As the Milwaukee Bucks continue their lengthy homestand, they welcome another Western Conference foe to the table in the Sacramento Kings. After finally finding themselves on the right side of the ledger with a 98-85 win against the Oklahoma City Thunder, can they keep the victory vibes rolling?
Where We’re At
The Milwaukee Bucks at long last ended their five-game losing streak, with the Oklahoma City Thunder shooting just 36.5% from the field. To the Thunder’s credit, the Bucks didn’t shoot much better, just 40.7%, but still knocked down enough shots for the W. Giannis Antetokounmpo led the way with 29 points, 19 boards and eight assists, while Khris Middleton finally found his assertiveness again en route to 20 points, eight boards and four assists. Those two did the most damage with everyone else off the mark, but the surprise addition of D.J. Augustin to the starting lineup actually resulted in a fairly positive game for the diminutive guard who bucked the trend of his downright ugly play this season with 11 points (on eight shots) and five assists.
With a huge mess of teams jumbled together in the bottom of the Western Conference, the Sacramento Kings remain in the thick of the play-in tournament race. Currently sitting at 12-17, they are fresh off a 114-122 loss against the Chicago Bulls that came without veterans Harrison Barnes or Richaun Holmes in the lineup.
The Kings have shot up near the top-ten in offense, as a faster-paced play has allowed De’Aaron Fox to take charge at 22.8 points per game. He’s coupled with a balanced scoring effort out of Buddy Hield, Harrison Barnes, Marvin Bagley, Richaun Holmes and Tyrese Haliburton, all of whom hover between 12 and 16 points per game. Haliburton has taken over some of the scoring hole left by Bogdan Bogdanovic’s departure in the offseason.
Milwaukee remains without Jrue Holiday, while the Kings have Harrison Barnes, Glenn Robinson III and Richaun Holmes listed as questionable.
Player to Watch
I never watched much Iowa State basketball last year, but was fairly intrigued by all the draft buzz surrounding Tyrese Haliburton. To this point, he seems to have lived up to all the chatter, averaging 12.4 points and 5.2 assists to go with 44% shooting from deep on 5.2 attempts per game. I’ll be curious to see how the Bucks prevent some of his playmaking and who matches up on the sizable 6’5” guard originally born in Oshkosh, WI.
Game 31: Against the Kings, Milwaukee 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)