It’s not everyday that you get to watch a basketball player compete at the height of his powers. Well, for the Milwaukee Bucks, it’s just about every day...but the Denver Nuggets are able to make the same claim. That’s a win for everybody, if today’s matchup between these two teams goes how we expect.
Where We’re At
Milwaukee dropped to 5th in the conference standings after an embarrassing effort against the surging Cavaliers, but were able to reestablish themselves against the Knicks, once again demonstrating their habit of winning on national television while blundering about on the smaller stages. Still, the Bucks have won 4 of their last 5 as January comes to a close and the All Star break approaches, and they managed to get a bit of help in the standings with losses from Brooklyn and Miami last night.
The Bucks were without reserve Rodney Hood last game after a flare-up of his old Achilles injury, but he seems likely to return. The same can’t be said for George Hill, who is expected to miss his second straight game with a neck issue.
The main story of Denver’s season so far has been their quest for success despite major losses at the top of their roster. Nikola Jokic has somehow improved off of his first MVP campaign (sound familiar?), but he’s doing it without the support from Jamal Murray (ACL) and Michael Porter Jr. (back). The Joker is an offense unto himself with his crafty post game and even craftier passing, and Denver has managed to keep their head above water through most of the season.
As a fun sub-plot, the Nuggets just recently acquired Buck fan favorite DeMarcus Cousins on a 10-day hardship contract, and made a deal to acquire Bryn Forbes from San Antonio. As a dynamic movement shooter, Forbes is sure to test out the Bucks’ perimeter defense; it’s fortunate they had some experience guarding him in practice! Forbes may start if Will Barton is held back while recovering from injury, which could create a nice moment for the Fiserv Forum faithful.
Player To Watch
We talk a lot around here about under-appreciating greatness, but even then we talk about it less than we should. So once again, let’s highlight the clash of titans that is Giannis Antetokounmpo on one side and Nikola Jokic on the other. They score, they pass (sometimes spectacularly!), they defend, and they each do it with a flair that is distinctly their own. Sometimes, you just have to appreciate the show...this is one of those times.
Game 52: Against Denver, the Bucks will...
This poll is closed
Win big (by 10 or more points)
Win close (by 9 or fewer points)
Lose close (by 9 or fewer points)
Lose big (by 10 or more points)