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Milwaukee Bucks vs. Cleveland Cavaliers: Clash Of Eastern Conference Titans

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NBA: Cleveland Cavaliers at Milwaukee Bucks Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

As January comes to a close, we suddenly find ourselves with 50 regular season games having gone by after tonight, when the Milwaukee Bucks take on the Cleveland Cavaliers in what very may well be a playoff preview in a few month’s time.

Where We’re At

Considering the Bucks haven’t played in a few days and are on a 3-game win streak, it’s been pretty hectic around here! Much of the focus nationally has been placed on Grayson Allen, who committed a flagrant foul in the Chicago game and will miss tonight’s game with a league suspension. Those are the only facts about this event that I can write without restarting the firestorm, so we’re moving on from it, even at the expense of the clickzzz people seem to be dying to provide us with. Anyway, back to basketball: the Bucks are a bit banged up, as Wes Matthews remains out with a knee contusion suffered against Sacramento and Brook Lopez remains inactive still. At least we’ve had some recent Brook sightings from the Bucks’ media teams!

Injuries and unavailability aside, the Bucks could be at the start of another productive stretch of basketball. The last 11 games have been pretty uneven, with Milwaukee posting a 5-6 record and losing all six of those games by single-digits. With the trio of Giannis Antetokounmpo, Khris Middleton, and Jrue Holiday healthy, they’ve been worldbeaters, so we hope to see a return to that kind of normalcy going forward.

Over in Cleveland, they’ve taken a licking but they keep right on ticking. Sitting right behind Milwaukee in the standings, the Cavaliers have survived lengthy absences from Collin Sexton (meniscus) and Ricky Rubio (ACL), just lost Lauri Markkanen to a nasty looking ankle sprain, and Jarrett Allen is questionable with an illness. But they’ve got an All-Star campaign from Darius Garland (19.7 points and 8.2 assists per game), a revitalized Kevin Love off the bench, and an impressive rookie season from Evan Mobley. The Cavs have simply figured some things out, earlier than most expected them to, and now they’re in the thick of the playoff race.

Player To Watch

Every time we give up on Donte DiVincenzo, he pulls us right back in. The fourth-year guard out of Villanova missed dozens of games this season while rehabbing from ankle surgery and getting sidelined by the health and safety protocols, and when he has played it’s been...ugly. How ugly? Well, just don’t look up his shooting percentage on two-point shots (it’s 0.227, on 22 total attempts). But that’s to be expected following such a long layoff, and then ramping up mid-season. Against Sacramento, Donte logged a season-high 20 points on 10 shots and committed no turnovers, and without Allen or Matthews available tonight DiVincenzo will see as many SG minutes as he can handle.



Poll

Game 50: Against Cleveland, the Bucks will...

This poll is closed

  • 28%
    Win big (by 10 or more points)
    (42 votes)
  • 41%
    Win close (by 9 or fewer points)
    (62 votes)
  • 24%
    Lose close (by 9 or fewer points)
    (37 votes)
  • 5%
    Lose big (by 10 or more points)
    (8 votes)
149 votes total Vote Now

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