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Milwaukee Bucks vs. Golden State Warriors Preview: Win Streak on a West Coast Road Trip?

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NBA: Golden State Warriors at Milwaukee Bucks Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Usually in sports, when you have the two most recent champions going head-to-head, it’s a notable matchup and hyped from coast-to-coast. Tonight, where we have the 2021 champion Milwaukee Bucks squaring off against the 2022 champion Golden State Warriors, the hype is conspicuously absent, but this game should still be one worth watching.

Where We’re At

If you ever visit /r/mkebucks, you might have heard that the Bucks are “the best team in the NBA.” As it happens, this assertion is 100% accurate today, because the Bucks own the best record in the NBA. No, really!

Despite a rough start, the Bucks just keep getting healthier..and they just keep winning. With a 16 game winning streak and only a handful of losses in their last couple dozen games, the team has developed enough depth to overcome time missed from their top stars. From ESPN’s Jamal Collier:

Milwaukee has had plenty of moments to enjoy of late, having won 21 of its past 23 games. The Bucks enter their showdown with the Golden State Warriors (Saturday, 8:30 p.m. ET on ABC) — a meeting of the past two NBA champions — as the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference, 2.5 games up on the Boston Celtics for the best record in the NBA.

“Sometimes timing matters in this league,” an Eastern Conference scout told ESPN. “They’re finally healthy and hitting their stride at the right time.”

The Bucks are expected to be without Wesley Matthews (calf) and might be missing Giannis Antetokounmpo (hand/knee/illness/whatever else) but may experience the debut of Goran Dragic. Meanwhile, the Warriors have just welcomed back Stephen Curry and are fighting to stay above 0.500 in the competitive Western Conference. They will be missing Andrew Wiggins, Gary Payton II, and Jonathan Kuminga, but the most interesting story in Golden State right now is the delicious beef between Draymond Green and Memphis’ Dillon Brooks. At least until, y’know, basketball takes center stage and moves attention away from the sideshow, which hopefully happens tonight.

Player To Watch

Jordan Poole – a Milwaukee product! – has taken on an outsized role in Golden State as the Warriors have evolved past the dynasty that they were for most of the last few years. Of course they still have the same core (Steph, Klay, and Draymond), but the supporting cast has changed over and for the Dubs to have a shot at earning yet another championship, they need to both stay healthy and get contributions from other players, which is where Poole comes in (and did last season, when the Warriors won the title). But Poole has drawn scrutiny for his shot selection lately, which is partially unfair when the comparisons on the roster are Klay Thompson and Steph Curry, but as our partners at Golden State Of Mind put it, the decision-making caps Poole’s overall potential.

Poole has always been somewhat of a double-edged sword for the Golden State Warriors. The potential of his shooting manifests from time to time; in true Steph Curry and Klay Thompson fashion, he has shown that he can get into one of those potent shooting rhythms and wax burning hot with made shot after made shot.

Other times, Poole gets tunnel vision; as aforementioned, terrible shot selection has plagued him, coupled with general decision making on offense that leaves a lot to be desired.

But to particularly focus on the shooting, the brutal truth is that Poole has been a volume outside shooter without the efficiency to match — which has differentiated him from the likes of Curry and Thompson and has placed a proverbial ceiling on his development as an offensive centerpiece.


Game 67: Against Golden State, the Bucks will...

This poll is closed

  • 18%
    Win big (by 10 or more points)
    (34 votes)
  • 52%
    Win close (by 9 or fewer points)
    (97 votes)
  • 18%
    Lose close (by 9 or fewer points)
    (35 votes)
  • 10%
    Lose big (by 10 or more points)
    (19 votes)
185 votes total Vote Now

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