Bucks' Championship Path Just Got Easier Following Injury News to Rival

Things may have gotten much easier for the Bucks in the Eastern Conference title race.
Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

The Milwaukee Bucks aren't going through the easiest stretch of the season, having lost back-to-back games to the lowly Washington Wizards and the Memphis Grizzlies. They are sitting in second place in the Eastern Conference with a 47-29 record despite underwhelming for most of the season. And the basketball gods just gave them another boost to feel hopeful for their playoff run.

One of the hottest teams in the league at various times this season was the New York Knicks. After the blockbuster trade to acquire OG Anunoby mid-season, the Knicks became a formidable team that could be a title contender when healthy.

However, it looks like that will not be the case this season, as the team just announced that All-Star forward Julius Randle will be out for the rest of the year.

This is a massive blow for the Knicks but a huge opportunity for the Bucks. New York is one of the potential opponents Milwaukee can face in the first round. Without Randle, they are a much more beatable team.

Bucks Odds to Win the Eastern Conference

The Knicks aren't the only Eastern Conference team dealing with injuries. The Cavaliers have been one of the most injured teams in the league all season. Philadelphia didn't have Joel Embiid for almost two months. The Miami Heat still have key role players like Tyler Herro out.

These misfortunes not only pushed these teams down the standings so that they wouldn't have home-court advantage against the Bucks, but they also caused a lack of continuity. Moreover, these teams had to push harder with their remaining players, potentially opening the way for fatigue and more injuries.

That is why the Bucks are currently the clear favorite in the Eastern Conference behind the Boston Celtics. At +310 odds to make the NBA Finals, the Bucks have a clear path to at least the Conference Finals, where a matchup with Boston will likely be awaiting them.

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