Not too much has changed for the Bucks, who still maintain the league’s highest net rating, defensive rating, effective field goal percentage allowed, defensive rebound rate, free throw rate allowed, SRS rating, and overall record (39-13, win percentage of 0.750). They keep beating bad teams, and average teams, and good teams, and by a lot (oh yeah, the Bucks also lead the league in margin of victory, at 10.0).
It says something that the things Bucks fans are most interested in are the moves made by challengers. Namely, the Philadelphia 76ers working out a deal with the Los Angeles Clippers that nets them Tobias Harris, Boban Marjanovich, and Mike Scott, making Philly’s top-end talent level even higher (especially if they keep all four guys) while further putting their depth at risk of exposure.
For Milwaukee, the trade deadline will likely pass with little fanfare. Thon Maker is mentioned here and there, and there are some Tony Snell rumblings, but in all likelihood Jon Horst lets this week pass without any further moves. Once again, Donte DiVincenzo (heel) and Jason Smith (knee) are the only Bucks that appear on the injury report.
Player to Watch: Giannis Antetokounmpo
Giannis is averaging 26.7 points, 12.6 rebounds, and 5.9 assists per game, while averaging the fewest minutes per game (33.1) since his sophomore season. His true shooting percentage is a preposterous 63.0%, and his name litters the top-20 leaderboards for just about every stat there is. We’re still not appreciating him enough.
John Wall was already out for the year, and then this happened:
Wizards announce John Wall slipped & fell at home, rupturing his Achilles (same injury as former Kentucky teammate Boogie Cousins). Will need surgery and will be out another 12 months. Wizards also say Wall had developed an infection from another, initial surgery last month.— Rachel Nichols (@Rachel__Nichols) February 5, 2019
Wizards announce John Wall has had surgery to repair a ruptured Achilles’ tendon. Surgery means Wall is likely to miss most, if not all, of next season — his first year of the four-year, $170 max contract extension he signed two summers ago.— Tim Bontemps (@TimBontemps) February 5, 2019
Yikes. What an awful turn of events.
In the meantime, the Wizards are 6-6 in their last 12 games, and while Bradley Beal has earned an All-Star nod, the rest of their roster is unsteady and inconsistent. In addition to Wall, Troy Brown, Markieff Morris, and Dwight Howard are all out of action.
Player to Watch: Trevor Ariza
Did someone say trade deadline? Ariza has long been a darling of NBA aficionados and fans who want their team to add a tough defensive specialist who can also shoot the ball. Ariza is a guy that a team can put on the opponent’s best player in order to make that player’s life miserable for 30+ minutes a night, and Washington is currently 9 games under 0.500 and, sitting in the East’s 10th spot, not in a position to actually use Ariza for that playoff purpose. It’ll be interesting to see if he ends the week on the Wizards’ roster.
Game 53: Against the Wizards, the Bucks will...
This poll is closed
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)