Bucks 2021 Schedule: Top Games, Updated Championship Odds and Predictions

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistFebruary 24, 2021

Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (34) in the first half of an NBA basketball game Monday, Feb. 8, 2021, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
David Zalubowski/Associated Press

There are only a few legitimate title contenders in any given NBA season. This year, it feels like the two Los Angeles teams and the star-laden Brooklyn Nets are among them. The Utah Jazz and Philadelphia 76ers need to be included in that group as well if they continue their hot starts.

And then, of course, is the Milwaukee Bucks

Led by Giannis Antetokounmpo, the Bucks are loaded with talent yet again, as the two-time defending MVP is flanked by Khris Middleton and Jrue Holiday. The acquisition of Holiday gave the Bucks the best No. 3 option they've had in the Greek Freak years, even if it cost the team some depth. 

Can this team get over the postseason hump and finally get to a NBA Finals? Can they keep pace with the Sixers and Nets? Let's take a look at the schedule they'll face as they look to answer those questions.


Bucks Second-Half Schedule Details

Second-Half Opener: Thursday, March 11 vs. the New York Knicks at 8 p.m. ET

Championship Odds: +700, per FanDuel (bet $100 to win $700)

Second-Half Schedule: NBA.com


Top Matchups

Philadelphia 76ers (March 17, April 22, April 24)

The Sixers and Bucks didn't play in the first half of the season, making these second-half showdowns all the more interesting. 

Both teams have their own versions of "falling short" narratives they are hoping to exorcise. The Bucks have been the top seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs two years running and haven't reached the NBA Finals. The Sixers have yet to fully maximize the potential of Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons. 

But the Sixers have been excellent this year under new head coach Doc Rivers, with a revamped starting lineup that includes Seth Curry and Danny Green providing spacing. Add in Tobias Harris playing the best basketball of his career, and these Sixers are a problem. 

The matchups between these teams will be a fascinating barometer for Eastern Conference supremacy. 


Brooklyn Nets (May 2, May 4)

The Nets haven't had as good a start as the Sixers, but their Big Three of Kevin Durant, James Harden and Kyrie Irving arguably makes them the larger threat. At the very least, no team in the NBA can match the star power Brooklyn brings to the table. 

Most teams play better defense, however. Who on the Nets will guard Antetokounmpo, for instance? Who on the Nets really guards anyone, for that matter?

Granted, the Nets won the first meeting, 125-123. If for no other reason, you'll want to tune in for the rematch to see the pure scoring spectacle on display. Matchup No. 2 could end up being a 135-130 affair. It will be more fun for Bucks fans this time around if Milwaukee gets the dub. 


Second-Half Forecast

The Bucks' ho-hum 19-13 start (well, ho-hum for a team that went 56-17 last year and 60-22 the year before that) isn't cause for concern just yet. Last year's surprising butt-kicking from the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference Semifinals—and this year's lukewarm start—hasn't changed the fact that the Bucks are legitimate title contenders this season. 

The trio of Antetokounmpo, Middleton and Holiday is very, very good. Milwaukee has to answer questions about whether they can translate their usual regular-season success into postseason glory, but do you doubt that this team will kick it into high gear in the second half of the season?

You probably shouldn't. The Bucks handle their business in the regular season. 



The Bucks finish 49-23 and secure the top seed in the East, yet again, just barely clearing the Sixers. 


Must be 21+ and present in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, West Virginia, Colorado, or Tennessee. Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER. See sportsbook.fanduel.com for details.