The Milwaukee Bucks get another chance to whack the Detroit Pistons after a solid but not spectacular 125-115 victory on Monday night. The Pistons look like they’ll have their one-time superstar Blake Griffin back in action after he sat out in their first matchup.
Where We’re At
After their loss in Miami, the Milwaukee Bucks knew this five-game homestand would have plenty of get-well games against divisional opponents. It kicked off with a thumping of the Chicago Bulls, and carried into their victory over the Pistons. That win meant eight straight regular season wins against Detroit. What a brutal stretch for Pistons fans, who also had to endure the drubbing that was the 2019 Playoff sweep. Giannis Antetokounmpo led the way Monday with 43 points, as Bud’s team won primarily through the paint as opposed to their three-point bombings of late. We’ll see how they attack tonight’s matchup.
The same Bucks that were out Monday, Pat Connaughton, Sam Merrill and Torrey Craig, are listed as doubtful, out and out respectively.
For the Pistons, their revamped roster is a mishmash of overpriced veterans like Mason Plumlee and Jerami Grant plus intriguing youngsters like Saddiq Bey and Sekou Doumbouya. Grant in particular looks like he’s taking the rudder of this Pistons offense, to especially middling results Monday when he went just 10-25 from the floor. With Blake Griffin back in the fold for this one, expect more of the offense to run through him as the hub.
As for injuries, rookie Killian Hayes is doubtful with a hip strain after he went to the floor in their first game, while Josh Jackson is out.
UPDATE: It doesn’t change Hayes’s status, but a huge bummer for the Pistons, who will lose their rookie point guard prospect for some time now.
Detroit Pistons rookie Killian Hayes has suffered a labral tear in his hip, sources tell @TheAthleticNBA @Stadium. Hayes, the No. 7 pick in the NBA Draft, sustained the injury on a drive to the basket in Milwaukee on Monday.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) January 6, 2021
Player to Watch
It’s hard not to run with Blake Griffin here, particularly with this being a rematch against a not particularly bombastic team to take in. Griffin gives them more offensive pop, a capable passing big who can create off the dribble, still score at the rim and pass to the exterior. He also normally matches up on Giannis, which the Pistons sorely need after Antetokounmpo abused what passed as paint defense.
Game 8: Against the Pistons, the Bucks will....
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