The Bucks dropped a tough game in Cleveland Thursday night despite a sensational outing by Giannis Antetokounmpo. Giannis' career-high 33 points led all scorers in a game that featured a whole mess of strong performances (neither team played a whole heck of a lot of defense).
It wasn't just Giannis who had Bucks fans shaking off the loss in favor of a renewed focus on things yet to come. Jabari Parker made a surprise return to the starting lineup and looked as good as he has all season, throwing down yet another monster dunk on Kevin Love and showing off his versatile in-between game.
Those two players will take center stage again tonight, but once again they'll be facing a player whose stardom is already well established.
Paul George is back, and the Pacers have followed
Whatever misgivings he may have about his position, there's no denying that Paul George is getting it done for Indiana. George has been sensational in 12 games this season, blowing away his career-highs in categories across the board. George has scored at least 26 points in eight straight games, averaging roughly 30/8/4.5 and shooting over 50% from behind the arc as the Pacers have gone 6-2. Simply put, what we were justifiably thrilled to see out of Giannis Thursday night was basically what George has been doing every night.
Indiana really seems to be hitting its stride lately, with the only two losses in the aforementioned stretch coming at the hands of the Cavaliers and Bulls, the latter being a one-point loss on the road. Indiana's defense is once again one of the league's best, and they excel at both forcing turnovers and keeping opponents off the line. That seond point could be especially bad news for the Bucks, who rely on getting to the line a fair amount to make up for a general lack of three-point shooters.
Daily Fantasy Tip
Paul George is simply on fire right now, and even a high price tag might not be enough to discourage folks from letting him ride in their lineups. Against a defensively-challenged team like Milwaukee, George could be primed for another monster game, particularly on the glass (he's pulled down at least 9 boards in 9 of 12 games this season). The offsetting factor is that George's increased workload has meant a few high-turnover games, and forcing turnovers is the one spot where Milwaukee's defense excels.
On the flip side, it's hard to decide whether Giannis Antetokounmpo can be relied upon just yet to put up numbers like he did in Cleveland on a regular basis. With playing the nominal power forward spot, Giannis could be freed from his defensive clutches and instead facing up against C.J. Miles, a much shorter (both literally and figuratively) task. After seeing what he just did, it's easy to jump on board and hope things keep rolling, but consistency of results haven't quite been established just yet. Personally, I'd probably avoid Giannis in lineups for tonight and hope he makes a fool out of me.
SB Nation's partner FanDuel is running a FREE money fantasy basketball league for new members tonight. Half of the league wins cash. Join now!
(Editor's Note: all the opinions expressed here are my own. FanDuel gave me some cash to play daily fantasy games)
|15/16 NBA Season|
|November 21, 2015|
|Bankers Life Fieldhouse | Indianapolis, IN|
|FSN Wisconsin | 620 WTMJ|
|George Hill (q)||PG||Michael Carter-Williams|
|Monta Ellis||SG||Khris Middleton|
|C.J. Miles||SF||Giannis Antetokounmpo|
|Paul George||PF||Jabari Parker|
|Ian Mahinmi||C||Greg Monroe|
|15/16 Advanced Stats|
|96.1 (18th)||Pace||91.5 (30th)|
|101.6 (22nd)||ORtg||104.1 (12th)|
|99.0 (4th)||DRtg||111.4 (30th)|