Despite a head coaching change in the middle of the season, the Bucks managed to make the postseason in consecutive seasons for the first time since 2003. The team was led by MVP candidate Giannis Antetokounmpo and the underrated Khris Middleton. Middleton’s return to his durable self was a nice change from the 2016-17 season when a torn hamstring limited him to just 29 games.
The Bucks medical staff is comprised of a stable of smart minds from a variety of backgrounds. Dr. Troy Flanagan enters his fourth season as Director of Performance after spending the majority of his career working with Olympic athletes from both the United States and Australia. Head athletic trainer Scott Faust has worked in the NBA since 2006 and enters his third year as the lead in Milwaukee. Suki Hobson, the team’s Senior Strength and Rehabilitation Specialist, also brings an international flair having worked with the Australian Football League while running her own performance company, Athlete Revolution International. Her work with ACL injuries has proven particularly helpful.
Last season the medical team managed to keep the top of the roster healthy with the five-man unit of Giannis, Middleton, Eric Bledsoe, Tony Snell, and John Henson combining to miss just 21 games all season. Unfortunately significant injuries to their role players elevated their injury totals and challenged the team’s depth. Mirza Teletovic missed 56 games with a knee injury and subsequent blood clot while a Grade 3 ankle sprain cost Matthew Dellavedova 29 straight games. Former Rookie of the Year Malcolm Brogdon also missed time with a partially torn quadriceps tendon.
The team has dealt with several issues during the preseason but carefully managed these seemingly minor injuries. The team will now enter the season ready to improve on new head coach Mike Budenholzer and achieve the postseason success that has eluded them for years.