The Milwaukee Bucks were eliminated from the postseason on Tuesday, this after losing Game 5 of their second-round playoff series to the Miami Heat, 103-94.
For the second straight season, the Bucks finished with the best record in the NBA – and for the second straight season, they were unable to win the East. After starting 52-8, they went 9-14 in their final 23 games, including the playoffs.
Where they go from here is anybody’s guess.
“Their future is in trouble,” JR SportBrief said on CBS Sports Radio. “That’s as clear as I can say. Yeah, it’d be nice if Giannis stayed in Milwaukee. That would be amazing. But you know what would happen? He would lose. Unless he got in new players and potentially a new coach, he would lose.”
Antetokounmpo, who will likely be named NBA MVP for the second straight season, can become a free agent in 2021. The Bucks won just one game against Miami – Game 4, when Antetokounmpo exited with a sprained ankle.
“It’s hard to go out and play the blame game when everybody has their fair share,” JR said. “But the NBA is a superstar-driven league. The NBA, you can be one solid star and drag your team on your back to the promised land – or at least try. It’s not for everybody. Not everybody will be Larry Bird. Not everybody will be Magic. Not everybody will be Bill Russell. Not everybody will be LeBron James. Not everybody will be Kobe Bryant. Giannis Antetokounmpo is likely to be a two-time NBA MVP, and he might be in a long list of guys who have won the award but could not get to the promised land.”
Charles Barkley knows what that’s like. So does Karl Malone. So does Steve Nash. So does Russell Westbrook. So does James Harden.
Antetokounmpo, of course, has plenty of time to win a ring. But what he’s done so far hasn’t worked.
“He’s 25. He’s accomplished a lot,” JR said. “But he needs to add on to his game or at least have some complementary players who can help him in his skillset and hide how one-dimensional he has been.”