would not last long, as the Bucks struggled in February with a 4-8 mark to fall back to .500. Along the way the Bucks were active at the trade deadline, picking up J. J. Redick, Gustavo Ayon and Ish Smith from the Orlando Magic for Tobias Harris, Beno Udrih and Doron Lamb. Reddick would play well in Milwaukee, averaging 12.3 ppg in 28 games. However, the Bucks would continue to play mediocre basketball hovering near .500 through the first half in March. Despite their struggles, the Bucks stayed in the playoff race in the mediocre Eastern Conference. The Bucks would finish the season with a record of 38-44 as they grabbed the last playoff spot in the East. The top two performers for the Bucks were Monta Ellis and Brandon Jennings, who finished 1-2 on the team in scoring with 19.2 and 17.5 points per game.
2013 Playoffs: The Bucks trip to the playoffs was paved with potholes, as they posted a 4-12 record over their last 16 games. The reward was a matchup with the defending champion Miami Heat. The series would be as big as mismatch on the court as it appeared on paper, as the Heat swept the series in four straight games, winning each game by double digits. After the playoffs the Bucks would undergo a massive transformation.
2013/14: After their quick playoff exit the Bucks underwent wholesale changes. Coach Jim Boylan was fired and replaced by Larry Drew. The Bucks would see both Monta Ellis and Brandon Jennings make their exits, as they signed O. J. Mayo, Carlos Delfino, Zaza Pachulia and Gary Neal, as just four players who stated the 2012/13 season were still on the roster. After splitting their first two games on the road, the Bucks suffered a 97-90 to the Toronto Raptors in their home opener. The Bucks would bounce back to beat the Cleveland Cavalier s in their next home game, but soon endured an 11-game losing streak that would become symbolic of their season. After ending December with a record of 7-24, the Bucks would lose 15 of their first 16 games in 2014. The Bucks would go to finish the season with the worst record in the NBA at 15-67. As the season came to an end the Milwaukee Bucks would get new owners, as Herb Kohl agreed to sell the team to New York-based billionaires Wesley Edens and Marc Lasry for $550 million. The new owners are expected to contribute $100 million toward building a new arena for the franchise in Milwaukee. The new owners would make their own changes and fire Larry Drew after one season and made a deal with the Brooklyn Nets to lure away Coach Jason Kidd, to fill the same position in Milwaukee.
2014/15: Coming off a dreadful 15-67 season the Milwaukee Bucks had only one place to go and that was up. The Bucks underwent wholesale changes from the owner on down. The new Coach was Jason Kidd, who was hired away from the Brooklyn Nets due in part to a close relationship with new owners Wesley Edens and Marc Lasry. To get the services of Kidd, the Bucks sent the Nets two draft picks in return. The Bucks would then select Duke forward Jabari Parker with the second overall pick in the NBA Draft. Parker was strong early, winning Rookie of the Month honors for the first month of the season, scoring 12.3 points per game with 5.5 rebounds per game. Thanks in part to Jabari Parker, the Bucks played well early in the season posting a 10-8 record over the first month. In December, Parker’s season would come to an end with a torn ACL on December 15th. Despite the loss or Parker, the Bucks remained competitive into the New Year, the Bucks got a breakout season from Giannis Antetokounmpo, nicknamed the Greek Freak. Antetokounmpo averaged 12.7 points and 6.7 rebounds per game. The Bucks continued to play well into the All-Star Break as they doubled their previous season win total at 30-23. Looking for an upgrade the Bucks acquired Michael Carter-Williams, Miles Plumlee, and Tyler Ennis in a three-team deal with the Phoenix Suns and Philadelphia 76ers, sending Brandon Knight. At the same time, they released Larry Sanders who had been dealing with depression off the court and was unsure if he wanted to continue his career. The Bucks would struggle over the final two months, but still managed to reach the postseason, posting a record of 41-41. The 26-game improvement was the second biggest one-year improvement in franchise history.
2015 Playoffs: Facing the Chicago Bulls, the Bucks struggled in the playoffs losing the opener 103-91. The Bucks also dropped Game 2 by a score of 91-82. As the series shifted to Milwaukee the Bucks played much better in Game 3, taking the game into overtime. However, took much Derrick Rose and Jimmy Butler would see the Bulls win again in double overtime 113-106. The Bucks again gave the Bulls all they could handle in Game 4, this time getting the win as Jarryd Bayless layup at the buzzer gave Milwaukee a 92-90 win. Back in Chicago, Michael Carter-Williams had a big Game 5, scoring 22 points with nine assists as the Bucks won a second straight 94-88. Looking to continue their comeback the Bucks came out flat at home in Game 6, falling behind 65-33 at the half as the Bulls won the game 120-66 in one of the biggest routs in postseason history.
