Preseason NBA Power Rankings: Philadelphia 76ers look like Eastern Elite

(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /
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NBA Power Rankings
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12. Milwaukee Bucks

Last season, Giannis Antetokounmpo survived instability, trades and even the firing of his Hall of Fame head coach Jason Kidd midseason and still found a way to fill how Milwaukee Bucks to the playoffs.

Fast forward one (NBA) calendar year and imagine what he’ll be able to accomplish with Joe Prunty now locked into as the team’s head coach full-time, an interim no more.

With Pat Connaughton, Tim Frazier, Brook Lopez, ex-76ers Christian Wood, and Ersan Ilyasova, and Villanova great Donte DiVincenzo all set to provide Giannis with some reliable outside shooting, this could be the season that the Bucks finally breeze past the .500 mark in route to a four-to-five seed in the 2019 NBA Playoffs.

But will that be enough to take down the Eastern Elite like the Boston Celtics and the Philadelphia 76ers? Probably not.

Don’t get me wrong, Antetokounmpo is a better version of Ben Simmons at this point in his career, but Philly has a much better collection of players surrounding their young position-less star, and should still have the upper hand in a head-to-head matchup.

But still, expect the Bucks to take a step forward in 2018-2019, even if they are unable to make it much further in the playoffs.