Those two players are obviously Giannis Antetokounmpo and Jabari Parker. Khris Middleton would be in the starting lineup, but a hamstring injury has ruled him out for almost all of the upcoming season.
A recent addition to the Bucks has a great chance to join that duo and take his spot in the starting five too. After the trade which led Tony Snell to Milwaukee was announced, Jason Kidd said he expects the wing to be a starter this season.
This makes sense because Snell plays a similar role to Middleton, even if not at the same level, in that he plays good defense and can hit threes.
Another new addition is a lock to be a starter this year in Matthew Dellavedova. After being a backup to Kyrie Irving in Cleveland, Delly should have no one in his was to starting as Milwaukee’s off ball guard, especially with Michael Carter-Williams now a member of the Chicago Bulls.
With a new contract secured, Miles Plumlee should see his return to the starting lineup because of how well he played with Point Giannis after the All-Star break last season too.
The real question is, what kind of numbers will the projected starters put up this season compared to their numbers from last year? Let me walk you through my predictions for each player!
2015-16 per game stats: 7.5 PTS, 2.1 TRB, 4.4 AST, 41.0 3PT%
Predicted 2016-17 per game stats: 10.2 PTS, 2.6 TRB, 2.6 AST, 38.7 3PT%
The man who boasts Outback Jesus among his multiple nicknames will find himself in a larger role than ever before this season. Delly will be relied upon to hit threes on a consistent basis, which is why I believe there will a jump in his points per game.
However, Dellavedova will likely attempt more threes than he ever has in his career, which means his three-point field goal percentage is bound to go down. Dellavedova’s rebounds should stay around the same, because he is not the most athletic player. His assists should go down because Giannis running the point means that Delly doesn’t need to be a distributor.
Instead of being with LeBron James, Delly will be with another point forward, so don’t count on a drop off from him, count on him to thrive in his new starting role.
2015-16 per game stats: 5.3 PTS, 3.1 TRB, 1.0 AST, 36.1 3PT%
Predicted 2016-17 per game stats: 9.6 PTS, 3.4 TRB, 1.3 AST, 40.9 3PT%
After finding himself out of the rotation in Chicago, Tony Snell is going to be thrust in to a starting role with his new team.
Being a poor man’s Khris Middleton, Snell fits the role of a 3-and-D wing, though not nearly as efficiently as Middleton. Snell should see all of his starts jump higher, as he will get more minutes.
Expect the newest Milwaukee Buck to cause problems for opposing backcourts with his three-point shooting and defense. Snell and Delly (dare we call them Snelly) should be a dynamic backcourt in an odd sense.
Mandatory Credit: Mary Langenfeld-USA TODAY Sports
Giannis Antetokounmpo, Guard/Forward
2015-16 per game stats: 16.9 PTS, 7.7 TRB, 4.3 AST, 25.7 3PT%
Predicted 2016-17 per game stats: 22.1 PTS, 9.6 TRB, 8.8 AST, 35.3 3PT%
Where do I start with this kid. Giannis should be an All-Star this year, but he needs All-Star level stats to even be considered. Looking at my predictions, Antetokounmpo increases all of his stats, and comes pretty close to averaging a triple-double. I believe that Giannis will come closer to doing that then the current frontrunner, Russell Westbrook.
Probably the most shocking prediction listed is the Greek Freak’s increase in three-point field goal percentage. Through five preseason games, Giannis’s jump shot has looked smooth, and I’d expect him to take and connect on a couple of open threes every game.
Giannis should lead the team in rebounds and assists because he will do just about everything for this team except physically put them on his back.
2015-16 per game stats: 14.1 PTS, 5.2 TRB, 1.7 AST, 25.7 3PT%
Predicted 2016-17 per game stats: 24.2 PTS, 6.5 TRB, 2.7 AST, 30.3 3PT%
Like Giannis, assume that Jabari takes the quantum leap this year. Coming in to the league, Parker was thought of as the next Carmelo Anthony-type four. However, he has had some setbacks in his path to date, but that shouldn’t stop you from expecting Major Cat to destroy the league this year.
Spoiler alert, I am predicting Jabari to score more than Miles Plumlee. Parker should be the highest scorer on the team. With Khris Middleton out, this crown was going to either Antetokounmpo or Parker. With Giannis running the point this year, he will have more to do. Jabari will only have one job; score.
Jabari scored a lot last year on the baseline and one-dribble moves, but he has added to his game. His three pointer is looking better, so his percentage should do up. Also, he seems like he has the largest vertical jump on the roster, so dunks from any angle shouldn’t be a problem for the now third-year player out of Duke.
2015-16 per game stats: 5.1 PTS, 2.8 TRB, 0.3 AST, 0.0 FG3%
Predicted 2016-17 per game stats: 8.9 PTS, 6.9 TRB, 0.6 AST, 100.0 FG3%
Time needs to taken to appreciate the fact that Miles Plumlee is the only player still on the team from the Brandon Knight trade. The Plumlord has found himself a niche on the Milwaukee Bucks as an efficient screen setter, rim runner, and lob catcher. Plumlee pairs especially well with Point Giannis, and due to this, his points per game should increase.
His rebounds per game should go up as well due to his increased role, while his assists should stay pretty close to zero as usual.
My bold prediction with Miles Plumlee is that he will shoot 100 percent from three this year. This is an audacious forecast for a player who has never attempted a three-pointer in his career, but I just have a strange feeling that Plumlee will shoot one three all season, and make it, giving him a 100 percent mark from three, leading the team.