Since the Christmas Day massacre at the hands of the Sixers, the Bucks have bounced back soundly with five straight wins. It hasn’t been against the finest of competition, but they continue to take care or business handily, including their most recent 127-118 win against San Antonio. Giannis had 32 points and eight rebounds in just 28 minutes, while Eric Bledsoe continued to look strong in his return from injury with 21 points and six assists on 4/6 from deep. Robin Lopez even outscored his brother, 14 to 10. The Bucks 45 3-point attempts helped them put away a Spurs team that was scoring quite effectively in the first half.
Pat Connaughton is out with a right thigh contusion, but otherwise the Bucks are at full strength.
Player to Watch: Eric Bledsoe
Bledsoe was able to decisively win the point guard battle against Derrick White in their first matchup, pouring in points from the perimeter while holding White to just nine points. As Brian pointed out earlier, the Bucks best potential can come when Bledsoe shows out. And, if Dejounte Murray returns for the Spurs, that’s a defensive guard matchup I could watch all day.
Led by the midrange gang, Pop’s team hasn’t showed the same kind of offensive efficiency they did last year as a top-ten unit. They’ve faltered defensively too, typically a stalwart trait of Pop’s team, but the Bucks blasted through them on Saturday. Bud’s uptempo team bested his former mentor in every way, and it’s up to Pop to try and find a solution if the Spurs want to pull off an upset.
San Antonio should have all their regulars in this one.
Player to Watch: DeMar DeRozan
DeRozan was the best player on the court for San Antonio, efficiently piling on points from the charity stripe going 10/11. He needed just 14 shots to net his 26 points, and was the primary chef for the Spurs as they tried to keep pace with Milwaukee’s scoring output. Wes Matthews will likely want to get some defensive revenge down South.
Game 38: Against San Antonio, 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)