Milwaukee’s crumbling the castle walls of Sacramento’s shiny Golden 1 Center on Tuesday, 112-87, restored some balance to what was a wobbly situation after an ugly loss to Utah. Now, they’ve got the ball rolling a bit following their take down of Portland on Thursday and are aiming for a repeat performance tonight against Sacramento.
Milwaukee took apart Portland’s game plan with their length Thursday night, notching 27 points off turnovers. The Blazers main offensive success came from a series of blown coverage on Nurkic rolls to the rim. Sacramento doesn’t have the skilled personnel to decimate Milwaukee that way, and De’Aaron Fox looked every bit the rookie against Eric Bledsoe’s vice-grip defense last time. Sacramento’s skinny Skal frontline cracked like a toothpick against Giannis rim rattling and I expect more of the same tonight. Sacramento barely had a chance to make it a game with it well out of reach by halftime. Let’s agree that getting to see plenty of D.J. Wilson would be a good sign (long-term talent implications aside *sigh*)
Player to Watch: Eric Bledsoe
After an arctic start to his Milwaukee shooting start, Bledsoe’s been on point the prior two games. He’s gone 17-27 and tallied 46 over that spread. That’s on top of his defense, which has abused point guards in the backcourt with his slippery strength overcoming screens. He flashed some quick midrange jumpers against Portland and had them rattle in for once. Sacramento struggled mightily preventing Milwaukee from leveraging early-shot clock looks and Bledsoe’s pace helped fuel that easy offense.
Sacramento was off all week until last night’s one-point victory over the Chicago Bulls, 107-106. Zach Randolph led the way with 25 points and 13 rebounds for the Kings over a Chicago team that has now lost eight straight. Sacramento notched only its third road win of the season, but they will need to play markedly better than they did Tuesday night in order to get their fourth in Milwaukee. The Bucks bullied them in all facets of the game so we will see whether they can flash some competency tonight, particularly from their fleet of young’uns.
Player to Watch: Zach Randolph
Randolph went for just 10 points against Milwaukee on Tuesday night, but his unique low-post ground and pound moves could flummox John Henson on occasion. His bulk can be a problem, but hopefully Henson’s length can offset that issue. Randolph is well past his prime but can still be a potent force against a team not prepared for his uniquely lethargic paint game.