After playing 9 of their last 10 contests on the road, the Milwaukee Bucks return to The Good Land and will face the Memphis Grizzlies Saturday night, kicking off a four-game homestand. These two teams faced off in Memphis just over a month ago in a game that came down to the wire, with Milwaukee winning on a Jrue Holiday step-back 2 seconds before the final horn.
Where We’re At
The Bucks are winners of three straight, fresh off a solid win on the second night of a back-to-back in Atlanta two days ago. They welcomed back superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo on a minute restriction Thursday night and regained the services of veteran P.J. Tucker the day before, both recovered from injuries. Donte DiVincenzo missed the Hawks game due to a sprained right toe. He’s listed as out again tonight but is the only Buck on the injury report.
Making the trip 90 miles north from the United Center, the Grizzlies took down the Bulls last night behind 32 points from Dillon Brooks. Former Bucks assistant/guy-who-held-the-bench-back-from-going-on-the-floor-and-getting-technicals Taylor Jenkins has his young squad firmly in the play-in mix, currently the West’s 8th seed but 1.5 games back of 7th. Though they’ve treaded water around .500 mark all season, there’s a lot to like about the Grizz. Ja Morant has maintained his rookie-of-the-year level excellence in year two, Wisconsin enemy Grayson Allen is finally realizing his potential, and veteran Jonas Valanciunas bullies opponents down low. They also have outstanding guard play off the bench in two-way ace De’Anthony Melton, Wisconsin enemy Tyus Jones, and rookie sharpshooter Desmond Bane. Aside from Jaren Jackson Jr., who has yet to play this year due to a meniscus repair, Memphis was without Melton (leg), Brandon Clarke (hip), and Wisconsin enemy Justise Winslow (thigh) last night. They have yet to release tonight’s injury report as of this writing, though.
Player To Watch
In Atlanta, Jrue Holiday absolutely smothered young Hawks point guard Trey Young, who shot 3/17 and didn’t score a single point until the third quarter. On the other end, he led the Bucks with 23 points and 7 assists on 9/17 shooting. Can Holiday turn in a consecutive signature performance against another dynamic young point guard? Morant had 35 in their previous matchup including a go-ahead bucket with 7.3 remaining, but Holiday was in his 3rd game back after recovering from COVID-19, playing just 23 minutes off the bench. He got the last laugh, but now that he’s fully healthy and playing like an All-Star (21.0/6.7/4.6 this month), I see Holiday controlling this backcourt matchup from the tip.
Game 56: Against Memphis, the Bucks will...
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