Giannis went from Bucks ‘freak’ to MVP frontrunner in 2019

Giannis Antetokounmpo James Harden

Enlarge Image Giannis Antetokounmpo James Harden Anthony J. Causi Getty Images

Stern first-year Ryan Whelan noted how this season marked an important point in the 24-year-old's career. I think he plays, but he looked injured in the last game he took the court and after that the Pistons sat him for the final game of the regular season.

The NBA playoffs consist of eight teams from the Eastern Conference and eight teams from the Western Conference to make 16 in total.

This year's version of the Pistons is the definition of mediocrity, finishing 41-41.

Denver defeated Golden State in their first meeting back in October but lost the remaining three regular season games, with the Warriors overtaking the early pacesetters to finish atop the West. He says a championship was a testament to his hard work on the court, but it didn't fix any personal relationships in his life or eliminate any worry - some of which has impacted his relationships with his current teammates and the franchise. Seeding number matters far less this year than it has in previous years, so it shouldn't come as a shock to see a lower-seeded team win.

Bucks To Offer Fan Giveaways And Activities On The Plaza In Front Of Fiserv Forum For First Round Of 2019 NBA Playoffs: The Bucks announced Tuesday afternoon the game giveaways and pregame festivities that will go down throughout the first round of this year's playoffs, which opens up this weekend.

However, not to rile up the local folks, but I'm not buying the Bucks as a true championship contender just yet.

Despite winning an MVP award and somehow pulling off the incredible feat of three straight seasons of averaging a triple-double, there are still some who question if Westbrook's talent leads to playoff wins.

Today's National Basketball Association requires you to have at least two or three legitimate all-stars to be a true contender. Same with LeBron [James].

Mike Budenholzer will likely deploy Eric Bledsoe and Khris Middleton a lot more in the postseason than he did in the regular season and the undersized Pistons guards might have trouble staying in front of those two guys.

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Reigning champions Golden State Warriors are considered a "super-team" given their level of star power and are heavy favourites to retain their crown at 4/9.

Now, five years later, the No. 1 seeded Warriors are overwhelming favorites, hoping to make this series short and sweet.

However, the Bucks got some good news over the latter half of the week that could stifle some of the frontcourt mismatches. Whoever wins that series should go on to win it all. They also posted a 40-12 record in conference games. I just want to play great basketball every second I'm on the court, and that was a flawless opportunity for me to do so. However, I'm still picking the Warriors until someone proves otherwise. While his stats were slightly better when he was with the Oklahoma City Thunder, Durant now has two rings to his name.

There are plenty of must-see players in this year's National Basketball Association playoffs.

It was much tighter in the Western Conference with the Portland Trailblazers in third and the Houston Rockets in fourth both finishing with 53 wins and 29 losses. Expect Golden State to take a 1-0 series lead en route to a series that should be over in 5 games or less.

"It's a great feeling", Bucks All-Star Khris Middleton said.

Even if Mirotic isn't ready to play, the Bucks are going to use their three-point shooting and strong defense to get past the Pistons quickly.

Kevin Durant's decision to sign with the Golden State Warriors was undoubtedly one of the most controversial sports decisions this century, and perhaps ever. My hunch is Durant will leave in the offseason, knowing he has to carry a team to a title somewhere else to get recognized in the same breath as LeBron James.

"We've got nothing to lose", Clippers guard Patrick Beverley said.

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