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Milwaukee Bucks vs. Minnesota Timberwolves Preview: Get Hype For A Northwoods Basketbrawl

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The Bucks hope to keep the wins flowing against Minnesota

NBA: Preseason-Minnesota Timberwolves at Milwaukee Bucks Michael McLoone-USA TODAY Sports

The Milwaukee Bucks are fresh off a double dip of Friday and Saturday wins against the Orlando Magic and Toronto Raptors. They trek up north for a contest with the Minnesota Timberwolves, who have looked frisky in the early going of the season.

Bucks Update

Giannis Antetokounmpo unleashed some of his frustrations from last year’s Playoff series with 36 points, eight assists and 15 rebounds in a 115-105 win over Toronto. No other Buck topped 15 points as the rest of the crew struggled from the field for the most part. The Raptors may not be the team they were last year, but they still sport enough solid players that Milwaukee’s victory must breed some further optimism.

The real shift from the first few games has been how Sterling Brown and Donte DiVincenzo seem to be asserting how they deserve slots within the regular guard rotation. Wes Matthews played only nine minutes against the Raptors after leaving with an ankle injury, with Korver at 15. Brown (13) and Donte (21) are showing a strong propensity for driving to the rack, something the elder guards for Bud certainly lack. Bud wasn’t shy with shifting guys in and out of the rotation last year, so we’ll see if he keeps diminishing the veterans’ roles.

Player to Watch: Brook Lopez

Brook would’ve had the unenviable task of having to guard Karl-Anthony Towns, who has been on an absolute tear to kick off this new season, were it not for Towns suspension stemming from the skirmish with Joel Embiid. Instead, he’ll get to try and feast upon the smaller Timberwolves frontline, where Gorgui Dieng should get the start as a center. Dieng isn’t all that nimble either, so look for Lopez to stretch him out and proceed with some plodding pumpfakes and drives.

Timberwolves Update

It’s been a rosy beginning for Minnesota, sans the dustup with the Sixers, but Ryan Saunders has his team playing some winning basketball in the early going. They’re 4-1, fresh off smacking the feisty Washington Wizards, 131-109. Without Towns, three different players topped 20 points, including Andrew Wiggins (21), Robert Covington (20) and the rookie Jarrett Culver (20). They brought in a number of solid free agents over the summer in Jake Layman and Noah Vonleh, and Culver’s scoring outburst must give the front office optimism after they traded up to snatch him in the draft. Without Towns, this should be a very winnable game for the Bucks, but don’t discount the Wolves just because they’re missing their best player and Milwaukee blew them out in the preseason finale. Look for the Wolves to try and Run, as Saunders has his team playing at the second fastest pace in the league.

Player to Watch: Jarrett Culver

They’re expecting Culver to be the do-it-all wing they hoped Andrew Wiggins might eventually blossom into. He’s got a little more playmaking chops from his time at Texas Tech, and his size and athleticism should theoretically for a potent defensive trio alongside Robert Covington and Wiggins. We all know Wiggins defense has never really materialized, but Culver could be a fun watch given he’s the least known commodity on this otherwise relatively well-tread roster.


Poll

Game 7: Against Minnesota, the Bucks will...

This poll is closed

  • 49%
    Win big (by 10 or more points)
    (134 votes)
  • 29%
    Win close (by 9 or fewer points)
    (80 votes)
  • 15%
    Lose close (by 9 or fewer points)
    (41 votes)
  • 5%
    Lose big (by 10 or more points)
    (14 votes)
269 votes total Vote Now