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Milwaukee Bucks vs. Cleveland Cavaliers Preview: One More Time


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NBA: Cleveland Cavaliers at Milwaukee Bucks Michael McLoone-USA TODAY Sports

The Milwaukee Bucks are facing not only a back-to-back, but a severely depleted roster as they continue to patch together a team amidst injuries and the health and safety protocols. They fly back to Milwaukee to take on the Cleveland Cavaliers Saturday night.

Where We’re At

Well, a much different place from two weeks ago when these two teams met. Milwaukee put forth a valiant effort Friday evening, including 40 points from Jrue Holiday, but they just couldn’t put themselves over the top in New Orleans, losing 116-112. Grayson Allen poured in 25 as well, but on a night when Pat Connaughton finally cooled off at 1-9 from deep, it was gonna be difficult for a short handed team to pull it out. Running a zone defense as a way to make up for the odd collection of personnel, the Bucks nearly were able to pull off a victory. I’m dubious they’ll be able to have nearly as much success against a Cavs team that’s 8-2 in their last ten, merely a half game behind the Bucks in the standings.

While the Bucks may be tired polishing off five games in seven days, Cleveland is fresh as daisies. They haven’t played since a 124-89 drubbing of the Houston Rockets on Wednesday evening. They didn’t have star rookies Evan Mobley in that one either, but Isaac Okoro picked up the slack with 20 points along with resident “that’s not a create-a-player” Dean Wade who added 16 points and 10 boards. Their team has gelled behind stellar defense, and if the Bucks don’t have a 3-point shot going, it’ll be tough sledding to try and get past the interior D of Jarrett Allen.

Now, as to the question of who will actually play?

For Cleveland, Isaac Okoro is out in health and safety protocols, while Evan Mobley is questionable and Collin Sexton is, of course, still out.

The Bucks don’t have their injury report submitted as of publication, but I’m guessing they’ll be about where they were in New Orleans, so missing Giannis, Wes, Donte, Portis, all to the healthy and safety protocols. Brook, Semi and Thanasis are likely out with injury, but hopefully Khris Middleton might be back after he was probable for New Orleans but didn’t end up playing.

We’ll update this article if anyone else enters the health and safety protocols for either team.

Player to Watch

DeMarcus Cousins had seven points and six boards against the Cavs last time out, but he’s essentially Milwaukee’s only real “big-big” available at the moment, with all due respect to my guy Sandro Mamukelashvili. He got the start Friday evening and acquitted himself decent with nine points and six boards, but foul trouble has frequently forced him off the floor. Let’s see how he holds up against Jarrett Allen, who killed the Bucks on lobs and inside finishes to snag 25 points last time out.


Game 32: Against Cleveland, the Bucks will...

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  • 5%
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    Win close (by 9 or fewer points)
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