The Milwaukee Bucks have played more games than anyone in March and it’s showing as the losses are piling up one after another.
The Milwaukee Bucks have cruised through most of the season without much competition. After beginning the season with a disappointing 2-2 season, they 22 out of their next 23 games and accrued a 24-3 record. They put it on cruise control from there piling up a 52-8 victory following a victory over the Charlotte Hornets on March 1st.
Unfortunately, the grind of the NBA season has hit them hard. Their loss to the Denver Nuggets on Monday night marked their third straight and fourth in their last five. A losing streak like this hasn’t been seen in Milwaukee since the 2017-18 season.
Part of their recent slide is due to injury. After a hard fall against the Los Angeles Lakers, Giannis Antetokounmpo missed consecutive games against the Phoenix Suns and the Nuggets. He’s set to be re-evaluated early this week ahead of their critical matchup against the Boston Celtics.
Bucks’ head coach Mike Budenholzer was also missing George Hill and Eric Bledsoe due to injury on Monday night. Furthermore, he elected to rest Brook Lopez, Khris Middleton, Donte DiVincenzo and Marvin Williams in the contest. And it’s hard to blame him.
Since February 20th, the Bucks have played the single most games in the league at 11. That includes eight road contests and three back-to-backs. During that span, 11 teams have played 10 games, 15 teams have played nine games and three teams have played eight games.
Since March 1st, the Bucks have also played the single most games in the league at six, iincluding five road games and two back-to-backs. During that span, nine teams have played five games, 19 teams have played four games and one team has played three games.
The recent losing streak makes a 70-win season nearly impossible–the Bucks would have to win their next (and last) 17 games just to get to 70. However, that milestone was never on their mind, as they’ve been all about winning the NBA Championship this season.
Budenholzer smartly rested his players on Monday night, knowing it was a mostly meaningless game against a Western Conference opponent. By doing so, he proved he’s thinking long term and isn’t trying to push his guys too hard with a little over a month still remaining in the NBA season. Still, it’s hard not to wonder just how exhausted the Bucks are right now.