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Milwaukee Bucks vs. Orlando Magic Preview: Let’s Do It Again

For the second time in three days, the Bucks can (hopefully) beat up on the East’s bottom team

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NBA: Orlando Magic at Milwaukee Bucks Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Milwaukee Bucks Monday folks, and let’s get set for yet another chance to notch a win against the Orlando Magic. To their credit, they didn’t make the 117-108 win on Saturday all that easy for Giannis Antetokounmpo and the rest of this roster.

Where We’re At

Things haven’t changed much since Saturday for me, and it doesn’t look like they have for the Milwaukee Bucks either. That’s a good thing, as they’ve slowly got their big three back up to speed against lower-level competition like the Magic and Thunder. Unsurprisingly, Giannis was the headliner on Saturday evening, going for 32 points and 20 rebounds (with 23 free throw attempts!) and generally asserting his will on Mo Bamba and RoLo. Not to be outdone, Bobby Portis poured in 24, his most ever as a Buck, on just 11 shots to go along with 15 rebounds. It was a fattening up opportunity, and the big guys went to bed with full bellies that night. Everyone else was able to take a backseat to varying degrees, although we did get our second straight goose egg in terms of minute for Jordan Nwora. At least for now, it looks like Middleton’s return has sent him packing from the lineup, while Bud relies on either Semi Ojeley or Rodney Hood to help fill in that backup SF/PF position. Something to monitor.

For Orlando, well, I thoroughly enjoyed getting to watch Robin Lopez jaw with all of his former teammates. I had trouble keeping up live, but I’m pretty sure he was shushing all of his teammates while Giannis was at the line in the first half? Interesting freeze-out tactic, but it was nice to see them embrace when the buzzer sounded. As for everyone else, well, it was kind of a dud for the starters who nearly all finished -20 or worse. Yikes, it was only due to the revenge tactics of “former Bucks draft selection” RJ Hampton, and his 19 points, plus nine assists that the Magic even stayed in this one. Hopefully the Bucks won’t even have to play around with their food this time.

The injury front looks the same as Saturday for Milwaukee.

For Orlando, the main changes are Cole Anthony and Gary Harris being listed as questionable.

Player to Watch

I’m not sure anyone on staff has as bad a track record at providing players to watch that proceed to not play, as me. I dare you to find someone worse, and as per usual, I didn’t lead any of you loyal readers astray by asking you to watch Cole Anthony...and him promptly being ruled out on Saturday just a few hours later. So, I’ll tab Wendell Carter Jr. this time around. As a peek behind the curtain, we were chatting in the Brew Hoop group DM a few days ago about potential Brook replacements (when his basketball bell tolls, of course) and thought Carter Jr. could be an intriguing option. He’s up to 43% from three this year, and could probably learn the positional tactics inherent in Lopez’s defensive brilliance. Anyway, curious what the readers think of that suggestion.

Poll

Game 18: Against Orlando, the Bucks will...

This poll is closed

  • 70%
    Win big (by 10 or more points)
    (65 votes)
  • 26%
    Win close (by 9 or fewer points)
    (24 votes)
  • 1%
    Lose close (by 9 or fewer points)
    (1 vote)
  • 2%
    Lose big (by 10 or more points)
    (2 votes)
92 votes total Vote Now

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