Where We’re At
The Milwaukee Bucks were nearly whole against a Portland Trailblazers team that really never stood a chance. Not only were they without Dame Lillard, but Justise Winslow was the only player from their recent trade that was available, paving the way for a 137-108 blowout. Trotting out a defense that was indeed as bad as advertised, the Blazers let the Bucks bomb away from deep and connect on 23-50 from beyond the arc. Many of those were in the corner, and wide open. When Giannis Antetokounmpo goes 4-7 from deep, I’d say you might as well pack it in for the night. Surprisingly though, it was Bobby Portis who led all scorers in this game, with 30 points as the Blazers kept putting smaller defenders on him. Strange stuff, but it was a nice appetizer to what could be a more competitive game against the Clippers.
Bobby was scorchin' tonight.— Milwaukee Bucks (@Bucks) February 6, 2022
30 PTS | 4 REB | 5 AST | 6-8 3PM pic.twitter.com/qonUUlvesy
The Clippers were on the other end of that Trailblazers trade that saw them jettison old pal Eric Bledsoe, and they welcome in two more key rotation pieces in Normal Powell and Robert Covington. Their most recent game was a squeaker of a victory, 111-110, over their Crypto.com Arena mates, the Los Angeles Lakers. Much of their season has been overshadowed by the absence of Kawhi Leonard, who apparently isn’t expected back at all this year by the LA brass.
Not long before Paul George lofted shots with his left hand in the gym, Lawrence Frank said PG is “feeling better” each day. Frank, though, does not know if his star guard will be back. And “no one knows” if Kawhi will be able to return this season https://t.co/lS0EJt3Nd9— Ohm Youngmisuk (@NotoriousOHM) February 5, 2022
Even with Paul George going out for a substantial part of this season as well, Ty Lue has shown he can mold this team into a respectable out every night for their opponents. They have no reason to tank with OKC owning their pick, and their success on court is largely due to their top-ten defense. Offensively, they’ve struggled to maintain competency by falling to the bottom ten, not too surprising given the lack of creators they face with their top two stars out. They’re also primarily a jump shooting team, taking one of the lowest percentage of shots at the rim, so it should be a good test for the Bucks perimeter defense.
For the Bucks, it’s George Hill and Brook Lopez out. On the Clippers side, they’re missing the aforementioned big two, plus Jason Preston and Ivica Zubac is questionable with a calf injury. Their new players, I think, will be available.
Clippers don't list Norman Powell or Robert Covington on injury report.— Law Murray (@LawMurrayTheNU) February 6, 2022
For what it's worth, Trail Blazers listed Eric Bledsoe, Justise Winslow, and Keon Johnson as questionable for tonight vs Bucks despite also being listed as "not with team"
Player to Watch
Jrue Holiday will likely get the primary assignment against Reggie Jackson, who was absolutely sterling in last season’s Playoff run. Holiday took merely four shots in the Blazers game and has certainly been picking his spots this season, but should be plenty fresh after playing just 27 minutes. I’d like to see if he can bottle up Jackson from the outside and prevent him from finding driving lanes, while also getting himself in the scoring mood on the other end should some 3-point regression come Milwaukee’s way.
Game 55: Against LA Clippers, the Bucks will...
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