History indicates Bucks are on pace for NBA Finals

The Milwaukee Bucks certainly hope the cliche “history tends to repeat itself” holds true this season.

The Bucks moseyed into the All-Star break with an NBA-best 46-8 record and a 6 1/2-game lead over second-place Toronto in the Eastern Conference.

Milwaukee’s .852 winning percentage is the seventh-highest mark at the All-Star break in league history. The six teams above the Bucks, a list that includes Michael Jordan’s Chicago Bulls in the mid-1990s and the record-breaking Golden State Warriors in 2015-16, all reached the NBA Finals.

Five of the six teams went on to win the championship with the only exception being Golden State, which (stop us if you’ve heard this before) compiled the best regular-season record in NBA history (73-9) but blew a 3-1 lead in the finals to LeBron James and Cleveland.

SEASON TEAM RECORD WIN% RESULT
2015-16 Golden State 48-4 .923 73-9; Lost Finals
1966-67 Philadelphia 39-4 .907 68-13; Won Finals
1995-96 Chicago 42-5 .894 72-10; Won Finals
1971-72 L.A. Lakers 41-5 .891 69-13; Won Finals
1996-97 Chicago 42-6 .875 69-13; Won Finals
1982-83 Philadelphia 43-7 .860 65-17; Won Finals
2019-20 Milwaukee 46-8 .852 ???

Milwaukee is on pace to become the third team in league history to finish a season with 70+ wins. But, like the Warriors learned in 2016, none of that matters without a trophy to show for it.

The good news is it seems the Bucks’ eyes are on the prize.

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Milwaukee gets back to work Thursday night with a 6 p.m. tip against Blake Griffin and the Detroit Pistons.

The Bucks have won their last six meetings with Detroit dating back to Dec. 5, 2018. If they pull out a win tonight, it’ll tie the franchise mark of seven straight victories against the Pistons set back in 1969 and again in 1970.

NOTABLE

— Antetokounmpo is averaging 30.0 points, 13.5 rebounds and 5.8 assists per contest. Last season, the Greek Freak posted 27.2 points, 12.7 rebounds and 6.0 assists per game before the break. He’s the only player to log a 25-10-5 line at the All-Star break in back-to-back seasons since 1983-84.

— Milwaukee has outscored its opponents in the second quarter in 35 of 54 games, the best mark in the league. You can thank the “bench mob” for this statistic.

— Former Bucks forward Christian Wood is averaging 21.1 points and 10.8 rebounds per 36 minutes as he establishes himself in Detroit.

Statistics courtesy Sportradar, basketball-reference.com