(yawn) They just keep winning, but today they’ll have to do so without Giannis Antetokounmpo.
Giannis Antetokounmpo will miss tonight’s game against the Pelicans with right quad tendon soreness, per @BucksPR.— Eric Nehm (@eric_nehm) December 11, 2019
With Giannis, the Bucks have been a buzzsaw against every team they’ve faced. Without him, they’re mortal, but don’t expect Mike Budenholzer to change tactics too much. Ersan Ilyasova and D.J. Wilson will be moved up the pecking order at power forward, and Khris Middleton will shoulder more of the scoring load, unless...
Player to Watch: Brook Lopez
Don’t look now, but this could be an opportunity for Lopez to break out of his scoring slump. Splash Mountain may see more post touches today since he won’t need to space the floor for the Greek Freak, and he was 3/5 from deep against the Magic on Monday. However, the real reason to watch Brook is the way he commands the Bucks’ league-leading defense, which they’ll need to lean on with their MVP in street clothes today.
After a heartbreaker against the Detroit Pistons, the Pellies will eagerly pounce on the opportunity to snap their losing streak against a Giannis-less Bucks team. Top overall pick Zion Williamson hasn’t played yet this year, and that hasn’t been the only disappointment in the bayou this season. A big part of their struggles have been on offense in the clutch, and at 6-18 it’s leading JJ Redick and Zion towards an awkward conversation after how they started their tenure together.
Player to Watch: Brandon Ingram
Because of his team’s (under)performance, Ingram has flown under the radar, but he’s having a career season. To date, he’s scoring 24.9 points, 7.0 rebounds, and 4.0 assists per game, logging the highest PER of his career (21.8), and is shooting the ball exceptionally well from deep (41.8% on threes). Expect him to show up tonight on a national broadcast with Giannis not in a position to stop him.
Game 25: Against New Orleans, the Bucks will...
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