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Milwaukee Bucks vs. Los Angeles Clippers Preview: Adventures Out West Begin

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First game of the West Coast trip

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Los Angeles Clippers v Milwaukee Bucks Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images

Sometimes you don’t know what to expect heading into a week. At this time last week, the Milwaukee Bucks were rolling, having won six straight games and starting to seem like they had it all together. The biggest objective was to try and get P.J. Tucker up to speed with everyone else. A week later and Milwaukee is wondering who is fully healthy for a western conference trip and discussing if Thanasis Antetokounmpo, Sam Merrill or Jordan Nwora should get all of the available bench minutes. That is something coach Budenholzer will need to figure out as the Bucks head west and start their road trip against the Los Angeles Clippers. These two teams had a close battle last time in Milwaukee thanks to Giannis Antetokounmpo closing the game and leading the Bucks to a 105-100 win.

Where We’re At

The Bucks are on a two-game losing streak where they lost last Friday against the Boston Celtics, but the other loss was more understandable as they were very shorthanded and playing a solid New York Knicks team on Saturday night. The Bucks, due to a variety of injuries, only had eight available players against the Knicks. Brook Lopez was the only starter that played while Pat Connaughton and Bryn Forbes were the main rotation players that players to get minutes as well. That left things to the rookies Nwora, Merrill, and Mamadi Diakite with Thanasis to man the ship. Coach Budenholzer didn’t think most of the injuries were long term as it seemed like a great time to get Giannis, Jrue, Donte and Khris some days off for load management. Per the injury report, those four should be back while P.J. Tucker is out with a left calf strain and Bobby Portis is out for Health and Safety Protocols.

The Clippers are enjoying their basketball lately. They have won seven of their last 10, which includes a five-game winning streak. Kawhi Leonard and Paul George continue doing the heavy lifting with Reggie Jackson and Ivica Zubac trying their best to help. The Clippers did make a trade deadline move acquiring Rajon Rondo from the Atlanta Hawks for Lou Williams. The Clippers will be down a few players as well as Rondo, Serge Ibaka and Patrick Beverley are listed as out.

Player to Watch: Sam Merrill

Merrill has gotten a few chances this week. Against the Celtics on Friday, he was one of the few Bucks that played well scoring 15 points on 6/8 shooting with 19 minutes, while against the Knicks, he struggled a bit shooting 3/10. It could be just trying to keep people fresh but his shooting will be helpful for the Bucks that will likely see George and Leonard guarding Giannis and Khris for most of the match.

Poll

Game 46: Against the Clippers, the Bucks will...

This poll is closed

  • 10%
    Win big (10 or more points)
    (9 votes)
  • 40%
    Win close (9 or fewer points)
    (34 votes)
  • 34%
    Lose close (9 or fewer points)
    (29 votes)
  • 13%
    Lose big (10 or more points)
    (11 votes)
83 votes total Vote Now

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