To say Milwaukee Bucks basketball in the month of November was dull would be incorrect. The month started with a team that was struggling to either generate offense, play defense, or sometimes both. Then came the big Eric Bledsoe trade and Milwaukee started notching some wins. That of course came crashing down with the team getting demolished by the Dallas Mavericks and has brought inconsistent performances since then. Tonight the Bucks say goodbye to November basketball and play the Portland Trailblazers, who they previously defeated earlier in the season.
Well as it was mentioned earlier, Milwaukee has been inconsistent in this road trip. Struggling to beat the Phoenix Suns without Giannis Antetokounmpo, and then getting lit up by the Utah Jazz. Milwaukee however was able to put together its best performance of the season by boatracing the Sacramento Kings on Tuesday 112-87. Portland will be the best team Milwaukee will play on this four game Western road trip and should give a better indication on if the changes installed Tuesday night are legit. The team should have some confidence however having defeating the Blazers earlier in the season.
Bucks Player to Watch: Tony Snell
With Jason Kidd seemingly wanting to change the lineup whenever he wants; it has left a few players to try and figure out what they should do in the new situation. Tony Snell has seemed to respond by putting together different facets of his game. This has led to him being one of the few bright spots in the Utah game scoring 18 points. While he is still shooting the ball at a very good rate, leading the league in true shooting percentage, he has also added in dribble drives and is already looking better shooting floaters than Delly. The biggest worry with Snell was that after his contract, he would see his shooting dip badly. Now that worry seems to have passed which is great news for everybody.
Portland has been playing very well lately, with a three game winning streak and winning four of their last five games all on the road. After the road trip over in the East Coast, Portland will return back home and well rested playing their last game Monday Night. Portland has done a good job defensively also only allowing 98.6 points per game and currently rank second in defensive rating.
Blazers Player to Watch: Damian Lillard
Lillard has once again gotten himself buckets averaging 25.7 points per game this season and scoring at least 25 points in the last four games. In the first matchup Lillard struggled to get his shot going until the last few moments of the game and Milwaukee needs to be cautious about that. Lillard has the speed and shooting ability to burn Milwaukee depending on how they defend the pick and roll especially. If the Bucks can force him into tough shots, it will give them a much better chance at winning this game.