Coming off the most exciting win of the year (a thrilling 103-100 victory over the top-seeded Eastern Conference Boston Celtics IN Boston), the Bucks return to the 414 tonight for a matchup against the Detroit Pistons at the Bradley Center. Milwaukee is still holding their ground in the playoff race, as they’re currently the sixth seed, despite having the same record as the Hawks (remember, Atlanta holds the tiebreaker).
How much confidence are the Bucks playing with right now? Well, let’s just say it’s approaching Stu Feiner levels:
Like Stu in the video, the Bucks are 13-3 in their last 16 games. Something special is happening here, folks. Remember when it seemed as if they were dead in the water and down spiraling towards a possible top-10 pick? Man, how times have changed. If you’re like me (and there’s a strong chance you’ll agree with me), you cannot wait for them to return to the court tonight after that win in Boston. The Fortress on 4th Street is going to be rocking tonight.
This is the fourth and final time Milwaukee will duel it out against Detroit this season. The Bucks come into tonight’s meeting holding a 2-1 record on the year, and it should go to 3-1. While the Bucks are playing like a team headed for a run in the playoffs, the Pistons are playing close to the exact opposite, losing four of their last five and are trailing the Bulls by 1.5 games for the final spot in the East.
If you remember the last game the Bucks played against Detroit back on February 13, you’ll recall two big games by a couple of Bucks players. It was the Michael Beasley folk hero game where he was in the starting lineup and poured in 23 points and it was also the big revenge game for Greg Monroe off the bench, who led the way with 25 points on the night. While Beasley will be sidelined again tonight, anticipate Moose having another strong showing against his former team.
If it’s close down the stretch, there’s a chance we could see our old friend Tobias Harris trade buckets with Giannis. Harris is Detroit’s leading scorer at 16.1 points per game. Obviously that would be entertaining to watch, but let’s hope it doesn’t come down to that and Milwaukee blows their divisional foe out of the water.
As was mentioned above, things are beginning to head south for the Pistons. In fact, not only have they lost four of their last five (and that single win was a one point victory over Brooklyn), but this is a team that is holding a 2-8 record in their last 10 games. Yeesh. You know Stan Van Gundy isn’t a happy man.
One part of this is due to Reggie Jackson being out. He’ll likely not play tonight as he continues to nurse a knee injury, providing Ish Smith with the start. However, Detroit can still throw scoring options at you. Tobias Harris can get hot with a few threes and Marcus Morris can string together multiple buckets (you can bet Milwaukee will be prepared for him tonight after he posted 26 points in their prior meeting).
Andre Drummond will also be a force to be reckoned with. If Thon receives the start tonight, don’t expect him to last long. He’s a twig compared to Drummond and that might be more than the rookie can bite off tonight. In their three meetings so far this season, Drummond is averaging 19 points along with 14.7 boards. Expect a big night from him.
Despite their poor record as of late and this being a game the Bucks should win, don’t just assume automatic victory. If Detroit is rallying for that final playoff spot, they could come out with some fire.
But then again, remember. As I said at the beginning of this post, the Bucks are mirroring Stu Feiner’s intensity. It should be a good one tonight, folks. Get your tickets if you haven’t yet!
Besides Reggie Jackson, Reggie Bullock was questionable their last game with a right foot sprain.