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Milwaukee Bucks vs. Cleveland Cavaliers Preview: Round Two

The second and third-best records in the eastern conference duke it out

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Cleveland Cavaliers v Milwaukee Bucks Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images

The Milwaukee Bucks look to protect home court as they host the Cleveland Cavaliers for their second matchup in less than ten days.

Where We’re At

The Bucks have dropped one of the last two games they’ve played, but are still holding onto the second best record in the league. The last two games have also brought back Pat Connaughton and Wesley Matthews to the hardwood from the injury report, which has been a welcome return for a depleted Buck’s crew.

In the loss to the Bulls, Giannis Antetokounmpo played well, notching 36 points, 11 rebounds, and 7 assists, but also threw in 8 TO’s. The best part about that game for him? He made good on 6 of 9 free throws, which has been an area of his game that’s been pestering him as of late. Bucks fans everywhere can breathe a collective sigh of relief if he starts shooting like that from the charity stripe more consistently,..and as long as he stays out of his own head, he will.

On the injury report for the Bucks, it’s the usual suspects - Khris Middleton and Joe Ingles. But there have been two late additions as well, Pat Connaughton and Jrue Holiday are listed as questionable and probable, respectively, due to non-Covid related illnesses.

The Cavs are on a recent tear with a 4-game winning streak, winning every game they’ve had since the last time they faced the Bucks - including knocking off the Portland Trail Blazers in an absolutely dominant showing a few days ago. The backcourt duo of Donovan Mitchell and Darius Garland were the source of the win, with Mitchell notching 34 points and Garland posting a double-double (24 points and 12 assists). Winning tonight largely depends on containing the two of them.

The injury report for the Cavs is a bit longer: Dylan Windler and Ricky Rubio are both listed as out, with Kevin Love and Caris LeVert listed as day-to-day. Lamar Stevens has been added to the report as well, with a non-Covid related illness.

Player to Watch

If he plays tonight, Pat Connaughton is the player to watch. Since his return two games ago, he’s been great in the energy department, but it hasn’t necessarily translated to the stats quite yet. In the two games he’s scored a total of 10 points, grabbed 5 boards, and snatched 3 steals - all in less than a total of 30 minutes (about 15 minutes/game). He has only shot 2-9 from deep though, which aren’t his best numbers. Pat has always been an energy guy who hustles for 50/50 balls and rebounds more than you’d expect someone who’s 6’5’’ to do. When he debuted for the first time this season two games ago, he looked good! He was running up and down the court with active hands, and in general giving a lot of effort. As his minutes ramp up, that hustle will eventually start translating itself into more open looks finding the bottom of the net from deep.


Against the Cavaliers, the Bucks will...

This poll is closed

  • 23%
    Win big (by 10 or more points)
    (13 votes)
  • 44%
    Win close (by 9 or fewer points)
    (25 votes)
  • 26%
    Lose close (by 9 or fewer points)
    (15 votes)
  • 5%
    Lose big (by 10 or more points)
    (3 votes)
56 votes total Vote Now

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