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Milwaukee Bucks vs. Portland Trailblazers Preview: West Coast Swing

Can the Bucks keep winning as they head out west?

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NBA: Portland Trail Blazers at Milwaukee Bucks Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

The Milwaukee Bucks keep winning and they have a chance to extend their streak to eight games against the Portland Trailblazers on Monday night.

Where We’re At

As is usually the case, Milwaukee took on a hardened Miami Heat team that even got essentially a “Playoff Jimmy” performance...and still the Bucks were able to prevail 123-115. That was thanks in large part to Giannis Antetokounmpo’s 35-point triple double, a performance that looked as effortless as really any stat line he’s put up this year. Tack on 24 points from Khris Middleton in 20 minutes (including some late game strategic substitutions from Bud) and you have a team that pulled out a win against a quality opponent playing better basketball of late. They’ll be bringing that energy against a Portland Trailblazers team that has treaded water after a hot start to the season.

At 5-5 in their last ten, the Blazers are sitting just a half game outside of the Play-in picture in the Western Conference. Damian Lillard is back and playing his brand of high-scoring basketball, but the full team hasn’t quite gelled how I’m sure the front office anticipated when they swung a deal for Jerami Grant and added Gary Payton II (who has been hurt much of this year to be fair). Somehow, they’re still the same old Blazers. Bottom five in defensive rating, near top five in offensive rating. I guess the more things change, the more they stay the same.

On the injury report, Giannis is probable, while AJ Green, Serge Ibaka and Bobby Portis are all out.

Portland won’t have Jusuf Nurkic or Justise Winslow, while Gary Payton II and Drew Eubanks are both probable.

Player to Watch

Jrue Holiday has gotten much deserved praise for his All-Star nod, even as he’s slunk back to a more complementary offensive role since his 30-point outbursts without his running mates. He’ll have another defensive load tonight helping corral the hot-shooting backcourt in Portland, so I’ll be curious whether that affects his output on the offensive end.


Game 54: Against Portland, the Bucks will...

This poll is closed

  • 43%
    Win big (by 10 or more points)
    (33 votes)
  • 43%
    Win close (by 9 or fewer points)
    (33 votes)
  • 7%
    Lose close (by 9 or fewer points)
    (6 votes)
  • 5%
    Lose big (by 10 or more points)
    (4 votes)
76 votes total Vote Now

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