All right, the Milwaukee Bucks are finally back home (for about 36 hours) when they take on the Charlotte Hornets. James Borrego’s squad embarrassed the Bucks earlier this season with crisp ball movement decimating their defensive lapses, so this is a solid shot at redemption against an injury-riddled Hornets team.
Where We’re At
Milwaukee played, once again, without Giannis Antetotokounmpo against the Dallas Mavericks as their star continues to nurse his knee issue. The Mavericks prevailed, 116-101, behind some hot shooting late just as Milwaukee couldn’t manufacture a basket of any kind. Khris Middleton in particular was horrific, shooting just 6-27 from the field in an outlier performance. Woof. There’s no word yet on whether Giannis will be available for this game, but I’m expecting him to rest up once more in case he could be available for the quick turnaround on a 3-game road trip.
As for Charlotte, they’ve maintained the early season success even as their roster has been felled by injuries. On Wednesday, they took down a plucky Oklahoma City squad, 113-102, despite missing LaMelo Ball (who will be out for most of the season) and Gordon Hayward. They’re relying on Terry Rozier and Devonte Graham to bring the scoring punch in their backcourt, with Miles Bridges and PJ Washington as fellow accompaniments. Back in January when Milwaukee lost, the Hornets shot 21-44 from deep. I wouldn’t expect that type of performance again, but the Hornets still play pretty small with lineups that lend themselves to switching. The Bucks have had to utilize that scheme even in season’s past against this team, let’s see how early Bud goes to it here.
The latest injury report for Charlotte listed Malik Monk, Ball and Hayward all out. I am expecting the Bucks to have the same as the last few games, with Tucker out and Giannis doubtful.
Player to Watch
Miles Bridges is one of those players ready and willing to destroy the rim at all costs. He may not have as prime of players tossing up lobs to him now, but he’s still an athletic freak who can punish teams that don’t pay attention to his ability to flash to the basket. On the defensive end, we’ll see if he matches up with Khris Middleton and tries to keep the Bucks sharpshooter off-kilter for another night.
Game 52: Against the Hornets, the Bucks will...
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