The Philadelphia 76ers, Miami Heat and New York Knicks are the three favorites to come out of the Eastern Conference in the NBA playoffs this season. However, most experts seem to be passing right over the No. 2 seed Milwaukee Bucks.

The Bucks are by far the most talented offensive team in the East but they have big-time question marks on the other end of the floor.

Whether the Bucks can pull it together to play tough, physical play-off basketball remains to be seen.

But if anyone on the squad knows what it takes to make it to the championship, it?s their point guard, Sam Cassell.

Cassell not only won two rings with the Houston Rockets, but also grew a reputation for hitting big shots.

Despite his amazing track record, there is doubt surrounding Cassell. His leadership abilities have been questioned many times by fans and by sports commentator.

Cassell is going to have to find a way to show the Bucks the light. Even if none of his teammates like him, he can at least lead by example. He must concentrate on disrupting opponent?s offense while on defense. All this really takes is a little heart.

Offensively, Cassell has to better distribute the ball to Ray Allen, Glenn Robinson and Tim Thomas. Cassell averaged about 18 points and seven assists this season, but the Bucks would be better served if his numbers were closer to 15 and nine.

When the game comes down to the wire, he has the fearlessness to take it to the hole and create ? a necessity for any team wanting to go to the next level. Now, there is not great evidence to suggest that Cassell is in the right frame of mind to do all of these things.

But if he wants to win, maybe he will smarten up. If he does so, the road to the finals might just go through Milwaukee.



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