Saturday we witnessed the Bucks do something they had not been able to do in three weeks, win consecutive basketball games. They put a stranglehold on the Los Angeles Lakers and left the arena with a 98-90 victory that has kept the good times rolling in Milwaukee. Tonight, the Memphis Grizzlies are stopping by and considering the pace at which both teams play, it’s going to be an especially grind-y affair. Bring your lunch pail, pop your blue collar, and roll up your sleeves as we preview tonight’s action.
Ever since Eric Bledsoe was acquired, and promptly inserted into the starting lineup, the Bucks have been, in a word, rolling. A weekend back-to-back sweep has Milwaukee feeling all kinds of momentum and all of a sudden basketball is fun again. Giannis Antetokounmpo notched his seventh 30+ point performance of the season on Saturday night, while also collecting 15 rebounds, and continues to wreck opposing defenses. Since being relegated to the bench to make room for Bledsoe, Malcolm Brogdon has shown no signs of slowing down his scintillating sophomore season start. His contributions have been more than welcomed for a bench unit that had been providing less than inspiring results.
Player to Watch: Eric Bledsoe
Smilin’ Bledsoe has injected some optimism into the Milwaukee Buck fan base and gets a good test tonight against Mike Conley. Bledsoe had a bit of an off night on Saturday against the Lakers, but looks to rebound against an underrated Conley. His ability to be quick on the break and in the half-court will be a welcomed reprieve from the slog that this game figures to be. Bledsoe has hit it off immediately with Giannis, as far as transitional highlight reels go, and how he communicates on both ends of the court with whatever lineup he finds himself in will be something to take note of.
Memphis rumbles into Milwaukee on the heels of a 111-96 loss to the Houston Rockets where the score made the game appear closer than it actually was. The longtime dynamic duo of Mike Conley and Marc Gasol continue to be the engine that keeps the Grizzlies hanging on in the Western Conference playoff mix. Memphis’ sixth man, Tyreke Evans, is averaging nearly 18 points and 27 minutes a game. Chandler Parsons, he of an emoji battle and max contract, has yet to rebound from his disappointing debut season in Memphis last year. The former Florida Gator is still averaging career low numbers ever since donning the Memphis jersey.
Player to Watch: Marc Gasol
John Henson and Thon Maker have a propensity to foul and Gasol is a seasoned veteran who will look to bruise his way to the basket and to the charity stripe. Even in his age 33 season, Gasol is putting up numbers that are right up there with his career highs. He is averaging a touch under nine rebounds a game and the Bucks have had issues dealing with physical big men so far this season. If Gasol’s impact can be mitigated, then Memphis’ half-court offense will grind to a near halt as Mike Conley’s favorite option becomes a secondary option.
What Vegas Says
The experts over at Bovada Sportsbook have the Bucks as four point favorites over the Grizzlies. The over/under line is set at 202 which is the lowest of any game tonight, but still feels a bit too high.