For now, the Milwaukee Bucks and Indiana Pacers will play a game of basketball at Fiserv Forum. For now, the players will take the court, run up and down and all around, breathe all over one another, and compete for which side can rack up the most points by the end of regulation. For now, that’s the plan.
Let’s see if it holds up.
Where We’re At
The Bucks will be missing the following players tonight, due to the league’s health and safety protocols: Wesley Matthews, Giannis Antetokounmpo, and Donte DiVincenzo, who was just about to make his season debut after a lengthy rehab. Additionally, DeMarcus Cousins was ruled out for personal reasons, Brook Lopez and Semi Ojeleye are continuing to recover from back and calf injuries, respectively, and Khris Middleton is (thankfully!) listed as questionable with a hyperextended knee.
So, if DeMarcus Cousins remains out for personal reasons - that will leave Mike Budenholzer 10 players vs. the #Pacers:— Jim Owczarski (@JimOwczarski) December 15, 2021
Truth be told, the Bucks can cobble together some productive lineups with that group, but their depth is paper-thin tonight. Rodney Hood has enjoyed a mini-resurgence the past few games; the Bucks will need every ounce of his contributions tonight.
On the flip side, Indiana is still amidst their hypothetical fire sale, with Myles Turner, Domantas Sabonis, and Caris LeVert all reportedly on the trading block. They’re without head coach Rick Carlisle (who’s also in the protocols), as well as a pair of TJs (Warren remains out with a foot issue, McConnell is out after having wrist surgery). Justin Holiday, brother of Jrue, may be available after returning from his own absence, but in light of the current COVID-19 outbreak (coming up on two years of this!) his stance on prevention doesn’t look great.
Justin Holiday says he’s not vaccinated and does not plan on getting vaccinated. #Pacers— James Boyd (@RomeovilleKid) December 12, 2021
This is a lot of talk about which players are even available to play in tonight’s game, and not nearly as much talk about the game itself. That’s simply the reality of where we find ourselves worldwide, with another coronavirus variant making its way through the human population, putting stress on our health care infrastructure as people keep spreading the virus around and people keep getting sick. At some point, it’s hard to avoid the question: is it worth it?
Player To Watch
Assuming everything does go according to plan, the Bucks hopes rest squarely on the shoulders of their All-Defense point guard. Jrue Holiday is the only clear-cut star available tonight, and he’ll have to dig deep into his bag of tricks to put Milwaukee on a path to a W tonight.
Game 30: Against Indiana, the Bucks will...
This poll is closed
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)