Tonight, the Milwaukee Bucks will square off with the New York Knicks for the first time this season. The Bucks were downright dreadful last night against the Minnesota Timberwolves, losing 108-89. On top of losing the game, the Bucks also lost Malcolm Brogdon. The reigning Rookie of the Year suffered a left quad injury early in the second quarter and is out indefinitely.
Well, in typical Bucks fashion the excitement felt by the return of one injured player is mitigated with the injury to another. After almost an entire year rehabbing a second ACL tear, Jabari Parker will return to the lineup. The situation got even more Bucks-y as Giannis Antetokounmpo grimaced off the court late in the game with an ankle injury. With tonight being the second leg of a back-to-back, I would not be surprised if the All-Star sat this one out, but nothing has been made official just yet. Eric Bledsoe missed last night’s action with a bum ankle and his status for tonight is up in the air as well. Milwaukee is still in the midst of a stretch where they can continue to string together pairs and trios of consecutive victories, so better times are potentially on the horizon!
Player to Watch: Jabari Parker
How could it not be? Since the Monday night mid-game interview announcing his return, every Bucks fan has eagerly awaited tonight like a little kid waiting for Christmas morning. The Bucks even put out a hype video to get the already geeked up fans even more geeked. I would imagine that Parker gets about two, maybe three, rotations into the game and log 12ish minutes. His impact on the game will probably be muted, but the collective angst and tensing up of fans every time he makes a quick cut or attacks the basket will not be muted.
The New York Knicks are coming off a 30 point loss to the Boston Celtics on Wednesday night and have come away on the losing side in three of their last five games. Not only is tonight’s game the return of Parker, it is also the return of former Milwaukee fan favorite, Michael Beasley. Beas is averaging just under 20 minutes a game and putting up nearlyl 13 points and five rebounds per game. I would expect Beasley to earn the second loudest ovation of the night when he checks into the game, after Parker of course.
Player to Watch: Kristaps Porzingis
The Zinger is averaging 21 points and six rebounds over his last four games which are right around his season averages of 23 points and six rebounds per game. The first time All-Star and Team LeBron member, has taken the leap many thought he would this season. He is knocking down just under 40 percent of his three-point shots and his match-up with Giannis Antetkounmpo will be appointment viewing for many fans regardless of team affiliation, assuming Giannis suits up.