The Milwaukee Bucks will play their final game against a Western Conference opponent Monday evening, on the road against the San Antonio Spurs. The teams last matched up on March 20, when the Bucks emerged with a 120-113 win using a 15-assist performance from Giannis Antetokounmpo to lead the way.
Where We’re At
Milwaukee isn’t coming off a very inspiring win, but it was a 141-133 win nonetheless against a Houston Rockets team with merely eight active players. All five of the starters scored in double digits, with Brook Lopez overwhelming the Rockets inside en route to 24 points on merely eight shots (!). Plus, he gave us this all-time reaction gif:
The big man has shown an increased offensive versatility during the second half of the season, particularly against teams that have gone smaller. We also got a second straight solid scoring game from Donte DiVincenzo (18 points, seven boards and four assists), which Milwaukee would love to see continue through the end of this season and into the Playoffs. It didn’t inspire much defensive hope giving up 133 to one of the least potent scoring teams in the league, but I would’ve had trouble putting much defensive effort in that one too if I were the Bucks. The one seed is growing increasingly out of reach for Milwaukee, but they control their own destiny for the two seed since they own the tiebreaker over Brooklyn.
As for San Antonio, they’ve fallen off after the All-Star Break, facing a gauntlet of difficult teams coupled by the fact they’re making up for missed games due to a COVID-19 outbreak during the initial half of the season. They lost 124-102 against Portland on Saturday evening, with DeMar DeRozan the only Spur to put up at least 20 points. They’re clinging to Playoff life in the 10 spot at the moment, trying to hold off the New Orleans Pelicans from overtaking them. That’ll be doubly tough given their games after Milwaukee include Brooklyn, New York and the Suns twice. Yikes. The Spurs, as they have for a few seasons, adore the midrange where Milwaukee gladly allows opponents to shoot. This one will likely come down to whether their parade of shooters can hit enough consistently to overcome the Bucks offensive exploits.
Trey Lyles and Derrick White are out for the Spurs. Axel Toupane is the only Buck listed on the injury report.
Player to Watch
Lonnie Walker IV went off last time out against Milwaukee, putting up a career-high 31 points on 13-21 shooting. The salt in the wound was that Donte, who had 12 points and 13 rebounds in that game, was forcing his own game. Regardless, I wouldn’t expect Walker to put up anywhere near those numbers, but the Bucks need to keep his shooting and athleticism under wraps regardless.
Game 68: Against San Antonio, the Bucks will...
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