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Milwaukee Bucks vs. Los Angeles Lakers Preview: Showtime

Can the Bucks win both games in Hollywood?

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NBA: Los Angeles Lakers at Milwaukee Bucks Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

We’re all on nightlife watch here in Wisconsin, just hoping the Milwaukee Bucks won’t let LA’s storied history of, um, restaurants and wholesome historical sights, win the day and Bud’s team comes out lethargic against the Los Angeles Lakers.

Where We’re At

Milwaukee didn’t have too many issues dispatching the Los Angeles Clippers on Sunday evening despite it being a back-to-back. That’s what shooting 50% from three will do though I suppose, with 10 of the Bucks 19 triples coming from the duo of Bobby Portis and Pat Connaughton. Add in a virtuoso hometown 27 points and 13 dishes from Jrue Holiday and Giannis Antetokounmpo extending his 25+ point game streak and we had all the makings of a superb offensive output. It’s a nice bounce back to a frigid January for the team and a chance to get their road trip off to a positive start. The smaller Clippers allowed the Bucks to switch 1-5 from the outset, which has been a growing trend in games it has seemed of late, perhaps Bud trying out a strategy different from all the blitzing and hedging they’ve done. It’s also meant Holiday has done battle in the post against plenty of big men though, and he’d have his work cut out for him against the beefier Lakers squad if Bud opts to switch once more.

This Lakers season has been anything but predictable, at least based on internal projections, but maybe not all that surprising to outsiders who were down on the Russell Westbrook trade. Thus far, the naysayers seem to be correct with the aged point guard once again unable to shoot and proving quite a poor fit alongside LeBron James and Anthony Davis. The Lakers sit squarely in the play-in game, ninth in the conference and at 26-28 after barely eking out a 122-115 OT win over the Knicks on Saturday. Malik Monk went for 29 points in the starting lineup, but it was the return of James from his injury with his triple-double that gave them a proper jolt. They have plenty of time off to prep for the Bucks team, and there’s always something a bit electrifying about those James-Giannis matchups so I’m happy he’ll be back.

The Bucks will be without George Hill and Brook once more (hopefully that doctor’s check-in went well) but Grayson Allen may be back as he’s listed as probable.

For the Lakers, Kendrick Nunn, Carmelo Anthony and Sekou Doumbouya are all out, while Dwight Howard is questionable and their two superstars are probable.

Player to Watch

Bobby Portis’s hands must have to be in perpetual ice baths when he’s off the court, because on the court they are burning up. His jump shot has only looked more comfortable the longer he’s been in Milwaukee, and after going 19-25 from the field in the last two games, there’s practically no more room for him to move up. How he acquits himself on the defensive end will be key against the size of James and Davis, as well as their ability to drive or shoot from anywhere on the floor. This should be a good test for the big man, and hopefully he’ll keep the stellar shooting vibes rolling.


Game 56: Against LA Lakers, the Bucks will...

This poll is closed

  • 41%
    Win big (by 10 or more points)
    (79 votes)
  • 41%
    Win close (by 9 or fewer points)
    (79 votes)
  • 13%
    Lose close (by 9 or fewer points)
    (25 votes)
  • 4%
    Lose big (by 10 or more points)
    (8 votes)
191 votes total Vote Now

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