The Milwaukee Bucks look forward to a friendly home crowd tonight at Fiserv Forum as they host the Portland Trail Blazers for their 16th game of the season. This will be the first game in a 4-game home stretch for the Bucks.
Where We’re At
Milwaukee is looking to right the ship after dropping 3 of their last 4 games. This has been (at the very least in part) due to the fact that the Bucks have been nursing some injuries as of late. Giannis Antetokounmpo and Jrue Holiday have both missed games during this stretch, as has Grayson Allen. And that’s on top of the guys that have been out for longer.
The big news on the injury report as of 9:30 am ET: Pat Connaughton isn’t listed at all! Hopefully, that holds up through tip-off. Wesley Matthews (hamstring), Khris Middleton (wrist surgery), and Joe Ingles (knee) are all out.
Giannis is coming off of a frustrating loss in Philly, where he shot 4-15 from the charity stripe as his issues in that particular part of his game plagued him, especially in the second half. But we all know that Giannis has a robust work ethic, and he put his nose to the grindstone immediately following the game last Friday. The wise choice would be to put money on Giannis to improve his FT numbers because he’s simply someone you should never bet against.
The Portland Trailblazers are coming off a close loss at the hands of the Utah Jazz. Anfernee Simons led the way for Portland with 23 in the defeat, and about halfway through the game, Damian Lillard exited, having re-aggravated his calf injury. Thankfully, it’s not looking as serious as the first time he injured it—but it does sound like he’ll be missing upcoming road games, including today’s matchup against Milwaukee, because Portland has announced that he’ll be reevaluated in 1-2 weeks. Despite the recent loss to Utah, Portland is currently in a 4-way tie for 2nd in the Western Conference with a 10-6 record.
Portland’s injury report currently has Keon Johnson and Gary Payton II both listed as out,. Lillard is joining them on that list as missing tonight’s tilt.
Player To Watch
Jrue Holiday had a bit of an off-showing in his return from a tweaked ankle that saw him sit out for four games. Coming off the bench for a total of 23 minutes against Philly, he tallied 10 points, 3 boards, and 4 assists. He did have 5 giveaways, however, and generally didn’t look like his usual stalwart self on the floor. We should keep an eye on him today, as he continues to round back into shape. He’ll have his hands full on the defensive side, as he’s tasked with helping contain Anfernee Simons, who’s averaging 22.5 points/game. Jrue is such an integral part of what the Bucks do, and having him back on the floor again at full strength will be a welcome sight, one that we should see tonight!
Game 16: Against Portland, the Bucks will...
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Win big (by 10 or more points)
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