Bucks 2021-22 Schedule: Top Games, Championship Odds and Record Predictions

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorAugust 20, 2021

Milwaukee Bucks' Giannis Antetokounmpo, front right, holds up the NBA Championship Trophy as his mother, Veronica Antetokounmpo, left, takes a photo during a parade for the basketball team's NBA Championship win, Thursday, July 22, 2021, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Jeffrey Phelps)
Jeffrey Phelps/Associated Press

The Milwaukee Bucks are coming off their first NBA championship in 50 years, and now they'll be looking to start a dynasty as the 2021-22 campaign begins.

Two-time NBA MVP and 2021 NBA Finals MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo, who ended the NBA Finals with a 50-point performance against the Phoenix Suns, will lead a talented Bucks crew that returns a pair of Olympic gold medalists in Khris Middleton and Jrue Holiday. Milwaukee also welcomes back some key rotation pieces, including Brook Lopez, Pat Connaughton and Donte DiVincenzo.

Winning the title won't be easy. The Brooklyn Nets, which nearly picked off the Bucks in the playoffs despite missing Kyrie Irving and James Harden, should be Milwaukee's biggest obstacle for the Eastern Conference crown. NBA MVP candidate Joel Embiid and the Philadelphia 76ers should be a formidable threat as well, and the Atlanta Hawks, New York Knicks and Boston Celtics could have a say in the Eastern Conference title race.

The Western Conference should be a gauntlet as usual. The Suns return Chris Paul after he signed a four-year extension, and the 2019-20 NBA champion Los Angeles Lakers added Russell Westbrook and a bevy of talented veterans. Other teams in the mix include the Utah Jazz, Los Angeles Clippers, Denver Nuggets and Dallas Mavericks.

This season doesn't appear to be a year where one or two superteams sit above the rest of the field, so it's anyone's race for the 2022 title. The Bucks are in the mix, though, and here's a look at some notable information following their schedule release.


2021-22 Bucks Schedule Details

Season Opener: at Brooklyn Nets on Oct. 19, 7:30 p.m. ET

Championship Odds: +850 (FanDuel)

Entire 2021-22 Schedule: NBA.com


Top Matchups

Season Opener (Oct. 19) vs. Nets

All four of the Bucks' matchups against the Nets will be crucial and could determine the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference. Last year, Milwaukee outlasted the Nets in a classic second-round series that ended with the Bucks winning Game 7 in overtime. Milwaukee played very well but didn't face a fully healthy Nets team with Harden and Irving both missing time during the series.

If all three enjoy better health in the 2021-22 season, the Nets could be the team to beat despite the Bucks returning most of its championship roster. Still, the Bucks have the best player in the league in Antetokounmpo, and he could take over and will Milwaukee into the championship.

Either way, the Bucks-Nets games should be must-see contests.


Wednesday, Nov. 17 vs. Lakers

Any matchup featuring one of the greatest basketball players of all time (LeBron James) and a player who could be in that conversation someday (Antetokounmpo) is must-watch television.

However, this should be an intriguing battle of big threes, with Khris Middleton and Jrue Holiday flanking Antetokounmpo, and Anthony Davis and Westbrook complementing James.

These two teams could easily find themselves facing each other in the NBA Finals, and their two matchups could be championship previews.


Season Forecast

There's little reason to believe the Bucks won't be making a run at the NBA championship yet again barring Antetokounmpo missing significant time due to injury. Milwaukee built a well-rounded, championship squad around him, and Giannis is capable of taking over at any time.

Outlasting the Nets for first in the East won't be easy, but if the Bucks stay healthy, a 60-win season should be on the horizon.


Record Prediction: 60-22 (No. 1 in Eastern Conference)


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