After a quick jaunt down to Orlando to take down the Magic, 112-95, the Milwaukee Bucks return home for their penultimate tune-up before the All-Star break.
Milwaukee continues to dominate nearly every opponent by double-digit margins. Giannis Antetokounmpo is on an absolute tear, netting 15+ rebounds consistently and even his 18 points against the Magic were his lowest output since, coincidentally, he had just 13 in the Bucks win over Sacramento on January 10. There is nothing standing in this man’s way right now, even as his 3-point attempts continue to drop.
Following the first game of the season with 0 3PA for Giannis, it's quite troubling that his 3PAr has plummeted recently. Just no confidence there, right now. pic.twitter.com/tdzJkBQUWj— Dean Maniatt (@AllTheBucks) February 9, 2020
The victory over Orlando was wire-to-wire for Milwaukee as the Magic never led and the Bucks’ starters carrying almost the entire scoring load. Brook Lopez finally splashed all of his triples home too, netting a season-high 23 points. Milwaukee’s last matchup against Sacramento was a 127-106 when the Kings lethargic pace couldn’t keep up with 51 combined points from Eric Bledsoe and Khris Middleton.
Giannis Antetokounmpo is questionable for personal reasons, while George Hill is listed as out.
Player to Watch: Donte DiVincenzo
Donte scored a then-season-high 18 against Sacramento, going 4-6 from deep to bolster the Bucks’ scoring effort. With George Hill smarting with a hamstring strain, he’s been forced to take on a heavier playmaking and scoring burden. Despite the higher burden, Donte has still lingered right around his usual season averages. We will see if the Kings coax another productive night out of The Big Ragu.
Sacramento made fringe moves at the deadline, shipping Trevor Ariza north to Portland a few weeks ago before sending Dewayne Dedmon to Atlanta in exchange for Alex Len and Jabari Parker. Now, the former Buck will have to try and crack a new frontcourt rotation, although Marvin Bagley being out with injury means he could have a better shot at playing time this season. GM Vlade Divac also illustrated his desire to go all-in on his Serbian slinger, Bogdan Bodanovic by clearing cap space to likely retain him after this season. Bogdan has taken Buddy Hield’s spot in the starting lineup for the past eight contests, and Milwaukee will get their first look at him after he didn’t play during their matchup in January.
The Kings under Luke Walton have slowed down the pace to one of the league’s fifth-slowest, a curious choice given Fox’s speed and their gun-slinging backcourt. However, they’re on a bit of a run, going 4-1 in their past five including victories over the Clippers, Heat and Spurs. The latest over San Antonio featured 31 from Buddy Hield, who went just 7-16 in their loss to Milwaukee.
Sacramento is missing a whole host of players in Bagley, Alex Len and Richaun Holmes while Jabari Parker is questionable.
Player to Watch: Harry Giles III
Giles III is probably undersized a tad to serve as Sacramento’s center, but he remains a savvy passer who can operate within the lane. The 3-point shot remains outside his repertoire, but the Kings assuredly hope his skill as a roll man and ability to operate within tight spaces can still allow the Fox’s offensive potency to shine. He will have a 7-foot task ahead of him trying to curtail Giannis’ shot attempts at the rim though, and his slender frame likely can’t stand up against The Greek Freak in the post.
Game 53: Against Sacramento, the Bucks will...
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