Where We’re At
Nothing is better than knocking off a prominent opponent thanks in large part to a Giannis Antetokounmpo explosion. With 42 points leading the way, Giannis did most of his damage at the free throw line, and coupled with 30 from Brook and Jrue Holiday’s defense against Zion Williamson, the Bucks knocked off a team that was 12-3 at home heading into that game. Starting off a road trip on the right foot is always a solid way to gain some momentum, and they’ll need it with the fleet of upcoming opponents. In the last matchup with Cleveland, the Bucks looked primed for a butt-whooping after the first half, only to choke out Cleveland’s offense in the third quarter and cruise to an easy 117-102 victory.
The Cavaliers haven’t let those losses dissuade them though, and they’re third in the Eastern Conference now, just two games back from overtaking Milwaukee for first place. On a four-game winning streak, their most recent dub came against the Utah Jazz, throttling them en route to a 122-99 win. All five starters scored in double figures for the Cavs. Defense has been their backbone this season though, much like Milwaukee. Cleaning The Glass has these teams tied for the best defenses in the league, so I’ll be curious how that plays out given the Bucks oft-struggling offense has been fine in both games against the Cavs this season. Not so much the other way around, but those have been contests in Fiserv to be fair.
Milwaukee is missing Khris Middleton for this one. Cleveland is missing wing depth though, with Dean Wade out and Lamar Stevens doubtful.
Player to Watch
MarJon Beauchamp has come back from his illness and immediately given Mike Budenholzer reason to ensure he’s no longer behind Jordan Nwora in the rotation. He got the start in Khris Middleton’s absence on Monday against New Orleans, and I’d expect the same tonight. He wound up only playing 15 minutes and had six points and two turnovers, but these reps are always helpful for a young player trying to find his groove in meaningful action. I’ll be curious if Cleveland tries to stash Darius Garland on him defensively, and whether he can take advantage.
Game 31: Against Cleveland, 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)