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Weekly NBA Game Thread: Week of Apr. 19th, 2021

A final push for the summit

NBA: Portland Trail Blazers at Charlotte Hornets Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

Every Monday at 5:00 PM Central this all-purpose thread goes up, and the comments section is where it’s going down. This is your place to discuss all the NBA’s action happening during the week when the Bucks are off-duty.

These next two weeks, oddly enough, will probably be the final determiner as to whether Milwaukee can summon enough strength to nab the East’s top seed. It is pretty rare to see the same opponent in two straight games, but that’s a feature rather than a bug in this pandemic season. That will benefit the Bucks in the near future if they care to push beyond the three seed.

It is as simple as going 4-0 in the upcoming two-game series against the Philadelphia 76ers and Brooklyn Nets. Well, that isn’t all that simple, but for our standings purposes it’ll do.

Whether they do so will largely rest on whether the coaching staff thinks trotting out a full-strength lineup is in their best medium-term interest. There is an (online) school of thought that you’d rather take a regular season loss by hiding your “true potential” and keep some trick up your sleeve to reveal in a playoff series. That thinking feels a little uncertain given the sheer amount of film any one team has built up about it during the course of a season, but maybe Mike Budenholzer buys into it.

Which is all a long way to say I hope we go all out, just this once. Give Giannis’s knees as many painkiller injections necessary for him to gut those four out and he can skip the rest of the regular season for all I care.