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Milwaukee Bucks vs. Indiana Pacers Preview: Still Undefeated in the Jason Smith Era

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Milwaukee takes on a defensively stout Pacer squad

NBA: Indiana Pacers at Milwaukee Bucks Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports

Fresh off of a 108-92 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Fiserv Forum, the Giannis Antetokounmpo-less Milwaukee Bucks head to Bankers Life Fieldhouse for a clash against the 17-10 Indiana Pacers.

Bucks Update

Yep, that Cavs game was pretty much decided from midway through the first quarter. Point guard Eric Bledsoe led the Bucks with 20 points, 12 rebounds, 5 assists and only a single turnover in 28 minutes. He really went after Cavs rookie point guard Collin Sexton. Malcolm Brogdon added 18 points, Khris Middleton had 16, and Brook Lopez finished with 12 points and finished plus-32! All starters for the Bucks played less than thirty minutes. Ersan Ilyasova got the start for Giannis Antetokounmpo who was nursing a sore neck.

D.J. Wilson even got valuable minutes... And this happened. We are all witnesses.

Giannis is listed as “probable” for today’s game against the Indiana Pacers.

Player to Watch: Malcolm Brogdon

Brogdon carried the Bucks in the third quarter against the Cavs, roasting Sexton with his drives to the rim. He’s having a career year in terms of efficiency attacking the basket, and you can see his craftiness around the rim having improved from year’s past. He’ll have a tough frontcourt to battle tonight with Myles Turner patrolling the paint.

Pacers Update

Even without point guard Victor Oladipo, the Indiana Pacers have certainly held their own. They’re currently riding a 4-game win streak and sit at 17-10 overall which is second in the Central Division only behind the Bucks. The Pacers picked up a home victory over the Washington Wizards last time out, 109-101. Myles Turner dropped 26 points and Bojan Bogdanovic added 22 of his own. They shot 53.9% from the field and 50% from three. That’ll definitely win you a lot of ball games.

The Pacers have given the Bucks problems in the past, especially at home. Indiana has the third-best DefRtg in the NBA (102.6) but their offense has dipped (understandably) in the absence of Victor Oladipo. The Pacers OffRtg is 19th in the NBA at 107.4.

Oladipo participated in 4-on-4 drills in practice on Tuesday, and the Pacers are listing him as “questionable” for today’s contest. It would not be surprising if he made his return versus the Bucks tonight. With or without him, the Bucks are in for a dogfight against a hot Pacers team.

Player to Watch: Domantas Sabonis

Sabonis has been a saint coming off the bench for the Pacers, carrying averages of 14.2 points and 9.6 rebounds in just 24 minutes per game. He rarely strokes the three, but he dominates down low enough to maintain an absurd 65% effective field goal percentage. Given his general run with bench units, his matchup against Thon Maker should be an interesting one to watch.


Poll

Game 27: Against the Pacers, the Bucks will...

This poll is closed

  • 22%
    Win big (by 10 or more points)
    (96 votes)
  • 59%
    Win close (by 9 or less points)
    (253 votes)
  • 16%
    Lose close (by 9 or less points)
    (69 votes)
  • 1%
    Lose big (by 10 or more points)
    (5 votes)
423 votes total Vote Now