As superstars were moving from team to team and reshaping the NBA's landscape last summer, the team with the league's best record during the 2018-19 regular season had a different focus. The Milwaukee Bucks' big offseason additions were veteran role players Kyle Korver, Robin Lopez and Wesley Matthews.
With reigning MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo under contract, the Bucks didn't have to attract a superstar to Milwaukee. Instead, they prioritized re-signing their own key free agents, bringing back starters Brook Lopez and Khris Middleton and sixth man George Hill after signing starting point guard Eric Bledsoe to an extension during the season.
So while luxury-tax concerns did cost the Bucks starting guard Malcolm Brogdon, moved to the Indiana Pacers in a sign-and-trade deal, they returned a larger percentage of their playoff minutes (84.5%) than any other East team that won a series. (The defending champion Toronto Raptors were second among this group at 70% despite Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard departing in free agency, with the Boston Celtics and Philadelphia 76ers both losing players who accounted for more than half their playoff minutes.)
"We talked about it a lot this summer that our continuity, we thought, was one of the biggest things we had in our favor," coach Mike Budenholzer told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. "[General manager] Jon Horst and the front office and ownership just did an amazing job to bring back so much of a really good team, which is hard in today's age, today's game."
After an offseason with unprecedented turnover among contending teams, it's worth asking just how important continuity is to the handful of teams like the Bucks that largely kept their cores intact.
Where does continuity help, and where might its benefit be overstated?