The Milwaukee Bucks look to notch a third straight victory over a lottery team, as they head to the Sunshine State to take on the Orlando Magic. A victory tonight would give the Bucks the season series win over the Magic, with the final game between these two taking place on April 9th, and help them improve their standing in the East.
The Bucks will look to create separation with the Miami Heat and the Philadelphia 76ers in the Eastern Conference standings. Milwaukee is seventh in the East and tied with Miami and Philadelphia in the win column as each of the three teams have 36 wins. Khris Middleton has averaged 24 points and 7.3 rebounds over his last three games while also converting on half of his three-point attempts. Giannis Antetokounmpo had a less-than-stellar game Monday night against the Memphis Grizzlies, but still managed to score 20 points and even knock down a three-pointer. Antetokounmpo logged 27 minutes (due to early foul trouble) and should be fresh to feast tonight.
Player to Watch: Eric Bledsoe
With Brandon Jennings having a better than expected performance on Monday night, Bledsoe finally has a healthy, and so far competent, replacement to take some pressure off of him. In the last three games, Bledsoe has averaged just 12 points on 43 percent shooting from the floor. He was in foul trouble throughout Monday night’s game and would have finished with a second straight single digit scoring night, if not for a few buckets late in the game.
While the Bucks are jostling for playoff seeding, the Magic are jostling for the best odds in the NBA Draft Lottery. Orlando squared off against the San Antonio Spurs last night, and came away on the wrong end of a 108-72 final score. Orlando’s lone bright spot, Aaron Gordon, has missed the Magic’s last three games due to a concussion and the subsequent protocol that goes along with concussions.
Player to Watch: Jonathan Isaac
The first round pick has missed a significant amount of time this season due to an ankle injury that was nagging him and did not play in the previous two contests against the Bucks. Isaac was selected sixth overall in last year’s draft and was the first selection made by former-Milwaukee GM, John Hammond. The former Florida State standout certainly fits the prototypical mold of a Hammond draftee with his long and slender frame.