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Milwaukee Bucks vs. Los Angeles Clippers Preview: Setting Sail


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NBA: Milwaukee Bucks at Los Angeles Clippers Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The Milwaukee Bucks dispatched their first opponent on this lengthy West Coast road trip, and now scoot on down to sunny LA for a Sunday night showdown with the short handed Los Angeles Clippers.

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.

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 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.

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.

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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  • 40%
    Win big (by 10 or more points)
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  • 41%
    Win close (by 9 or fewer points)
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  • 13%
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    (13 votes)
  • 4%
    Lose big (by 10 or more points)
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