The Larry O'Brien Trophy will forever paint a different picture, but the Bucks weren't the juggernaut this year they've been in the past. They finished third in the East and seventh in the NBA after claiming the No. 1 seed in the playoffs two seasons in a row. They entered the postseason with good-not-great odds to win it all: +800, tied with the 76ers and trailing the Nets, Lakers, Clippers and Jazz.
Hopefully Pistons GM Troy Weaver put some money on them. (Not really, sounds illegal.) Asked on the Stoney and Jansen Show at the start of the play-in round in May to pick the winner of the NBA Finals, Weaver said, "I'm gonna take a shot in the dark. I'll say the Bucks."
Lucky guess? Perhaps. But in a season where Weaver watched the Pistons give a bunch of good teams fits, he also watched them get crushed by Milwaukee. The Bucks were one of only two of the top-eight teams in the East that Detroit didn't beat. Giannis and Co. swept the three-game season series in a span of nine days in January, winning by an average of double digits.
"They’re looking pretty good right now," Weaver said when he joined the show again at the start of the conference finals.
And now Weaver's looking pretty smart.
By the way, a tip of the hat to Dwane Casey, who joined the show early in the second round when the Nets looked like the team to beat and said the Suns were the top challenger in the West.
"The way Phoenix is playing right now, they’re scary," he said. "The way they play, the way they attack, I would say Phoenix is the closest thing (to the Nets)."