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Milwaukee Bucks vs. Sacramento Kings Preview: A Test from the West

One more before the road

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NBA: Milwaukee Bucks at Sacramento Kings Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

The Milwaukee Bucks host the Sacramento Kings tonight at 6:00 PM (Central) in the teams’ first match-up of the 2024-2024 season. The last time the two teams met — all the way back in March 2023 — a straight-up brouhaha broke out as Kings forward Trey Lyles made an unnecessary move for the ball with the game already decided. Naturally, Brook Lopez stepped forward to defend Giannis Antetokounmpo’s honor in what is spiritually the first instance of GameBall Gate.

Where We’re At

The Bucks have managed to string together two wins for the first time since late December, earning recent victories over the Boston Celtics and Golden State Warriors as they hope to notch one more to close out their home stand.

Currently seated at the no. 5 spot in the Western Conference, the Kings are currently 23-15 overall and 2-1 amidst a five-game road trip as they come off a 19-point loss to the Philadelphia 76ers on Friday night. Sacramento has seen a significant drop from their league-leading offensive rating of a season ago (currently 116.7, 14th place), although the defense has improved from horrible to slightly below-average (116.2, 17th). De’Aaron Fox remains the scoring engine while Domantas Sabonis is in the middle of his best year as a rebounder, assister (he leads the team here), and continues to be a strong scorer himself.

Injury Report

Update: Jae Crowder remains out, Khris Middleton is out for injury management on his right knee, Chris Livingston is out with a non-Covid illness.

At the time of publishing, the Bucks had not yet submitted an injury report and Kevin Huerter is listed as questionable with left ankle sprain. Otherwise, both squads should be near full health — including the possibility of a return by Jae Crowder, who has been sidelined since mid-November due to a groin injury.

Player To Watch

If Crowder can go, it will be worth seeing what he can do in limited minutes, particularly as a defender. Regardless of BOSSMANN’s status, though, keep an eye on Keon Ellis. The Kings guard went undrafted in 2022 and has climbed his way into significant rotation minutes this season, giving the Kings enough confidence in the their depth behind All-Star point guard De’Aaron Fox that they continue to shop Davion Mitchell in trade talks.

Ellis does the little things well and can get hot quick as a shooter, nailing 38.2 percent of his threes on the season.

How To Watch

Bally Sports WI at 6:00 PM CST


Poll

Game 40: against the Kings, the Bucks will.......

This poll is closed

  • 30%
    Win big (10 or more points)
    (15 votes)
  • 44%
    Win close (9 or fewer points)
    (22 votes)
  • 12%
    Lose close (9 or fewer points)
    (6 votes)
  • 12%
    Lose big (10 or more points)
    (6 votes)
49 votes total Vote Now

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