The Milwaukee Bucks will play their final of a three game homestand against the Utah Jazz tonight. The two teams had played shortly after Thanksgiving with Utah shooting the Bucks out of the arena with the final score of 121-108. The Bucks will hope to complete their back-to-back revenge weekend after winning last night against the Dallas Mavericks.
Milwaukee almost caused a meltdown for Bucks nation last night, but their 109-102 win over the Dallas Mavericks delayed that for now. The past two weeks have been good for the Bucks in terms of wins, as the team has won six of their last eight and have snuck into the top four of the Eastern conference. The Bucks seem to alternate between aggressive and conservative schemes defensively, while the offense is still powered by the trio of Giannis Antetokounmpo, Khris Middleton, and Eric Bledsoe. The starters have still been very good while it seems like at least one person from the bench steps in when needed.
Bucks Player to Watch: Thon Maker
After struggling all season to do almost everything, Thon Maker had his best game of the season last night. In the second half, Thon seemed to be in the rights spots defensively and was grabbing key rebounds down the stretch in last night’s win. He has been the closing center the last two nights and maybe that’s Kidd once again gaining confidence in him. Maker will most likely have his hands full with Rudy Gobert, but if he can continue being in the right spots when needed that will be a bonus for the Bucks.
Utah is another team that is also playing better basketball of late. Despite two straight losses against the Oklahoma City Thunder and Houston Rockets, Utah has shown its offensive firepower having the third highest offensive rating in the last ten games according to NBA.com. A key part of that better play is Utah was able to get back its best player, Rudy Gobert, from an injury he sustained earlier this season. His rim protection is always a tough obstacle for opposing offenses and that combined with the previously mentioned improved offense will always make them a tough opponent.
Jazz Player to watch: Donovan Mitchell
The rookie has been one of the top big league freshman this season and has also been on a tear the past week including scoring 41 points last Friday. The Louisville product has been able to both attack the rim and shoot the three and is a perfect fit in this Jazz starting lineup. With Tony Snell looking to be out injured, it will be important for either Eric Bledsoe, Malcolm Brogdon, or Gary Payton II to stay with him.