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Milwaukee Bucks vs. Dallas Mavericks Preview: Showdown at the J-Kidd Corral

Yup, he’s back again

NBA: Dallas Mavericks at Milwaukee Bucks Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

It’s that time again, when Jason Kidd comes to town and we hear all about how him standing upon a chair proved the most important developmental step in modern Milwaukee Bucks basketball as it unlocked Giannis Antetokounmpo’s ability as a creator. Miss me with that tale, but let’s hope the Bucks can send their former coach packing with another W to close out the homestand against the Dallas Mavericks.

Where We’re At

Things were looking bleak for Milwaukee through the first half of the Cleveland game. Coming off a dispiriting loss against the Chicago Bulls, normally a comfortable punching bag, they found themselves down double digits to another division foe. Instead of folding though, they went super saiyan on defense, holding the Cavaliers to 10 points while scoring 35 of their own in the third quarter alone. Giannis Antetokounmpo took charge and tallied 38 points while Brook Lopez and the guards clamped down at all levels of their end. It was an impressive effort to see their defense in full bloom, and they’ll need every ounce of it against Luka Doncic, who will assuredly test their pick-and-roll adjustments.

He’ll have to score points aplenty though if Milwaukee is able to avoid overhelping off perimeter shooters. Dallas also is at a rest disadvantage, having played Saturday evening against the Toronto Raptors, falling 105-100. After a fun ride to the Conference Finals last year, Dallas opted to let their second-best player, Jalen Brunson, walk in free agency. Between that, the weirdness of playing/not playing Christian Wood and a generally disappointing start, I’d say the rather somber tone of this paragraph from our sister site Mavs Moneyball’s gamer makes a lot of sense.

The Dallas Mavericks once again fell to a shorthanded team, losing a close game to the Toronto Raptors, 105-100, Saturday night in Toronto. The Raptors were without Scottie Barnes and Pascal Siakam, but knowing this season’s Mavericks as we do, we should have known the result was never in doubt.

But Luka is playing at an MVP level (26.8, 8.6 reb, 8.0 ast), and they always have a chance to win with him.

For the Bucks, Pat Connaughton is questionable while Serge Ibaka, Khris and Joe Ingles are all out. Dallas has a pretty clean bill of health.

Player to Watch

Brook Lopez has been a virtuoso in Milwaukee’s revamped defense this year, leading the league in blocks and utilizing his length/smarts at a newfound level. Coach Bud will need every ounce of Brook’s acumen and skill against Doncic, deciding how close to the level of the screen he should play, how to deter his floater game, cutting off lobs and general passing lanes. It’s all on the table with Luka, and Brook will be the key to it all.



Poll

Against the Mavericks, the Bucks will...

This poll is closed

  • 33%
    Win big (by 10 or more points)
    (46 votes)
  • 54%
    Win close (by 9 or fewer points)
    (75 votes)
  • 8%
    Lose close (by 9 or fewer points)
    (12 votes)
  • 3%
    Lose big (by 10 or more points)
    (5 votes)
138 votes total Vote Now