Without Giannis Antetokounmpo on Wednesday night, the Bucks were able to trounce the visiting New Orleans Pelicans by a tally of 127-112. Milwaukee was able to race out to a double-digit lead early in the first and the Pelicans never really got back into it.
Eric Bledsoe had his best offensive game of the season against a terrible New Orleans defense, pouring in 29 points on 10-of-13 shooting from the floor and 5-of-6 from downtown. Khris Middleton added 24 points, five rebounds, and four assists in 31 minutes. Ersan Ilyasova got the start for Giannis and shot 8-of-10 from the field for 18 points. Both he and Middleton were tied for a game-high plus-19.
The Bucks shot 53.8% from the field and made 19 three-pointers on Wednesday.
While Giannis Antetokounmpo sat out on Wednesday, there is still no word on if he will play tonight. The Bucks will release their injury report closer to game time.
Player To Watch: Eric Bledsoe
Coming off a terrific shooting performance the other night, Bledsoe will look to keep it going against the Ja Morant-less Grizzlies. This is another prime blowup spot for the shifty point guard, as Memphis has the 20th ranked DRtg in the NBA (111.5).
Old friend alert! The Grizzlies are led by head coach Taylor Jenkins who was Milwaukee’s top assistant under Mike Budenholzer last year. While Memphis’ record stands at 8-17, they are one of the more entertaining tanking squads.
Memphis is coming off a 115-108 victory in Phoenix over the Suns. Oddly enough, they are better on the road than they are at home.
Dillion Brooks paced the Grizz with 27 points and Jaren Jackson Jr. dropped 24 points, six rebounds, and four assists. Point guard Ja Morant was relatively quiet with 13 points in 33 minutes, but he did totally eviscerate Suns’ big man Aron Baynes with a nasty dunk.
Well, unfortunately, the Bucks will have to wait to see Ja Morant.
Ja Morant and Brandon Clarke will not play Friday vs @Bucks but will be available Saturday vs @WashWizards. In conjunction with their recent respective injuries, Morant tomorrow will be listed as “OUT–Injury Maintenance–Back" and Clarke as “OUT–Injury Maintenance–LT Oblique."— Grizzlies PR (@GrizzliesPR) December 12, 2019
Player To Watch: Jaren Jackson Jr.
One of my favorite young players in the NBA, JJJ is fun to watch. Remember his performance last season in Milwaukee when the Grizzlies came away from the Fiserv Forum with a W? He will be asked to do more offensively with Morant out, and I wonder if he and Giannis will be matched up against each other. If so, keep an eye out on that matchup.
Game 26: Against Memphis, the Bucks will...
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Win big (by 10 or more points)
Win close (by 9 or fewer points)
Lose close (by 9 or fewer points)
Lose big (by 10 or more points)