It was merely a day ago the Milwaukee Bucks were handed their second loss of this road trip, an OT defeat at the hands of the Los Angeles Clippers, but they close out the trek with a game against the Denver Nuggets tonight.
In what turned into a narrow loss after Lou Williams dropped in a loft shot to seal the deal, Milwaukee is hoping to get back to their stalwart defensive ways. That won’t be easy against a Denver team that ranks ninth in offensive rating. Khris Middleton has seemed off since his sweltering start, but Milwaukee needs him to play like the team’s second best player if they hope to head home with a split on this road trip.
Player to Watch: Brook Lopez
Brook bombed home six 3-pointers in yesterday’s game, but cooled off in the second half. He’s been a prime part of their offensive flow with his willingness to launch from deep seemingly whenever he has a sliver of space. The more interesting part this evening will be how he manages to guard Nikola Jokic, who can shoot and facilitate from anywhere on the court. We’ll have to see if Denver tries to utilize the same pick and pop attack that Boston did.
After a hot start to the year, Denver is coming off two straight losses including one on Friday to Brooklyn, 112-110. Jokic had an outrageous 37 points and 21 rebounds in that one. Their improvement this season has primarily been on the defensive end, where they’ve vaulted from the 23rd best defensive rating in the league to the stingiest, per NBA.com. I’m a little surprised their offense hasn’t been quite as potent as many thought before the year, but they’re still in the upper echelon in that regard.
Player to Watch: Jamal Murray
His much-ballyhooed 48-point game put Murray in the national spotlight, and he has the makeup of the guard that can shoot off the dribble, thus damaging Milwaukee’s defense. He’s been off from deep though this year, hitting just 29.5% of his 5.1 3-point attempts per game. Hopefully he won’t heat up tonight and break out of that spell.
Game 13: Against the Nuggets, the Bucks will...
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