2015/16: The Milwaukee Bucks entered the season hoping to build of a playoff appearance, as they won approval and broke ground on the building of a new arena and signed Greg Monroe to improve their front count. The Bucks also had new uniforms and a new logo, as the future of Milwaukee basketball was taking hold. The Bucks struggled early, dropping their first three games as they struggled to find any consistency in the first two months of the season, holding a disappointing 13-21 record at the end of December. However, when at the top of their game the Bucks gave even the best teams reason to fear the deer, especially on December 12th when the beat the Golden State 108-95 at the Bradley Center. It was the first time the Warriors had lost all season, after a 24-0 start, ending an overall 28-game regular season winning streak. Ironically in 1972 the Bucks ended the Los Angeles Lakers 33-game winning streak. Greg Monroe led the way in the win over the Warriors with 28 points and 11 rebounds. However, demonstrating the frustration of Milwaukee’s season long struggles it was the only in a six-game stretch. The Bucks could never find their grove and ended the year far from the playoff race, posting a disappointing record of 33-49 with Khris Middleton leading the team in scoring with 18.2 ppg.
2016/17: Coming off a disappointing season, the Milwaukee Bucks looked to get back in the postseason. The Bucks were active in the postseason, undergoing a complete roster makeover. Adding players like Jason Terry, Michael Beasley, Spencer Hawes and Matthew Dellavedova. However, it was a player on their roster named Giannis Antetokounmpo that had the biggest impact on the Bucks making it back to the playoffs. Antetokounmpo nicknamed the “Greek Freak” became an overnight sensation for the Bucks, averaging a team best 22.9 points, 8.8 rebounds and 5.4 points per game. Giannis Antetokounmpo would be named an All-Star for the first time in his career, as he was named the NBA’s Most Improved Player. The Bucks threaded water over much of the first half of the season, as they went into the New Year at .500, with a record of 16-16. January would be a rough month for Milwaukee, as they posted a record of 5-10, suffering through an 11-game stretch that carried into February, where the won just one game. Things got even tougher in February as Jabari Parker, who was second on the team in scoring with 20.1 per game suffered a season ending torn ACL during a 106-88 loss to the Miami Heat on February 8th. The loss of Parker forced Giannis Antetokounmpo to take a greater role on the team, which ended up helping the Bucks fortunes turnaround. The loss of Parker also led to a greater role for rookie Malcolm Brogdon. Brogdon would have a strong second half, finishing the season with 10.2 points per game, as he became the second player not drafted in the first round in the lottery era to win Rookie of the Year. The new look Bucks charged through March, winning 14 of 18 games, to get back into playoff position. They would go on to finish sixth in the Eastern Conference with a record of 42-40.
2017 Playoffs: In the NBA Playoffs, the Milwaukee Bucks gave the Toronto Raptors reasons to fear the deer right away as they put forth a dominate effort in Game 1, winning in Toronto 97-83, as Giannis Antetokounmpo led the way with 28 points. The Greek Freak had another big game three nights later, scoring 24 points with 15 boards, but it was not enough as the Raptors evened the series with a 106-100 win. In Game 3 at BMO Harris Bradley Center, the Bucks were again large and in charge, winning 104-77 as Khris Middleton led the way with 20 points. Toronto though battled back to with an 87-76 win in Game 4, and took the series lead with a 118-93 win in Game 5 in Toronto. Needing a win to force a seventh game, the Bucks got a big game from Giannis Antetokounmpo, who scored 34 points with nine rebounds. However, it would not be enough as the Raptors won 92-89 to eliminate the Bucks in six games.
2017/18: With Giannis Antetokounmpo on the verge of becoming a superstar, the Milwaukee Bucks were poised for big things as they played in their finals season at the BMO Harris Bradley Center. After being named the NBA’s Most Improved Player in 2017, Antetokounmpo became a force on the boards, as he had a double-double nearly every night, as he had a team-high 26.9 points and ten rebounds per game. Also, having a big season was Khris Middleton, who averaged a career-high 20.1 ppg. Despite the dynamic play of Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton, the Bucks were underperforming, holding a 19-15 record at the start of the New Year. When January began, the Bucks faltered, losing 7-of-11 games, which led to the dismissal of coach Jason Kidd. Joe Prunty would lead Milwaukee for the remainder of the season. While they won their first four games under their new coach, the Bucks still could not win on a consistent basis as they posted a record of 44-38, which was good enough to finish seventh.
