The NBA season kick-off is around the corner, and amidst the anticipation, Richard Jefferson ranked the best Big Threes in the league. The Los Angeles Lakers Big Three came in fifth despite the question marks surrounding Russell Westbrook's output. The Minnesota Timberwolves climbed into fourth, given the acquisition of Rudy Gobert to bolster their championship ambitions.
The Boston Celtics finished third behind their 2022 NBA Finals foe – the Golden State Warriors. And to no one's surprise, the Milwaukee Bucks finished first. The only surprise omission in this list would be the Brooklyn Nets, but like the Lakers – there are a lot of question marks surrounding their compatibility.
Giannis, Khris & Jrue
Jrue Holiday's arrival to the Bucks in 2020 changed the franchise's trajectory, making them a consistent contender to win it all. His addition complimented the skillset of Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton to an extent which made the other players step up their game too.
"To me, still, the top three - if you had to pick any top 3 right now - pushing in the same direction, with continuity, with championship pedigree; it is the Milwaukee Bucks," Richard Jefferson said about his choice.
In the 2022 playoffs, the Bucks looked stronger than ever, beating the Chicago Bulls (4-1) comfortably in the first round. But, the absence of Middleton was felt in the Celtics series.
"If not for the injury to Khris Middleton, I truly believe that that team would have been in the NBA Finals, and I don't know how it would have ended," Jefferson claimed.
Irrespective of how their previous season ended, the Bucks will come out stronger – with a chip on their shoulder. Khris Middleton's return date is yet to be confirmed, but it shouldn't take too long for him to recover completely.
The Bucks are now in Abu Dhabi to take on the Atlanta Hawks in the NBA preseason match-ups. The match-ups will mark the first time an NBA game is played in Abu Dhabi, and both teams will get a chance to interact with schools in the area.
Giannis recently posted a video of himself getting involved in the coaching clinics – via the Jr. NBA program – and emphasized the importance of defense.
"Great day in Abu Dhabi, after a 13-hour flight was able to come here and have practice with some kids, which was fun. I think the kids enjoyed it," Giannis said. "This is what basketball is about, basketball brings people together and that is what we did today."
The Bucks and Hawks will play two games against each other, allowing them to extend their fanbase while getting a feeler for the upcoming season.