Where We’re At
Well, the Bucks fattened up on lesser competition during their home spell, much to the delight of fans everywhere I’m sure. Wins against a LeBron-less Lakers, the Thunder, Magic and Pistons don’t do much to illustrate how this team will fare against the best of the best, but right now it’s about getting continuity back among the big three. Giannis Antetokounmpo was on a warpath in Milwaukee’s 114-93 win over Detroit. His 33 points led all scorers, and it only took him 17 shots to get there. The Pistons had no answer for his inside domination, and it paired well with his running mate in the frontcourt, Bobby Portis, who splashed six triples en route to 28 points. It was refreshing to see Jrue Holiday go for 22 after some down scoring games of late too.
The Bucks may be getting healthier, but the Denver Nuggets decisively are not. After news that Michael Porter Jr. will miss significant time with another back issue, they also lost reserve PJ Dozier to a torn ACL.
Further evaluation confirms a torn left ACL for Denver’s P.J. Dozier. He’s lost for the season. https://t.co/TNoYQQGwZM— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) November 24, 2021
Already down Jamal Murray, the Nuggets have survived thanks to the brilliance of Nikola Jokic. He’s averaging 26 points, 13 boards and six assists, with 41% shooting from outside. He’s been dealing with some ailments too of late though, the Nuggets got rolled without him, 119-100, by the Portland Trailblazers on Tuesday. He’s listed as questionable for the Bucks game. I’m hoping he plays, if only because he is such a joy to watch with his passing and inside-outside capability. Denver has dropped five straight, slipping down the West standings. There’s no doubt they want to get off this skid, even if there’s no reason to panic this early about this squad.
Alongside the injuries mentioned above, Denver has rookie Bones Hyland as questionable. For Milwaukee, expect no Semi Ojeleye or Brook Lopez/Donte as usual. Rodney Hood is probable.
Player to Watch
Since Khris Middleton came back, Grayson Allen has had to make some adjustments in terms of his role within the offense. It was great to see him stretch his wings a bit early on, but his primary function will be to hit triples when called upon. There will be some growing pains as he acclimates to an ecosystem where the Bucks big three demand more shots and more ball handling, but I want to see how he responds on the road with Middleton around. He’s only averaging about two fewer shot attempts per-36 since Khash’s return. Let’s see if he can get hot at mile high.
Game 20: Against Denver, 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)