2018 Playoffs:In the playoffs, the Milwaukee Bucks would face the Boston Celtics in the first round. A considerable underdog, the Bucks began to show just how dangerous of a team they could be if they were firing on all cylinders, especially with Giannis Antetokounmpo putting up a monster performance. In the opener, the Bucks pushed the Celtics to overtime before losing 113-107, as Antetokounmpo had 35 points and 13 boards to lead the way. The Celtics would also take Game 2 by a score of 120-106 to take a 2-0 series lead. However, once the series shifted to Cream City, the Bucks’ hard work began to pay off, as the record a 116-92 win in Game 3, with Khris Middleton having the hot hand, with 23 points, eight rebounds and seven assists. The Bucks would square the series at two games apiece with a 104-102 win in Game 4 as the Freak led the way with 27 points. After Boston won Game 5 at TD Garden 97-86, the Bucks kept the home fires burning with a 97-86 win in Game 6 as Giannis Antetokounmpo had 31 points and 14 boards to lead the way. That would be the final game for the old Bradley Center, as the home team won all seven games, with Boston recording a 112-96 win in the finale.
2018/19: A new age arrived in Milwaukee, with the opening of Fiserv Forum, a $550 million arena that assured the Bucks would stay in Wisconsin for the next 25 years. With the opening of the new arena came a new coach as Mike Budenholzer was hired away from the Atlanta Hawks to lead an up and coming team in the Eastern Conference. After starting the season with a 113-112 win over the Charlotte Hornets, the Bucks opened the Four-One-Forum with a 118-101 win over the Indiana Pacers on October 19th, as Giannis Antetokounmpo led the way with 26 points and 16 rebounds. Milwaukee would go on to win their first seven games, as people across the NBA were coming to Fear the Deer. While the Bucks were unable to keep up the winning pace in November, it was evident by the end of December; they had finally arrived among the NBA’s elite teams. Giannis Antetokounmpo was a big reason why as the Greek Freak continued to improve, as he was among the NBA’s leading scorers with a career-best 27.7 points per game. He also had a career-high in rebounds with 12.5 per game and assists at 5.4. After ending December with a 25-10 record, the Bucks took off in the New Year, going 22-4 over the next two months combined. Most nights it was Giannis Antetokounmpo doing his thing, as the Bucks climbed to the top of the Eastern Conference standings, as they easily won their first division title in 18 years. The Bucks would finish the year with the best record in the NBA at 60-22, as Mike Budenholzer was named Coach of the Year. Meanwhile, Giannis Antetokounmpo became the first MVP in Milwaukee since Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. The highlight of Antetokounmpo’s came on St. Patrick’s Day, as he scored career-high 52 points with 16 rebounds as the Bucks lost a thriller to the Philadelphia 76ers 130-125.
2019 Playoffs:In the first round, the Milwaukee Bucks were matched up against the Detroit Pistons. Game 1 would be a preview of things to come, as Bucks won with ease, 121-86 as Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 24 points with 17 rebounds. With Eric Bledsoe scoring 27, the Bucks would also win Game 2 at Fiserv Forum 120-99. In Detroit, the Bucks domination continued as they won Game 3 by a score of 119-103. They would complete the sweep with a 127-104 win as Antetokounmpo scored 41 in the clincher. The Bucks would then move on to face the Boston Celtics, who beat them in a homecourt series in 2018. This would not be a homecourt series, as the Celtics won the opener in Milwaukee 112-90. Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 29 points, as the Bucks bounced back with a 123-102 win in Game 2. As the series shifted to Boston, The Greek Freak began to take over, scoring 32 points with 13 rebounds and eight assists as the Bucks took down Boston 123-116 in Game 3. Giannis Antetokounmpo was even better in Game 4, scoring 39 points with 16 boards as the Bucks again won at TD Garden 113-101. Back in Milwaukee, the Bucks would close out the series with a 116-91 win to reach the Eastern Conference Finals for the first time since 2001. Facing the Toronto Raptors, the Bucks got a strong performance from Brook Lopez, with 29 points in Game 1, winning 108-100. In Game 2, it was all Giannis Antetokounmpo as the Freak scored 30 points with 17 boards to lead the Bucks to a 125-103 win. With a chance to take a 3-0 lead in Toronto, the Bucks suffered a frustrating 118-112 loss in double overtime, as Giannis Antetokounmpo had 23 rebounds, but struggled to find the scoring range with 12 points. The Raptors would also take Game 4 by a score of 120-102 to even the series. The Bucks appeared on the way to a home win in Game 5, but unraveled in the fourth quarter, allowing Toronto to win record a 105-99 win to take the series lead. A series lead, the Bucks would never get back as the Raptors clinched a trip to the NBA Finals with a 100-94 win in Game 6 as it seemed th at Giannis Antetokounmpo ran out of gas in the end.
©MMXX Tank Productions. Stats researched by Frank Fleming, all information, and team names are property of the National Basketball Association. This site is not affiliated with the Milwaukee Bucks of the NBA. This site is maintained for research purposes only. All logos used on this page were from Chris Creamer’s Sports Logos Page.
Page created on December 3, 2002. Last updated on February 26, 2020 at 11:00 pm ET.